MRC, AAAA, and IAB To Issue New Interactive Campaign Measurement Guidelines

Guidelines Will Establish Consistent Definitions, Audit Process, and Compliance Rules

New York, NY (September 23, 2003) – The Media Rating Council (MRC), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), today announced their collaboration on the issuance of new, more detailed guidelines for interactive advertising campaign measurement. The new guidelines are a follow-up to initial parameters established in January 2002 by the IAB, the MRC, and the Advertising Research Foundation with support from the AAAA and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

“The MRC is pleased to participate with the IAB and the AAAA on this initiative, particularly narrowing the definitions in the original IAB Guidelines and adoption of an industry-driven auditing and certification process similar to other media,” said George Ivie, executive director and CEO of the MRC. “This will put interactive advertising more firmly in the equation in today’s competitive multimedia planning and buying environment.”

The new set of guidelines will establish a consistent definition of how to count an ad impression. Currently an impression is defined as “the measurement of responses from a Web server to a page request from the user browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to opportunity to see the page by the user.” Additionally, the group will develop an auditing and a certification process that will enable advertisers and their agencies to have confidence in the impression counts across multiple ad-serving technologies.

“This is one very important part of our broader commitment to work on ways to improve the process of buying and planning interactive advertising. By developing guidelines for measurement, we are offering the accuracy and reliability, which is a critical component in evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of an advertising medium,” said Greg Stuart, president and CEO of the IAB. “I applaud the publishers and technologies that have come together with a very serious commitment of time and resources to make the changes needed to continue to make online advertising measurement more accurate than even other media vehicles.”

“Agencies strive for openness and accountability in their relationships with clients. By improving the existing measurement guidelines we will foster clients understanding and faith in interactive advertising,” said Mike Donahue, executive vice president of the AAAA.

The IAB, the MRC and the AAAA are endeavoring to improve the existing guidelines and during the process intend to provide periodic status updates to the industry. The process will include the development of consistent industry definitions, an MRC regulated audit process, and actual compliance to these definitions by many of today’s publishers and third-party ad servers. Until the new guidelines are unveiled, current guidelines remain in effect. Todd Teresi, Yahoo!, serves as chair of the IAB Measurement Committee and Jonathan Adams, mOne, Worldwide, chairs the AAAA Eastern Interactive Marketing and New Media Committee.

About the IAB
Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) represents the leading companies in the interactive space. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising in addition to being responsible for selling over 75% of online advertising in the United States. IAB members include AOL, CNET Networks, DoubleClick, MSN, Google, Overture, The Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo! and over 100 others. On behalf of its members, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields interactive effectiveness research and educates the advertising industry regarding the use of interactive advertising. For more information on the IAB please visit