IAB challenged to act on piracy

30 October 2013
NEW YORK: The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) needs to do more to combat fraudulent traffic and advertising support of pirated content, a leading industry figure has claimed.

Writing in Advertising Age, Ari Bluman, chief digital investment officer for the GroupM media investment network, argued that the digital marketing trade association was the body best placed to address the digital media industry's concerns about metrics, fraud and piracy.

The latter two were issues where, Bluman wrote, he felt that the IAB was not doing enough, but on fraud he was optimistic the trade body's Traffic of Good Intent Task Force would in time produce recommendations that could be used to tackle the issue.

He also detected "signs of beginning to engage" with piracy, as Quality Assurance Guidelines now contained a clause prohibiting the sale of ad inventory on sites promoting and providing pirated materials.

Bluman fired a shot at clients as well, saying that brands and buyers "need to vote with their dollars, increasing budgets for good players".

The IAB was on surer ground regarding metrics. Its Making Measurement Make Sense initiative, said Bluman, had contributed to making digital measurement more directly comparable with traditional measurement, a development he described as "a pivotal advancement".

The move to measuring viewable impressions, so that advertisers pay only for ads that can be seen by users, and buyers can make meaningful comparisons between the performance of digital and all other media, would help "elevate the entire sector".

But Bluman's confidence in the imminent arrival of viewable impression data was not shared by all. Marcus Pratt, director of insights and technologies at the Mediasmith agency, pointed out in Ad Exchanger that ad rates would have to rise but buyers were reluctant to pay more.

In addition, Pratt foresaw problems with billing and the use of real-time bidding systems that would have to be resolved if viewable impressions were to make headway.

Data sourced from Advertising Age, Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff
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