The State of IAB and the Industry
Twenty fourteen was a transformative year for the interactive advertising ecosystem—and IAB. Over the years, IAB has consistently adjusted the use of our resources and our influence to best support the growth of this expansive market for our members. In 2014, we evolved our membership criteria, organization structure, and key processes to recognize and help drive dramatic changes in the digital marketing and media sectors.
The original IAB mission focused solely on growth; it was adopted eight years ago when digital advertising revenues severely lagged consumer consumption of digital media. Clearly, the sole focus on growth seemed increasingly limited in an environment where digital is now the second largest advertising medium in the U.S.—and in some national markets, the largest. The more pressing challenge for so many of our members and partners is realizing the benefits of this growth in their own companies.
This new primacy of digital in the media ecosystem prompted IAB to promulgate a new mission statement for the organization, unveiled in early 2014:
“IAB empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy.”
This new mission positions IAB as the central supporter of the media and marketing industries in the digital age—a role that reflects the expansion of interactive technology and experiences across the vast media and marketing landscape, including beyond borders into global markets.
To fulfill this mission, IAB made several bold and essential structural changes in 2014. The important achievements that support this mission are covered in the following pages and include changes in our membership criteria to empower a greater representation among industry leaders; the creation of the IAB Technology Lab, a nonprofit research and development consortium charged with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards and solutions; the establishment of the IAB Education Foundation to promote an increasingly skilled and diverse workforce; and the establishment of the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a first-of-its-kind, cross-industry accountability program launched in collaboration with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and designed to fight ad fraud, malware, and the theft of intellectual property, as well as increase marketplace transparency.
These changes were made to support the IAB five-year plan, The Path to Digital Dominance, which we unveiled at the end of 2013 as a road map for our industry. This plan ensures that we consistently and systematically progress in a direction that will safeguard and propel the lasting success of our members’ businesses.
The plan outlines five challenges that must be resolved for the long-term health of the interactive advertising industry:
- Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain
- Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS)
- Publisher Transformation
- Building Brands Digitally
- Moving Mobile Mainstream
The new mission and five critical areas of focus directed all IAB endeavors in 2014. We have made great strides toward addressing these urgent challenges.
I’m extremely proud of IAB accomplishments in 2014 and the remarkable IAB team that has brought them to life. I am also thankful for the ongoing support from our members and the community that has made these strides possible. By carefully managing our finances, IAB has been able to propel the industry forward and continues to invest in our digital future. I am extremely grateful for the dedication of all our constituents—and I am confident that, as an industry, we are well-positioned today for a prosperous 2015 and beyond.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Interactive Advertising Bureau
2014: The Year at IAB
Like the industry it represents, the financial health of IAB is strong. Under the fiscal leadership of IAB Executive Vice President and COO Patrick Dolan and according to unaudited 2014 financial statements, IAB finished the year with a projected topline revenue of $23.2 million, up from the record $20.3 million in 2013 and 6.8 percent more than budgeted.
Dues revenue reached a record high of $11.2 million for 2014, approximately $615,000 more than budgeted. IAB also saw growth in events income, projected to bring in $7.2 million or $640,000 more than budgeted, largely because of the tremendous growth in the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert in February 2014. In a positive sign for the relevance of our mobile efforts, the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence is projected to see $1.3 million in revenue in 2014 or five percent more than originally budgeted.
Another bright spot in IAB revenue growth came from the IAB Certification Programs. In just two years, these programs have already exceeded $1 million in revenue. The rapid growth of the certification programs is a validation of how important certifications and training are for the industry.
Other programs, including the Quality Assurance Guidelines and the Spiders and Bots List, performed either on or above budget. IAB raised additional revenue through initiatives such as sponsored research, rental of the Ad Lab, and international licensing fees.
Expenses totaled $22.9 million in 2014 and, as projected at the outset of the year, IAB ended the period just above breakeven with an unrestricted surplus of $65,000 and $230,000 restricted to digital video research. In addition, IAB closed the year with a record $6.3 million in the bank and a surplus of $1.6 million.
IAB invested these additional funds in new programs aimed at helping member businesses excel. They include the IAB Technology Lab, the IAB Education Foundation, and the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG). Additional funding was directed toward developing the cross-screen marketplace, including mobile marketing and digital video advertising; encouraging a seamless global network for interactive advertising; forging innovations in advertising technology; producing valuable insights into building brands in digital; and hiring key staff to support the newly formed organizations and expanded mission of IAB to empower the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy.
The continued financial well-being of IAB is a testament to the prosperity of the industry it supports and the confidence our members have invested in us. IAB is well-positioned financially to deliver on its ambitious agenda for 2015 and beyond.
2014: A Transformative Year at IAB
With great change comes great opportunity, and IAB was well-positioned to embrace both in 2014. To deliver on our mission to empower the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy, IAB implemented some bold structural changes to the organization and made big investments to help member businesses excel over the next five years.
These changes were made to support the IAB five-year plan, The Path to Digital Dominance, which ensures that we consistently and systematically progress in a direction that will safeguard and propel the lasting success of our members’ businesses. The plan outlines five challenges that must be resolved for the long-term health of the interactive advertising industry and defines the new capabilities that must be acquired to keep pace with members.
Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain
The digital advertising industry needs a transparent, liquid, and safe marketplace for digital advertising and marketing transactions if it is to thrive in the long term—and IAB is uniquely positioned to lead this charge.
To accomplish this, in 2014 IAB expanded its capabilities with the launch of the IAB Technology Lab. In addition, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) joined IAB to create a first-of-its-kind, cross-industry accountability program called the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), designed to increase marketplace transparency.
IAB Technology Lab
Independent R&D: Technical Standards for Rapid Implementation
Announced at the IAB MIXX Conference in September 2014, the IAB Technology Lab is a nonprofit research and development consortium charged with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards and solutions. The goal of the consortium is to simplify and reduce the costs associated with the digital advertising and marketing supply chain, as well as for individual companies’ businesses. Scott Cunningham, who joined IAB as Vice President for Technology in April 2014, heads the IAB Technology Lab.
The primary responsibility of the IAB Technology Lab is to spearhead the development of technical standards and to assist in rapid, cost-effective implementation of these standards. In addition, it establishes a test platform for companies to evaluate the compatibility of their technology solutions with IAB standards, which for 18 years have been the foundation for interoperability and profitable growth in the digital advertising supply chain.
At the core of the IAB Technology Lab are protocols, tools, and certification. This includes the CodeBank, an open-source code repository that contains the resources needed to implement the specifications and guidelines that IAB currently produces. These materials include templates, implementation guidelines, code examples, tutorials, quick-start guides, unit testing harnesses, and validation tools. The CodeBank launched with two protocols for inclusion: a template that supports the Digital Audio Ad Serving Template (DAAST) and materials to aid in the adoption of SafeFrame.
Other IAB Technology Lab objectives include:
- Saving time and money for member companies by providing industry certification for technology vendors
- Streamlining processes through the reduction of compatibility issues by providing tools for multiple profiles of workers in the supply chain
- Driving industry standards in video, mobile, the Internet of Things, and other emerging areas from definition through distribution and certification
The IAB Technology Lab is governed by an independent board of directors and an executive committee, which oversees its agenda and funds allocation. The IAB Technology Lab’s governance structure allows it to become a truly global body and accept member companies from outside the U.S. Marketers and agencies, as well as other companies with interests in the digital advertising and marketing supply chain, are encouraged to join. Companies that are already IAB General Members will automatically become members of the IAB Technology Lab, at no cost beyond their IAB dues.
In a nutshell, the IAB Technology Lab will guide the conversation and cooperation necessary for the emergence, implementation, adaptation, and interoperability of global standards for the collective industry—and puts IAB in position to evolve in step with the constantly shifting interactive landscape.
Trustworthy Accountability Group
Building Trust and Accountability
Also at the IAB MIXX Conference in September, the 4A’s, the ANA, and IAB announced a first-of-its-kind, cross-industry accountability program designed to fight ad fraud, malware, and the theft of intellectual property head on, and to increase marketplace transparency.
The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is the first accountability program to create transparency in the business relationships and transactions that undergird the digital ad industry, while continuing to enable astonishing levels of innovation.
TAG was created to spur an industrywide change in behavior at an unprecedented scale. The objectives are to:
- Promote brand safety through transparency and accountability
- Eliminate fraudulent traffic
- Combat malware
- Fight the theft of digital content
These objectives are a road map toward a more trustworthy digital supply chain, one that will increase the entire industry’s value and worth. The group will operationalize principles around these critical issues, monitor the ecosystem for compliance, and develop incentives for broad industry participation and consequences for untrustworthy actors.
TAG is led by Linda Woolley as President and CEO. Woolley was a member of the Advertising Self- Regulatory Council’s Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014. Her extensive leadership experience includes nearly six years in executive roles at the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), where she most recently served as CEO and President, and before that as head of the association’s public policy office in Washington, D.C.
Promoting brand safety through transparency and accountability were the principal goals of the IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) program, which was established in 2011 as a self-regulatory program by which networks and exchanges could self-attest. The compliance part of the QAG program will now be a foundational element of TAG, which will develop an active monitoring system to detect noncompliance.
Companies continued to join the QAG program, with a net increase of 16 companies in 2014, which brought the total number of companies in the program to 55. New members that joined include key technology players Chango, DataXu, Quantcast, Tapad, and TubeMogul, and top publishers Time Warner Cable Media and Ziff Davis.
A Year of Advocacy and Self-Regulation
Ramping up its direct lobbying efforts at all levels, the IAB Public Policy Office, under the leadership of Mike Zaneis, Executive Vice President, Public Policy & General Counsel at IAB, focused on several major legislative initiatives.
The IAB Political Action Committee actively supported key elected officials who have traditionally championed the digital advertising industry and also hosted several fundraising events.
Privacy and Security in Digital Ads
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is leading a bipartisan investigation into privacy and security issues related to digital advertising, with an emphasis on the proliferation of malvertising on publisher sites. IAB secured a witness slot for the May 15, 2015, hearing in the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which McCain chairs. The Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain Project will be key to presenting the industry’s response to these difficult questions.
IAB is leading a multi-industry effort to eliminate provisions in a package of bills in the U.S. Congress that would establish for the first time criminal liability for publishers and third-party intermediaries that may happen to display or deliver advertisements for certain criminal activities. These ads almost always use subtle codes developed by the criminal underworld and would be difficult, if not impossible, for IAB members to detect.
Big Data Working Group
The issue of big data continues to drive the debate in Washington, D.C., and IAB organized a meeting between a diverse group of digital advertising companies and the White House’s Big Data and Privacy Working Group in March. IAB helped formulate the Working Group’s scope of inquiry to focus on actual consumer harms rather than a set of largely hypothetical concerns surrounding marketing databases. Armed with the well-proven success of the Digital Advertising Alliance’s self-regulatory program, IAB has redoubled efforts on Capitol Hill, within the administrative agencies, and across global and state policy venues to protect the responsible use of data by the digital advertising industry.
Long Tail Alliance Fly-In
In June, IAB brought more than 50 small publishers from 20 states to Capitol Hill for the IAB Sixth Annual Long Tail Alliance Fly-In. The publishers were able to engage in learning sessions and were given a direct platform to express to legislators the challenges, concerns, and impact that adverse legislation and regulation may have on their businesses. The Long Tail Alliance now includes 1,145 members. By convening members, IAB can show policymakers the real difference that these small businesses are making in the national economy and in employment levels.
IAB is representing the industry before the Department of Commerce as it attempts to establish rules governing the use of facial recognition technology and has developed an initial set of use cases in consultation with IAB members to focus on legitimate consumer concerns.
Beyond the Beltway and International
With Washington, D.C., in recess during much of the summer and in reelection mode in the fall, the IAB Public Policy Office had some breathing room to turn its attention to a number of venues and locations. IAB also doubled down on investments to grow capabilities in key state capitals and internationally.
Addressing Regulation in the State of California
California continues to present a serious regulatory threat to the digital advertising industry. Several state bills and public initiatives would severely limit the way the industry is able to collect and use data. In response, IAB has invested in the creation of a California office. Based in San Francisco and staffed by an IAB lead state lobbyist, the new office provides the industry with a major advocacy platform. Coupled with a major communications and grassroots program funded jointly by the 4A’s, ANA, and IAB, the organization is bringing a voice to key decision makers and delivering the same positive self-regulatory and economic growth agenda that has proven so successful in Washington, D.C.
Expanding the International Agenda
Digital knows no borders and there continue to be a number of regulatory priorities at the international level. The IAB Public Policy Office has continued to expand its international agenda as more of the policies affecting the future of the internet and the digital advertising industry originate in foreign legislative bodies and intergovernmental agencies. One important example of this work has been IAB involvement in the renegotiation of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework. Today, the Safe Harbor framework helps more than 100 IAB members operate in Europe.
However, increasing pressure in the EU has threatened to derail the agreement. In response, IAB and IAB Europe partnered to develop the industry’s first cross-border policy position on data governance issues, which has served as guidance for U.S. and EU Safe Harbor negotiators.
Modernizing International Trade Agreements
IAB is committed to supporting the modernization of international trade agreements to serve the needs of the industry. Current trade agreements fail to adequately protect the digital ecosystem from anticompetitive policies. IAB has been working with lawmakers to include language in future trade agreements that would prevent unfair legal environments intended to penalize U.S.-based businesses. To help IAB members navigate the complex global legal environment and more easily comply with international laws, the IAB Global Network developed a site that details international legal environments, outlining local regulatory structures, recent legal developments, and contact information for international IABs that can provide further assistance to those seeking to expand business in new markets.
Education and Diversity
IAB: Driving Learning, Diversity, and Development
Just as a healthy industry needs a trustworthy supply chain, it also needs a talent pipeline that reflects the audience it serves. In 2014, IAB took an important step toward this goal by launching the IAB Education Foundation, expanding certification programs in sales and ad operations, and championing efforts dedicated to increasing racial, ethnic, gender, and economic diversity and to improving skills in the digital media and advertising industries.
IAB Education Foundation
The IAB Education Foundation formally launched at the IAB MIXX Conference, and Tim Armstrong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AOL Inc., agreed to serve as Chairman of the Board and set the vision for the foundation.
The foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, enabling it to take tax-deductible contributions. It is developing curricula and certification programs in fast-growing areas of employment within digital media and advertising companies, including digital advertising sales, advertising operations, and data analytics. Courses will be provided at little or no cost to qualified training partners, such as community colleges and workforce development programs. The foundation will be funded from a variety of sources, including corporate and individual supporters, foundation donations, workforce development grants, and IAB itself.
Under the leadership of Michael Theodore, Vice President, Learning and Development at IAB, the foundation will also serve as a professional society open to the hundreds of thousands of men and women now employed in the U.S. digital media and advertising industry.
In December, at the AOL offices in downtown New York, IAB hosted Voices United, a diversity workshop dedicated to addressing this rising challenge in the industry. This was the first of several stops along the Diversity Road Show tour, spearheaded by the IAB Education Foundation. IAB aims to meet the challenge head on, working in partnership with numerous organizations—companies, schools, and nonprofits—to create a landscape where talent can be grown from within to ensure business success for the future.
At the first event, Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL and Chairman of the foundation, noted that town halls such as these equate to passion meeting a problem. Freada Kapor Klein, Ph.D., Founder of the Level Playing Field Institute and Co-Chair of the Kapor Center for Social Impact, also addressed both the recruiting part of the pipeline problem as well as the “leaky pipeline” of talent retention.
The foundation’s first partner is the Year Up program, a national nonprofit organization that provides skills training to disadvantaged young adults and places them in Fortune 500 companies. Year Up will work with the IAB Education Foundation to develop an entry-level ad operations training program.
Tim Armstrong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AOL Inc. and Chairman of the IAB Education Foundation Board, helped kick off the first stop on the Voices United Diversity Roadshow in New York.
Certification Programs in Sales and Ad Operations
IAB certification programs in sales and ad operations continue to show solid growth. The third quarter of 2014 saw the highest number of applicants yet for the Digital Media Sales and Digital Ad Operations Certification programs, with 705 candidates applying to take the exams. The number of certification holders is now nearly 2,800, with 2,324 sales certificants and 450 ad ops certification holders. With the November testing window, the total number of certified professionals for 2014 surpassed 3,000.
Recertification and Train-the-Trainer Programs
Recertification is now a top priority as credential holders near the end of their original certification. There are two paths toward recertification: retaking the exam or earning 24 continuing education credits that demonstrate ongoing learning. IAB has a goal of 80 percent retention, which follows industry best practices. The train-the-trainer program has also expanded, offering a two-day digital media fundamentals class as well as its original one-day preparatory class for sales certification. Companies that have participated include Condé Nast, Rodale, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Meredith.
The Road Ahead
Other opportunities for learning have grown as well, with an eye toward expanding beyond the usual New York-based audience. A fee-based, multipart, live webcast on native advertising launched this summer. IAB also took its successful Advanced Programmatic training program on the road, playing to packed classrooms in Chicago and San Francisco. IAB anticipates many more road shows and much more training in 2015.
Making Measurement Make Sense
IAB aspires to have all media allocated and valued using common metrics, empowering marketers to create powerful cross-screen branding campaigns based on educated decisions and accountable investments. In 2011 the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and IAB jointly launched the “Making Measurement Make Sense” (3MS) initiative because the absence of a consistent approach to measuring and assessing the effects of digital media had resulted in a cacophony of competing and contradictory measurement systems, contributing to a complex and costly supply chain for the industry. The transition to a viewableimpression currency was the first recommendation of the groundbreaking June 2011 3MS study done for the three associations by Bain & Co. and Medialink LLC. The research showed that of all major media, only digital failed to require viewability in measuring advertising, a critical deficiency as consumers increased their media consumption on digital channels, and a major impediment to cross-platform advertising planning, buying, and optimization. The goal of this process has always been a robust digital measurement currency that can act as a “digital GRP,” leading us to understand cross media behavior. But to get there, we first had to understand what makes an impression viewable.
Progress in the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative, a multiyear investment, moves the industry closer to this goal.
For more information on 3MS, visit www.measurementnow.net.
The Shift to Viewable Impression Currency
In 2014, 3MS and the marketing-media ecosystem reached a major milestone: The Media Rating Council (MRC) issued final Viewable Impression Guidelines, and viewable impressions for display and video were declared ready for transactions. IAB strongly supports the use of the industry standards, developed with oversight by the MRC, for the measurement of a viewable ad impression for display and video. That standard is 50 percent of pixels in view for a minimum of one second for display and 50 percent of pixels in view for a minimum of two seconds for video. The industry arrived at this standard through quantitative testing and months of meetings where consensus was built around the definitions.
For its members’ needs, IAB invested in a number of resources including a publisher-specific viewability FAQ released in March when the MRC lifted the advisory against transacting on viewable impressions. IAB also convened a research council meeting with an update on viewability and answered questions from the digital advertising research community. Many of the questions were also addressed over the course of the year in MediaPost Metrics Insider columns authored by Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President Research, Analytics and Measurement at IAB. Mane also led the creation and launch of a new educational series, the 3MS Educational Forum, to foster knowledge-sharing and measurement change and to support IAB members’ implementation of viewability. In an ongoing knowledge-sharing effort, IAB hosted four 3MS educational forums in 2014, which were attended by 600 professionals.
Overall, IAB was involved in ongoing communication through multiple channels with the goal to set the entire industry on a path toward collaboration and consensus for the best possible outcomes for the greatest number of participants in the shortest amount of time. Through these efforts, IAB has emphasized the following points:
- A nonviewable impression does not equal a fraudulent impression.
- Nonmeasured impressions should not be assumed to be nonviewable impressions.
- Duration is part of the viewability standard because the marketing and advertising industry needs standards based interactive advertising metrics that are comparable to those of legacy media.
- As the transition to viewable impression currency continues, measurement will improve.
100 Percent Viewability Is Not Yet Possible
In October, the MRC issued a summary of considerations for implementation of viewable impression measurement to assist advertisers, agencies, and publishers as they move to transition from a digital advertising currency based on served impressions to one based on viewable impression measurement. Among other things, the MRC stated that 100 percent viewability is an “unreasonable” expectation. The complete set of considerations is available on the IAB website, on measurementnow.net, and on the MRC website.
IAB took steps to address concerns in the marketplace regarding viewability guarantees that are unreasonable in light of MRC guidance. In December 2014, IAB released State of Viewability Transaction 2015, a position paper offering the digital media and advertising industries guidance on how to manage the shift of digital media’s “audience currency” to 100 percent viewability. The paper heralds the collaboration among the digital trade association, the 4A’s, and the ANA; labels 2015 a “year of transition;” and calls on advertising agencies, publishers, marketers, and advertising technology companies to work together to ensure that the new currency can be implemented by all companies in the digital advertising ecosystem.
The paper reiterates the statement made in October by the MRC that it is “unreasonable for advertisers, agencies, and publishers implementing viewable impressions as measurement currency to expect to observe viewable rates of 100 percent in analyses of their campaigns.” The paper was presented at a webinar with nearly 450 people attending live, illustrating just how important this topic is to members and the digital advertising ecosystem.
For all the progress that publishers, agencies, marketers, and tech companies are making toward implementing viewability, there are still challenges as well as a strong need for more education. To remedy this and arm IAB members with the best information to remain competitive, IAB has taken additional steps, such as assembling several organizations representing a cross-section of different disciplines, including a Board Subcommittee, a Data Leadership Advisory Board, and the IAB Measurement Leadership Advisory Board. The IAB Measurement Leadership Advisory Board is composed of sales leaders from member companies, including several board members. This group is charged with advising IAB leadership on measurement issues that are affecting their businesses. The MRC, which has assumed the leadership role in standards development, also reconvened the 3MS steering committee, the 3MS Blue Ribbon Task Force, so that agency, marketer, and publisher leaders can discuss pressing issues together.
The Seven Principles for Viewability Transaction in 2015
To foster stronger collaboration and build trust, IAB recommends that marketers, agencies, and publishers adhere to the following seven principles during 2015:
- All billing should continue to be based on the number of served impressions during a campaign, and these should be separated into two categories: measured and nonmeasured.
- Given the limitations of current technology and the publisher observed variances in measurement of 30 percent to 40 percent, it is recommended that in this year of transition, measured impressions be held to a 70 percent viewability threshold.
- If a campaign does not achieve the 70 percent viewability threshold for measured impressions, publishers should be willing to make good with additional viewable impressions until the threshold is met. Such a guarantee ensures that all paid measurable ad impressions will be viewable at a threshold that exceeds the minimum standard and falls within observed variances.
- All make-goods should be in the form of additional viewable impressions, not cash, and should be delivered in a reasonable time frame. Make-good impressions should be both viewable and generally consistent with inventory that was purchased in the original campaign. Determination of threshold achievement is based on total campaign impressions, not by each line item. In other words, some line items may not achieve threshold, but others can compensate.
- For large-format ads (defined as 242,500 pixels or larger), a viewable impression is counted if 30 percent of the pixels of the ad are viewable for a minimum of one continuous second, as noted in the “MRC Viewable Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines.”
- All transactions between buyers and sellers should use MRC accredited vendors only.
- A buyer and a seller should agree on a single measurement vendor ahead of time. The industry aspires to variances of no more than 10 percent between viewability measures provided by different vendors. All stakeholders must avoid costly, labor-intensive, error-prone manual processes of reconciling different sets of viewability numbers, hence the benefits of agreeing on a single vendor.
Defining Metrics for Comparable Cross-Media Planning
Of course, 3MS is about much more than viewability, and all the talk about that one aspect may occasionally obscure an important fact: The initiative is about defining metrics to make cross-media planning, buying, and evaluating comparable so that brand dollars can flow to digital media. Viewability paves the way for the work that needs to be done to make mobile measurement make sense as well.
Core Engagement Metrics
In addition to formidable progress on viewability in 2014, IAB announced a comprehensive new definition of advertising engagement and identified core metrics for digital and legacy ad engagement across platforms. While acknowledging that there can be no onesize- fits-all approach, for the first time both buy and sell sides agreed on recommendations for metrics in the three categories of newly defined continuum of engagement—both online and off: cognitive, emotional, and behavioral/physical. The report, titled The Advertising Engagement Spectrum: Defining and Measuring Digital Ad Engagement in a Cross-Platform World, builds on the concepts around engagement and takes the industry from measuring thousands of metrics to focusing on 30 core ones.
A key challenge for the long-term vitality of the interactive advertising industry is supporting publisher transformation in the fast-changing digital advertising ecosystem. The value of publishers’ audiences must be realized, and diversified publisher revenue streams must become commonplace. These goals require publishers to continue to adjust to new technologies, new business processes, and new economics. In 2014, IAB conducted and led a wide range of activities and initiatives to help publishers gain the knowledge and tools they need to transform.
Supporting Exponential Digital Video Growth
A big area of focus in 2014 was digital video. Fueled by escalating consumer adoption, digital video advertising is one of the fastest-growing advertising mediums in the United States.
To address key issues and the challenges for fulfilling digital video’s long-term promise of delivering powerful brand advertising at scale, IAB announced the launch of a Digital Video Center of Excellence, devoted to promoting the development of the digital video medium within the marketing, advertising, and media ecosystem. It will produce original research projects, digital video advertising case studies, technical standards, creative showcases, and overall best practices in the arena of digital video.
To ensure digital video’s future, the interactive advertising industry needs to coalesce around standards, conduct in-depth research, and examine what works and why in digital video advertising—all of which are part of the plan for the Digital Video Center of Excellence.
Peter Naylor, Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales at Hulu and former Chairman of the IAB Board of Directors, agreed to head the Digital Video Center of Excellence Board of Directors, leading the organization’s inaugural agenda.
While continuing to supervise the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, Anna Bager, Senior Vice President, Mobile and Video, will lead the Video Center. The Video Center will focus on tying together various IAB video activities, including Advanced TV, Digital Video, and the Digital Content NewFronts, providing a one-stop shop for
thought leadership, innovation, research, and guidance for the digital video industry. The Video Center took over stewardship of the Digital Content NewFronts, which will next take place in 2015 over two weeks in late April and early May.
Recognizing Excellence in Video Programming
The 2014 Digital Content NewFronts, an eight-day event spotlighting the best in original digital video programming for marketers and media buyers, was a huge success. Attendance and attention reached an all-time high, with more than 12,000 attendees at 23 separate events. It was a historic event demonstrating and supporting the ascendance of digital video as a mainstream entertainment and information medium, increasingly on par with cable and broadcast television and with unique capabilities that will drive continued growth in ad revenues for this segment for the foreseeable future.
Jordan Levin, Executive Vice President of Xbox Entertainment Studios, at the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Within just three to five years, media buyers anticipate that original digital video will be as important to their businesses as TV. That was just one of the findings from the Digital Content NewFronts Video Ad Spend Study, conducted on behalf of IAB by Advertiser Perceptions early in 2014, quantifying the momentum in the video market among agencies and advertisers. Findings from the report about the convergence of interactive and TV also led to a Digital Video Committee joint meeting with the Advanced TV Advisory Board. Leaders from over 50 companies came together in the IAB Ad Lab to review recently completed and in-progress digital video initiatives at IAB and to set the direction for initiatives in 2015, including measurement and metrics, programmatic video, mobile video, creative best practices, ad-serving compliance and standards, and marketplace/buyer research and education.
For digital video to be successful, consumers need to have a privacy experience in video advertising similar to what they enjoy for display and mobile. To meet that need, the Ad Technology group, in partnership with the Digital Advertising Alliance, launched the DAA AdChoices In-Stream Video Icon Working Group with the mandate to offer viewers a consistent “opt-out” experience with the DAA “Forward I” icon and to create consistency across corresponding texts and links to policies and preference centers.
Building Native Advertising and Content Marketing Guidelines
In 2014, IAB focused on two major areas for addressing native advertising: understanding how consumers perceive and feel about in-feed sponsored content and how to serve appropriate disclosures for native advertising.
IAB partnered with Edelman Berland to conduct a comprehensive study of 5,000 U.S. online news users to explore consumer perceptions of in-feed sponsored content ads. Titled Getting In-Feed Sponsored Content Right: The Consumer View, the groundbreaking report, the first largescale study of its kind, was presented to a packed audience at the Edelman Berland offices in New York City in July. It showed that native advertising needs to be relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy in both the brand and the surrounding content to appeal to consumers. Relevancy is the top factor that drives consumer interest in reading in-feed sponsored content, with the consumer’s view of the brand itself determining the success of this type of native advertising. Brand familiarity and trust, as well as subject matter expertise, were also identified as critical in driving consumers’ interest in sponsored content.
In December, the Content Marketing and Native Advertising Task Force groups held a Native Advertising Disclosure Workshop. More than a dozen companies shared how they are evolving their disclosure practices to ensure that consumers understand where the editorial on the page ends and advertisements begin. Laura Sullivan, Senior Staff Attorney, Division of Advertising Practices at the Federal Trade Commission, provided her insights during a fireside chat with Mike Zaneis, Executive Vice President, Public Policy and General Counsel at IAB. As evidenced by the more than 200 registrants, the industry as a whole has a strong desire to be proactive to ensure industry selfregulation in this area.
User-generated content (UGC) is becoming another key component of content marketing. The Content Marketing Task Force, in conjunction with the Social Media and Native Advertising groups, held a User-Generated Content Town Hall at the IAB Ad Lab to discuss the various ways publishers, marketers, and agencies are deploying UGC in their marketing efforts and addressing some important legal considerations.
Now that nearly every social media platform offers paid content options, the IAB Social Media Committee, led by co-chairs Carine Roman of LinkedIn and Christine Cuoco of Twitter, published the IAB Social Media Buyer’s Guide. It provides the industry with a framework for buying advertising on the leading social media platforms: Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. This one-stop resource is intended for agencies, marketers, and any company seeking to advertise on one or more of the major social media networks. The document will serve as the basis of future initiatives to help educate the industry on the social media ecosystem.
Programmatic buying and selling is revolutionizing how the industry does business by providing a powerful combination of efficiency and effectiveness. A key concern however, is the lack of understanding and lack of dialogue among all stakeholders on resolving challenges in making programmatic work for publishers. To help members navigate this fast-changing landscape, the newly formed Programmatic Council focuses on bringing together publishers, buyers, and ad technology providers to discuss the major business issues in the evolving programmatic marketplace.
One of the key areas of focus for the Programmatic Council in 2014 was education. IAB created educational videos and blogs that achieved some of the highest views across all content in 2014 and held many town halls to educate members and share best practices. Topics ranged from video programmatic and retargeting to how programmatic was being used for specific audience segments such as Hispanic consumers.
The council expanded its geographic outreach by hosting the first Programmatic Summit in Los Angeles, which was attended by more than 500 members. It also held and published an international webinar in June involving IAB members from across the globe to update them on activities in the U.S. and in areas for cross-border collaboration.
Finally, the council also reached a wide audience through a Programmatic 101 webinar, which was later expanded into a full one-day advanced training program on programmatic for direct sellers, which was run across the country in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The training was designed to give publishers a practical, hands-on understanding of how to implement programmatic. The program also included demos by technology platforms and interviews with buyers.
Leading the Way on Emerging Platforms
To promote games as an advertising medium driven by engaging content and cross-platform solutions, the IAB Games Committee published the Games Advertising Ecosystem Guide in December. Targeted to marketers and agencies, this guide provides a concise overview of today’s gamers, core game types, and advertising options. The Committee had a presence at such major industry events as Social Media Week and SXSW, and hosted a town hall with the Mobile Committee and Zynga in San Francisco called The Future of Mobile Games.
Digital audio programming is another rapidly expanding market segment for digital advertisers. While still relatively small, this market segment looks much the way digital video looked five to seven years ago—full of promise for growth. It’s also fragmented, with no standardized way to track the delivery of audio ad units, whether an audio ad has played, or how much of that ad was played. In September, the Digital Audio Committee released the Digital Audio Ad Serving Template (DAAST), a vital ad delivery standard that allows audio ads to be served across an array of players in environments that include mobile devices and in-car radios where access to a browser is limited or doesn’t exist. In addition to DAAST, the Audio Committee is working to build awareness of digital audio’s potential for impact on marketing objectives. In addition to best practices and standards development, the Digital Audio Committee hosted events to educate marketers and agencies on why digital audio should be included in media buys.
2014 Committees and Councils
IAB helps drive the industry forward through the efforts of nine committees and ten councils in various industry segments. Tapping into the brightest minds in the industry, these groups work together to develop solutions that improve the interactive advertising and marketing ecosystem for everyone.
IAB committees are based on specific platforms within the digital advertising medium. Committee members work together to prove platform value or simplify the processes with buying, selling, and creating interactive advertising.
IAB councils are based on a specific role within members’ organizations. Council members share best practices and develop tools to improve efficiency, provide thought leadership and grow digital advertising.
Mike Agovino, Triton Digital
Doug Sterne, Pandora
Frannie Danzinger, eXelate
Hugh Wiley, Bloomberg Businessweek
Digital Video Committee
Suzie Reider, YouTube
Joey Trotz, Turner Broadcasting System
Jack Koch, Electronic Arts
Kym Nelson, Twitch
JB Sugar, AOL
Mary Eileen Weber, Tribune Company
Mobile Advertising Committee
Anne Frisbie, InMobi
Sol Masch, Time Inc.
John Busby, Marchex
Dave Tan, Google
Social Media Committee
Christine Cuoco, Twitter
Carine Roman, LinkedIn
Tablet Advertising Committee
Ned Newhouse, Condé Nast
Ad Ops Council
James Deaker, Yahoo
Zach Putnam, ABC TV Network
Advertising Technology Council
Jonathan Bellack, Google
Jay Sears, Rubicon Project
Leah Rogerson, PulsePoint
Bennett Theimann, Mocean
Khurrum Malikm, Facebook
Legal Affairs Council
Steve Hicks, Ziff Davis, LLC
Borja Perez, Telemundo
Bob Arnold, Google
Public Policy Council
Dave Morgan, Simulmedia
Stephanie Fried, Discovery Communications
Dan Murphy, Univision Communications Inc.
Sales Executive Council
Brian Quinn, Triad Retail Media
New Membership Criteria: Empowering Digital to Thrive
Since IAB launched in 1996, the structure, processes, and relationships that make up the digital advertising industry have shifted radically. The line between buyers and sellers is dissolving and technology companies now play a vital role serving both interests.
To reflect these changes in the ecosystem, IAB announced a key change to the membership criteria: A widening of the criteria for full voting or General Membership, from only “sellers of interactive advertising inventory” to include companies that “sell, distribute, or optimize digital advertising or marketing programs.” As a result, a number of current nonvoting or Associate Member companies will now be eligible to vote, serve on the IAB Board of Directors, and chair IAB committees and councils.
The IAB Board of Directors voted unanimously in favor of this change in IAB membership criteria, and the IAB General Members then overwhelmingly approved the expansion. This shift in membership structure will give many of the key businesses that power the interactive advertising industry an increased role in setting the vision and strategy of IAB.
“The modifications to IAB governance put IAB in position to evolve in step with the constantly shifting interactive landscape,” said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of IAB. “The General Members ratified this restructuring to ensure that IAB can take the long view of industry needs and tackle challenges in support of the IAB mission to empower the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy.”
Lisa Milgram, who has overseen the IAB conference portfolio for the past five years, most recently as Vice President of Events, accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Membership Programs. In this new role, she will leverage that expertise, supervising the requirements of the more than 650 IAB member companies and organizing IAB work to fill those interests and fulfill those needs with a close eye on the programs the bureau develops for its members.
2014 Working Groups, Task Forces, and Advisory Boards
Working groups, task forces, and advisory boards directly address issues facing the industry. They provide solutions, influence, and thought leadership necessary to take on specific challenges from across the advertising ecosystem.
Ad Effectiveness Studies Working Group
Ad Engagement Working Group
Ad Ops Advisory Board
Ad Ops Certification Advisory Board
Ad Technology Advisory Board
Advanced TV Advisory Board
Agency Advisory Board
Attribution Research Working Group
Audio Events Working Group
Compensation Working Group
Connected TV Technical Standards Sub-Working Group
Consumer Perception of Data Working Group
Consumer Protection Task Force
Content Marketing Advisory Board
Content Marketing Task Force
Creative Specs Database Revamp Working Group
Cross Platform Ad Effectiveness Research Working Group
Data Certification Working Group
Data Measurement Research Working Group
Data Primer 2.0 Working Group
Digital Advertising Automation Task Force
Digital Audio Ad Serving Template Working Group
Digital Audio Buyers Guide Working Group
Digital Out of Home Task Force
Digital Video Ad Format Standards Working Group
Digital Video Standards Working Group
Display Creative Guidelines Working Group
Emerging Innovation Task Force
Facial Recognition Privacy Task Force
Flex Ad Formats Task Force
Games Platform Status Report Update Working Group
HTML5 Best Practices Task Force
Mobile Ad Ops Working Group
Mobile Location Data Working Group
Mobile Measurement Task Force
Mobile Programmatic Buying Working Group
Mobile Research Working Group
Mobile Richmedia Ad Interface Definitions (MRAID) Working Group
Mobile Video Task Force
Multicultural Communication Working Group
Multicultural Research Compilation Working Group
Multicultural Research Working Group
Native Advertising Playbook – V2 Working Group
Native Advertising Task Force
Native Advertising Working Group
NewFronts Agency and Marketer Advisory Board
Open RTB & Real Time Exchanges Working Group
Podcast Working Group
Programmatic – Making Programmatic Work for Brands Working Group
Programmatic – Marketplace Education & Training Working Group
Programmatic – Standardization of Definitions, Terminology, and Best Practices Working Group
Programmatic Direct Task Force Sub Group
Research Advisory Board
SafeFrame Implementation Working Group
Social Media and Sports “Agency Event” Planning Working Group
Social Media Buyers Guide Update Working Group
Social Media Guidelines / WOMMA and MRC Working Group
Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain Task Force
TSC: Anti-Fraud Working Group
TSC: Anti-Malware Working Group
TSC: Education Working Group
TSC: Legal Working Group
User Generated Content Town Hall
Planning Working Group
We thank all our members for their support throughout the years. With their leadership and participation, the influence of IAB on the industry will continue to grow. To learn more about IAB membership opportunities, please visit iab.net/member_center.
A&E Television Networks
ABC TV Network
AMC Networks Digital
American City Business Journals
American Express Publishing
American Media, Inc.
Apple Inc. (iAd)
Avant Digital Media
Burst Media Corporation
The Business Insider
Cablevision Media Sales
Cablevision Systems Corporation
The Christian Post
Condé Nast Media Group
Cox Media Inc.
Digital First Media
Digital Photography Review
Dominion Digital Media
Dow Jones & Company (Wall Street Journal)
Editorial Projects in Education
Expedia Media Solutions
FaceCake Marketing Technologies
Food & Wine
FOX News Channel
FOX Sports Interactive Media
Harvard Business Review
Hearst Magazines Digital Media
The Huffington Post
IDG Consumer & SMB
Investor’s Business Daily
Jumpstart Automotive Media
Just Jared Jr.
Kelley Blue Book
Los Angeles Times
Major League Gaming
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Moguldom Media Group
Moko Social Media
National Public Media
Nature Publishing Group
NBC Television Stations
New York Post
New York Public Radio
News Distribution Network
Orange Advertising Network
OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network
People En Espanol
Rakuten Marketing LLC
Reader’s Digest Association Interactive
Real Media Group
Scripps Networks Interactive
Sony Pictures Television
Summit Professional Networks
Terra Networks USA
The Associated Press
The New York Times Company
This Old House
Time Out America
Time Warner Cable Media
Triad Retail Media
Turner Broadcasting System
Univision Communications Inc.
US News & World Report
Viacom Media Networks
The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
Warner Bros. Media Research
Washington Post Digital
The Weather Channel
Yahoo! Contributor Network
Yahoo! en Espanol
Ziff Davis, LLC
New General Members
Advance Digital Media Group
Blue Ant Media
First Look Media
Match Media Group
The Daily News
The Madison Square Garden Company
Thinknear by Telenav
Alliance for Audited Media (AAM)
Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Big Fish Games
Bionic Advertising Systems
Booz & Company
CDK Digital Marketing
Deloitte & Touche, LLP
DeSilva + Phillips
Ernst & Young
Experian Marketing Services
GfK North America
Gridley & Company, LLC
Incisent Labs Group LLC
Integral Ad Science
Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.
Kantar Media North America
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Loeb & Loeb LLP
Markit On Demand
Medicx Media Solutions
Millward Brown Digital
Mirror Image Internet
Newspaper Association of America
Sales Athlete Media Network
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Speed Shift Media
Szabo Associates, Inc
The Center For Sales Strategy
The Estee Lauder Companies
The Integer Group
The Media Trust Company
The Trade Desk
Time Warner Cable
Varick Media Management
New Associate Members
Are You a Human
DeviceAtlas by dotMobi
Dun & Bradstreet
Fred & Associates
GET IT Mobile
Rokkan Media LLC
The Exchange Lab
Moving Mobile Mainstream
The mobile marketplace is growing at full tilt, with triple-digit revenue growth for the third year in a row. Central to this growth are the many contributions of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, which placed emphasis on projects and initiatives to educate marketers and agencies: make mobile easier to buy, sell, and measure; reduce friction in the mobile supply chain; create a conducive public policy environment; and otherwise make mobile an increasingly mainstream and integrated part of the overall media landscape.
Under the leadership of Anna Bager, the IAB Mobile Center has continued its steady membership growth and now has 21 distinguished members on the Board of Directors. Further underscoring media industry interest in mobile, the IAB 2014 Mobile Marketplace Conference on April 7 was completely sold out.
Realizing the Full Value of Mobile
Inspired by the premium publishers, ad sellers, and ad technology members we serve, the IAB Mobile Center is on a mission to help advertisers unlock the full value of mobile advertising. Many advertisers are missing opportunities to connect with their audience by using desktop-only ad formats or skipping mobile buying altogether. Make Mobile Work is an IAB initiative that aims to foster adoption of HTML and the facilitation of cross-screen creative campaigns. Over the course of 2014, IAB hosted a series of four webinars aimed at educating marketers and agencies on the importance of integrating mobile into the creative, planning, and buying phases. The events featured presentations from IAB, AOL, and Google, and attendees received an HTML5 research study from Google.
Helping marketers understand how to use mobile effectively, the IAB Mobile Road Show for Agencies & Brands, Spotlight on Location Data kicked off last summer in Chicago and made stops in Austin, New York, and San Francisco to reach the local agency and marketer communities. Each show featured an all-star lineup of presenters offering specific examples of mobile and crossmedia campaigns that leveraged location to reach relevant audiences and track success. To cut through the varied and intricate mobile video landscape, the IAB Mobile Center released the Mobile Video Buyer’s Guide: Practical Advice for Video Advertising on Smartphones and Tablets early in 2014. A simple and straightforward overview of the ins and outs of mobile video, it explains how mobile video is similar to and how it differs from desktop based digital video ads. This guide served as a foundation for mobile digital video activities throughout 2014, including an Agency Day focused on taking advantage of increasing video viewership on smartphones and tablets.
IAB, Mobile, and the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity
IAB put the spotlight on mobile and creativity for its starring role at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2014. Christine Cook, Head of Ad Partnerships at Flipboard, was joined by David Doty, Executive Vice President and CMO at IAB, to present Art & Advertising—Small Size, Big Impact: When Beautiful Creative Meets Mobile Screens to a packed house in the Palais des Festivals as part of the Art Meets Advertising Remix sessions. Randall Rothenberg, IAB President and CEO, hosted a cocktail party for members, agencies, and marketers to honor Silicon Valley visionary and investor Ron Conway. Also at Cannes Lions, IAB Mobile Center head Anna Bager moderated Tech Talk sessions in the Palais on mobile and video. Adding another dimension to the IAB presence in Cannes, we released the IAB Digital Mixology Playbook, a report on digital and mobile advertising for the alcoholic beverages industry, providing insight for beverage marketers, and building on the previous year’s session by IAB at Cannes Lions on Liquid Creativity, which highlighted ad creative that spanned across media channels, using a variety of canvases to tell brand stories.
Pushing Improvements in Mobile Creative
Furthering its mission of educating the marketplace about the power of mobile advertising—and improving mobile creative—the IAB Mobile Center organized several industry events in 2014, including a town hall at the IAB Ad Lab titled Dispatches from the Leading Edge of Mobile Creative, which featured an update on IAB Mobile Rising Stars ad units as well as specific examples of creative executions that pushed the envelope for engaging and effective mobile advertising. The IAB Mobile Center is also taking an active role in shaping Rising Stars Next to determine future-proof IAB ad format standards in a world where content is fluid across screens.
To help mobile-rich media advertising scale more successfully and reduce friction in the mobile ad supply chain, the IAB Mobile Center’s Mobile-Rich Ad Interface Definition (MRAID) Working Group released a first set of MRAID Best Practices, guidance for creative designers and vendors supporting MRAID. It also finalized the IAB suite of official MRAID v2 Compliance Test Ads. These five ads, hosted on IAB.net, offer an objective yardstick for vendors to test and verify that their MRAID implementations are correct.
Establishing Reliable Mobile Measurement
Discrepancies are not anything new to digital advertising. These still occur on the desktop, and IAB guidance is that players in the ad-serving process should be able to manage to a 10 percent discrepancy rate between the parties counting. In mobile, however, we have not yet achieved a predictable or reliably low discrepancy rate. To address this, the Mobile Ad Ops working group continued its investigation into mobile discrepancies in an effort to provide guidance to the market on how to properly manage them. The working group also surveyed members to gauge how the industry is dealing with this issue. The result was the updated paper Mobile Discrepancies 2.0, which outlines the major causes of mobile discrepancies and provides extended guidance on how to manage, troubleshoot, and prevent discrepancies in campaigns.
To look at the current science of mobile metrics and identify how the industry can deliver more reliable data to buyers and sellers of advertising, the Mobile Center hosted town halls on both the East and West Coasts on the State of Mobile and Cross-Media Audience Measurement. Most important, the IAB Mobile Center has begun working with the 3MS and the Media Rating Council (MRC) on Making Mobile Measurement Make Sense (4MS), which was a big theme at the IAB Mobile Marketplace Conference in 2014 and is likely to be top of mind in 2015 as well.
Creating a Conducive Public Policy Environment
Legislation and regulation continue to have the potential to impede the growth of the mobile advertising ecosystem. In May, members of the Mobile Center traveled to Washington, D.C., for the third annual Mobile Fly-In. IAB was the sponsor of the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee’s State of the Net—Wireless meeting. Members of the IAB Mobile Center Board were panelists at the event, and the conference was widely attended by congressional staff and key industry policy representatives.
Members of the IAB Mobile Center also convened on Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the mobile marketing industry. Members met with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s counsels to discuss S. 2171, the Location Privacy Protection Act sponsored by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), and with members of the House Privacy Working Group to discuss mobile self-regulation and privacy. The Working Group included Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Peter Welch (D-VT), Joe Barton (R-TX), Pete Olson (R-TX), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Jerry McNerney (D-CA).
Quantifying the Global Mobile Market
Mobile knows no borders, and the IAB Mobile Center continued to bolster IAB as a global organization. In the summer of 2014, the IAB Mobile Center released a comprehensive look at mobile’s role in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The report examined mobile’s role in helping soccer fans keep up with and share their excitement about the games across 11 countries.
Working with IAB Europe and IHS, the Mobile Center published the third annual analysis of global mobile ad revenue, finding that, on a global basis, mobile advertising yielded $19.3 billion in 2013. The IAB Mobile Center published The State of the Mobile World, the largest annual anthology of global perspectives from the network of global IABs, looking at the state of development, market opportunities, and needs in 30 countries.
Finally in November 2014, IAB and IAB China uncovered a mobile “drive time” opportunity important to advertising success on smartphones and tablets with Chinese consumers. The IAB U.S. & China Mobile Report 2014 demonstrated how consumers’ mobile use while commuting in China can be paralleled with premium commuter time radio in the U.S.
The research produced by IAB helps guide and advance the digital media and advertising industry by delivering information that our members and partners need to build brands and business.
Building Brands Digitally
IAB continued its focus on enabling brand advertisers to embrace the new digital media mix enthusiastically, but the challenge of measuring, executing at scale, and building great creative is still causing under-investment in digital. To address these issues, IAB is helping members on a number of fronts to lead brands through programs designed to make it easier to buy, create, deploy, and measure engaging digital advertising.
A Cross-Screen Canvas: Rising Stars
The Rising Stars program, designed to offer brand marketers canvasses across screens that enable creativity at scale, reached a key milestone when, at the 2014 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, the Digital Video Rising Stars were added to the IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio. This marked the completion of an intense, multiyear process of rapid innovation. The portfolio is now 70 percent new, with over half of the legacy units retired and replaced with new formats designed to allow for rich interaction “on the page” in display, mobile, and digital video.
During the first quarter, IAB added to the growing body of research on the IAB Rising Stars ad units, publishing the results of the Mobile Rising Stars Ad Effectiveness Study as well as a survey of the evidence of effectiveness of Digital Video Rising Stars. The mobile findings mirror those of display, showing that consumers are twice as likely to interact with a Mobile Rising Star ad than a standard mobile ad and have significantly higher brand perceptions after interacting with a Mobile Rising Star ad. The digital video data shows that when interactivity is added to video ads, interaction rates rise more than three times higher, there are significant increases in brand lift, and completion rates improve. The cumulative effect of the four pieces of research on Rising Stars added to a growing awareness of the effectiveness of these ad units, as evidenced by eMarketer’s April report IAB Rising Stars Ads Outperform Standard Banners, complete with charts culled from IAB primary research.
IAB also sought ways to engage in meaningful discussions and collaborate on specific initiatives in strategic markets such as Japan. As strong advocates for IAB standards and guidelines, D.A. Consortium announced its launch of IAB Mobile Rising Stars in Japan and conducted research into their effectiveness in that marketplace.
IAB Ad Unit Portfolio: The Evolution Continues
IAB Rising Stars are proving their worth to brand marketers every day by creating new desire and demand, increasing engagement and loyalty, and ringing the cash register. Despite this, the evolution of the standard ad unit portfolio is essential to keep pace with the expectations of consumers for ad experiences as natural and meaningful as the content they enjoy in the digital realm. Rising Stars Next is working to solve the new challenge and determine what’s next for IAB standards in a world where content is fluid across screens and increasingly within ads. Leading this effort is the newly formed Ad Products Advisory Board, composed of buy- and sell-side executives who drive meaningful ad experiences as heads of ad products or ad content at member companies and agencies. This board is influencing the industry broadly, setting the IAB ad product road map, including the ad product work of the Native Advertising Task Force and Programmatic for Brands Working Group. In addition to key member participation, digital leaders from GroupM, IPG, Publicis, and WPP are active partners.
IAB MIXX Awards: Recognizing Outstanding Achievement
For 10 years, the IAB MIXX Awards have been a beacon of where the industry is going. IAB leveraged the learnings from the most recent set of winners in a publication, sponsored by Microsoft Advertising, called What Works and Why in Digital Advertising: Insights from the IAB MIXX Awards. In May 2014, IAB MIXX Awards judges Jeff Benjamin, formerly Chief Creative Officer of JWT North America, Laurie Koehler, Consumer Campaigns Senior Marketing Manager of Intel Corporation, Nick Law, Global Chief Creative Officer at R/GA, and Lou Paskalis, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Media Executive of Bank of America, joined Randall Rothenberg and Stephen Kim, Vice President for Global Agencies at Microsoft, in the IAB Ad Lab to lead a conversation that went under the hood to look at award-winning campaigns for a packed house of brand marketers and agency executives from AIG, Cramer-Krasselt, Goldman Sachs, Grey, GroupM, Leo Burnett, McCann Erickson, Ralph Lauren, Showtime, Saatchi & Saatchi, Wieden+Kennedy, and more.
Recognizing outstanding creative and technical achievements, the IAB MIXX Awards 2014 were held on September 30 during Advertising Week and marked the 10th anniversary of this prestigious and highly anticipated event. Leading interactive advertising professionals from brands and agencies from around the world attended. The creative honored in 2014 pushed the boundaries of interactive, illustrating the endless potential that digital offers marketers. The most prestigious IAB MIXX Award, the Best-in-Show prize, went to Chipotle Mexican Grill and Creative Artists Agency for their campaign “The Scarecrow.” The event featured an additional honor to celebrate ongoing creativity among brands and agencies, recognizing American Express as the Most-Awarded marketer and DigitasLBi as the Most-Awarded agency in the history of the awards program. In addition, three new categories were added to the IAB MIXX Awards competition to put the spotlight on critical trends emerging in the interactive marketplace: Data-Inspired Creative, Native Advertising, and IAB Rising Star Digital Video Ad.
Silicon Valley/Silicon Alley Tours
On the mission to encourage and influence leading agency creatives, media professionals, and brand marketers to engage with publishers, technologists, and venture capital firms, IAB brought 24 brand marketers and members of the IAB Agency Advisory Board to the West Coast in March for the Madison Avenue Meets Silicon Valley Tour. During the trip, the group met with Facebook, Pinterest, Salesforce, and Twitter, as well as Kleiner Perkins and Comcast Ventures, and took part in a discussion and dinner with angel investor Ron Conway. Mary Meeker, a legendary internet analyst and partner at Kleiner Perkins, presented her much-admired insights about the present and future of digital advertising. Representatives from several companies in which Kleiner Perkins has invested—including Flipboard, Shazam, InMobi, and Pixlee—talked to the group about their place in the ecosystem. IAB continued its bridge-building in November by hosting a two-day Silicon Alley Tech Tour of NYC with venture capitalists, startups, and incubators for ad world chiefs and brand marketers. Based on the Silicon Valley tour in March, the trip included deep dives with BuzzFeed, RebelMouse, MakerBot Industries and other portfolio companies from seed investment studio Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Both events were extremely well-attended, and IAB expects to curate more of these in the years ahead.
Thought Leadership: Events
Uniting Big Ideas with the People Who Bring Them to Life
IAB events are convening platforms for industry thought leadership. In 2014, more than 7,000 media executives and digital influencers from around the globe attended more than 80 IAB events and conferences.
IAB International: Expanding the Digital Universe
Overall, 2014 was a year of growth for the IAB Global Network, which is now 43 countries strong, across six continents, and serves to further the needs of hundreds of corporate members in such critical areas as policy, research, and education.
The international team, led by IAB Executive Vice President and CMO David Doty and Senior Director of International Alexandra Salomon, aimed to further the overall mission and priorities of IAB globally through:
- Expansion of the IAB brand in strategic markets
- Thought leadership
- Self-regulation and public policy
- Promotion of the IAB certifications program internationally
IAB China: Increasing Access
With the number of web users in China reaching a staggering 618 million, IAB formally licensed the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China (IIACC) to launch IAB China in February 2014, furthering its long-standing relationship with Chinese internet companies and IIACC Secretary General Chen Yong, a veteran of the Chinese internet marketplace. This new organization is an important new member of the global IAB network, leveraging the IAB brand and best practices to advance the industry’s interests in a critical marketplace. This agreement sets the foundation for stronger ties between Chinese internet businesses and those across the globe, providing increased access in multiple directions.
In November, Doty travelled to China and was the sole non-Chinese judge of the China Advertising Great Wall Awards at the China International Advertising Festival, the country’s leading ad festival. He addressed an audience of advertising professionals and government officials about privacy, measurement, technical standards, and other topics critical to IAB.
IAB South Africa: First IAB on the African Continent
Marking its first entry onto the African continent, in February, IAB announced that the Digital Media & Marketing Association (DMMA) had signed a license agreement to rebrand and establish itself as IAB South Africa. Based in Johannesburg and headed by Jarred Cinman, former Chair of the DMMA, the new IAB South Africa kicked off, already representing more than 96 local online publishers and 93 creative, media, and digital agencies. With the launch of IAB South Africa, there are now IABs on all the world’s continents except Antarctica.
IAB Global Summit
The annual IAB Global Summit in October at the IAB Ad Lab in New York City brought together more than 100 participants from 33 countries for a global town hall. IAB leaders and influential members from creative agencies, ad tech companies, publishers, and media agencies from China, Europe, the Americas, and beyond converged for two days of discussions and idea-sharing on growing businesses in the age of disruption. Nick Law, Global Chief Creative Officer of R/GA; Linda Gridley, Partner and Co-Head of Digital Media Group at AGC Partners; and Amanda Richman, President of Investment and Activation at Starcom USA, were among the luminaries who spoke at the two-day event. The conversation set the agenda for the global network over the following months.
At the IAB Global Summit, several public announcements were made. IAB: What Works & Why—Global Insights Report, second in the What Works & Why series that IAB launched last year, provided insider perspectives from 20 top interactive creatives, marketers, and publishers about 17 advertising campaign case studies from 14 countries, spotlighting lessons on marketing and brand-building in the digital world.
IAB also released the Global Legal Summaries, the first online resource offering information and insights about regulatory and policy issues from countries. The report provides a qualitative picture of mobile diversity country by country, and is one of the most comprehensive views yet of the global mobile marketplace for publishers and advertisers.
Underscoring the importance of mobile on the global stage, the 2014 IAB State of the Mobile World report was also unveiled at the Global Summit, with participation from 30 countries. The report provides a qualitative picture of mobile diversity country by country, and is one of the most comprehensive views yet of the global mobile marketplace for publishers and advertisers.
IAB Europe: Promoting Policy
IAB worked closely with IAB Europe in 2014 to broaden and deepen its policy engagement to address heightened regulatory scrutiny on privacy, including a broad reform of the EU’s data protection rules, and to open up a new work track on intellectual property protection issues. IAB also worked with IAB Europe to deepen its working relationships with like-minded industry associations, including the World Federation of Advertisers and EU-level agency association EACA on ad misplacement, the Industry Coalition for Data Protection (ICDP) on the current data protection reform, and the European Publishers’ Council and magazine and newspaper publishing associations on ad blockers and online behavioral advertising (OBA) self-regulation. Finally, IAB was instrumental in the formation of a transatlantic policy issues task force, led by IAB and IAB France, and including IAB Europe and various national IABs in the European network. It kicked off with the drafting of common principles on data transfer and how these could be applied usefully in the updating of the “Safe Harbor” regime.
In 2014, IAB Europe experienced a reinvigoration with the appointment of Townsend Feehan as Chief Executive Officer and a strong growth in membership, with 17 companies joining in the past 12 months. The future looks bright.
Japan, South Korea, India, and the Middle East
Finally, as the IAB brand continues to gain value globally, the organization is actively exploring the establishment of an IAB presence in strategic markets such as Japan, South Korea, India, and the Middle East. In August, IAB entered into a working collaboration with the Japan Internet Advertising Association (JIAA) to strengthen the ties between the Japanese digital marketing community and the worldwide interactive ecosystem. This cooperation will extend to exchanges on self-regulation, public policy, and privacy, as well as IAB ad format and technical standards. It will also open the door to co-branded research projects and discussion on a major thought leadership event in Tokyo.
IAB expects increased international activities in all these countries in 2015 and beyond to help consumers and advertisers have a reliably positive experience—and to help government entities understand which regulations can be good for the industry and to help promote responsible growth.
Who is IAB?
Executive Committee 2014
IAB President and Chief Executive Officer
Ziff Davis, LLC, Chairman
CBS Interactive, Vice Chair
Rik van der Kooi
The Weather Channel
Board of Directors 2014
Univision Communications Inc.
Jory Des Jardins
IDG Communications US
Cox Media Group
Turner Digital Sports
Madison Square Garden
The Slate Group
Hearst Digital Media
ReedSmith LLP, Secretary
Time Warner Cable Media, Treasurer
FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE IAB, PLEASE CONTACT US AT:
Interactive Advertising Bureau
116 East 27th Street, 7th Floor
New York, New York 10016
212 380 4700
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing programs. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. The organization is committed to professional development, elevating the knowledge, skills, and expertise of individuals across the digital marketing industry. The IAB also educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Randall Rothenberg — [email protected]
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Patrick Dolan — [email protected]
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
David Doty — [email protected]
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Mike Zaneis — [email protected]
Senior Vice President and General Manager Mobile & Video Centers
Anna Bager — [email protected]
Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics & Measurement
Sherrill Mane — [email protected]
Senior Vice President Membership Programs
Lisa Milgram — [email protected]
Administration & Finance
Senior Director Finance & Administration
Manager Human Resources
Vice President Technology & Ad Operations
Senior Director Technology & Ad Operations
Director Technical Standards
Senior Manager Advertising Technology
Coordinator Advertising Technology
Virginia Rollet Moore
Vice President Events
Senior Director Sales
IAB Ad Lab
Manager IAB AdLab
Initiatives & Committees
Head of Brand Initiatives
Vice President Industry Initiatives
Director Industry Initiatives
Senior Manager Industry Initiatives
Manager Industry Initiatives
Senior Director International
Learning & Development
Vice President Learning & Development
Director Learning and Development
Account Director Learning & Development
Manager Learning & Development
Coordinator Learning and Development
Marketing & Public Relations
Senior Director Marketing
Senior Manager Events Marketing
Senior Manager Marketing & PR
Manager Social Media & Marketing
Director Member Services
Senior Manager Business Operations
Senior Manager Membership & Sponsorship Sales
Coordinator Member Services
Mobile & Video Centers
Senior Director Mobile Center
Director Video Center
Manager Mobile & Video Centers
Senior Director & Assistant General Council Public Policy
Senior Director Public Policy
Senior Manager Public Policy