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IAB Releases SafeFrame 1.0 for Public Comment, Specifications will Power ‘Viewable Impression’ Measurement Standards

IAB Proposes Replacing Existing iFrames with New SafeFrame Technology

NEW YORK, NY (November 19, 2012) — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released for public comment SafeFrame 1.0, specifications that provide advertisers with the ability to measure viewability, as well as obtain new insights and more accurately assess an ad campaign’s success. Developed by a working group of digital technology experts from 21 IAB member companies belonging to the IAB Technology Council, SafeFrame 1.0 is a set of technical protocols that enable website publishers to safely manage content served from external sources, such as ads, while preventing external access to potentially sensitive consumer data.

In particular, SafeFrame 1.0 offers mechanisms to support the ability to measure whether or not impressions are viewable. Viewable impressions are the foundational element of Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS), a cross-ecosystem initiative with the ANA, 4A’s, and IAB to propose new industry standard metrics and advertising “currency” that will enhance evaluation of digital media and facilitate cross-platform comparison for brand marketing. The adoption of the SafeFrame specifications will be critical for implementation of these 3MS standards.

“The growing demand from advertisers and publishers for delivering and measuring ‘viewable impressions’ required the creation of these specifications,” said Steve Sullivan, Vice President, Ad Technology, IAB. “Powered by SafeFrame 1.0, 3MS will be able to deliver that important metric. In addition, SafeFrame enables a myriad of other advances that will produce increased revenue opportunities for publishers and vendors alike.”

Additional key benefits of SafeFrame 1.0 include:

  • Consumer Protection – Leveraging the SafeFrame API, ads shown from all outside sources, such as ad exchange servers, are isolated from the publisher’s domain and blocked off from any sensitive user information that may display on the webpage, such as contact information or banking numbers
  • Standardized Advertiser Layouts – Advertising technology providers may standardize their ad code so that it can run on any publisher network that adheres to the SafeFrame API protocol, reducing operational costs
  • Rich Media and Data Collection – Without compromising page/user security, SafeFrame enables controlled rich media interactions and data collection, while eliminating the need for publisher-side files

“Our initial goal was to develop and present a set of standard protocols that address viewability proofs that advertisers desire,” said Prabhakar Goyal, Architect, Display Advertising, Microsoft, and Co-Chair, IAB SafeFrame Working Group. “The challenge was finding a solution that allowed for viewability, but did so in a manner that protects the contents of the page and didn’t interfere with publisher control. We’ve accomplished this objective with SafeFrame 1.0, and ended up building a slew of other industry-wide benefits too.”

“The SafeFrame API not only provides the building blocks for measuring viewable impressions, but also helps advertisers get the most out of secure programmatic buying and selling,” said Sean Snider, Senior Web Software Engineer, Yahoo!, and Co-Chair, IAB SafeFrame Working Group. “The working group has created a valuable industry standard and we believe SafeFrame adoption is an important next step for the interactive media landscape.”

“With SafeFrame 1.0, the strongly committed working group came together, not only deliver to a solution for viewable impressions, but also to provide a number of other valuable functions, enabling safe rich media interactions between web pages and served ads,” said Chris Mejia, Director, Ad Technology, IAB and coordinator of the SafeFrame Working Group. “Yahoo! and Microsoft were particularly instrumental in the development of SafeFrame 1.0, joined by other members involved to push forward this vital effort. We thank and commend them all for this landmark initiative.”

“The SafeFrame solution will advance the cause of better measurement, ensuring that a solution for cross-media comparability – the opportunity to see an ad – can be measured,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB. “The dedication of those who created SafeFrame will benefit the entire industry.”

SafeFrame 1.0 was unveiled at the IAB Advertising Operations Summit in New York City. To review a copy of the public comment version of the specifications please visit www.iab.net/safeframe.

The deadline for public comment is December 21, 2012. Once the public comment period closes, the IAB Technology Council will meet to evaluate comments, make any needed changes to the draft API protocols, and release a final version. Comments are being accepted by email by Chris Mejia at [email protected]

For more information about the IAB Technology Council and its members, please visit here.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit iab.com.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]