IAB updates ad measurement guidelines to account for auto-play videos

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has updated its “Digital Video Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines.”

The new guidelines address a common instance: a video playing automatically when a page loads. The goal is to help the industry come up with an accurate way to measure online video ads.

The IAB's Digital Video Committee and the Media Rating Council have created definitions to this “auto-play” video ad to help in this effort. Under the new guidelines, an auto-play video ad is defined as “a video ad or a video ad linked with video content that initiates ‘play' without user interaction or without a user actively starting the video.” The revised guidelines will now require companies that are certified against the IAB guidelines to disclose the presence of auto-play ads and their parameters, such as frequency settings, site location, initiation environment and the type of video ads involved.

The guideline also states that it does “not require Web sites to disclose the presence of auto-play if users have a reasonable expectation that they are entering a video environment.” The updated guidelines will be effective for all certification audits beginning January 2010.

This update to the “Digital Video Ad Impression Guidelines” complements IAB guidelines for general ad impressions, rich media, click, and audience reach measurement, which was updated earlier this week

The IAB and the Association of American Advertising Agencies (4A's) also released the “4A's/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions for Interactive Advertising Version 3.0” for public comment on December 16.

These has been updated to include various advertising platforms and tools used in creating interactive advertising campaigns, such as performance-based advertising and user-generated content platforms. In addition to including new interactive platforms, the terms and conditions contain updates to data usage, third-party ad serving, tracking and billing, billing and payment terms and cancellation terms. The public comment period will remain open until Friday, January 29, 2010.

With these updates, the IAB addresses the new challenges of data rights and usage, which have been challenged by government scrutiny as the FTC and Congress continue to consider legislation to regulate behavioral targeting, the organization said in a statement.

Representatives from IAB could not be reached for comment by press time.

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