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IAB Clarifies Processes for Automated Digital Advertising

Intention Is to Improve Communication and Understanding Among Buyers, Sellers & Technology Vendors

NEW YORK, NY (May 17, 2017) – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released “An Evolving Framework for Advertising Automation” to create clarity around programmatic functions and encourage more meaningful conversations among buyers, sellers, and technology vendors. The report sets out a consistent vocabulary and structure for programmatic advertising, including details of the core processes, tasks, and platforms involved in automating digital advertising.

The paper intends to shift the industry from discussions about “programmatic” to “automation.” This vocabulary clarification is accompanied by flow charts for buying automation and selling automation. The use of consistent vocabulary is also important to benchmark market size and analyze investment.

“With nearly 80 percent of digital display advertising transactions expected to be automated this year, it’s time to redefine and be more specific about the full range of underlying ‘programmatic’ processes, tasks, and platforms,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President, Data and Ad Effectiveness. “With this framework, we want to support the industry in achieving more deliberate and comprehensive automation – where it drives real value – while also supporting supply chain transparency, brand safety, and overall growth.”

The report identifies five key consideration steps in the automation lifecycle—Plan, Decision, Transact, Deliver, and Optimize— providing buyer and seller perspectives and tasks, looking at the distinct technologies each party needs to use—and emphasizes “automation” over “programmatic.”

In addition, the report offers insights on a range of topics vital in an automated environment:

  • Transparency
  • Data quality and identity resolution
  • Inventory quality
  • Brand safety
  • Ad effectiveness and marketing intelligence
  • User experience
  • Organizational alignment and staffing

“As marketing and advertising technology continue to improve and impact our industry, it’s appropriate to adopt clear language on how automated processes, tools, and transactions lead to greater marketing effectiveness for brands,” said Christopher Murphy, Chief Strategy Officer, Omnicom Media Group Programmatic. “We support all efforts to simplify terminology and educate the marketplace on the value and benefits of technology, data, and automation.”

“An Evolving Framework for Automated Advertising” was published as part of the IAB Programmatic Symposium in New York City. To view the full report, please visit

About IAB
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 campaigns. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. The organization is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers.  Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a West Coast office in San Francisco.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]