Industry Input and Public Comment Augments QAG Program, Revised Guidelines Promote Brand Safety & Solidify Trust Throughout Interactive Advertising Landscape
NEW YORK - On the heels of a White House commendation of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) ongoing support of the many burgeoning industry initiatives to fight copyright piracy and counterfeiting, IAB has released the final version of the Quality Assurance Guidelines 2.0 compliance program (QAG 2.0), which provides brand safety assurances to advertisers that their ads will not appear next to inappropriate content, including pirated intellectual property. This new version responds to the industry’s increased reliance on automated processes and programmatic buying, which has put at risk trust in the quality of a transaction, from start to finish, from agreement to deliverable. It is important that all industry participants have confidence in interactive advertising for the industry to continue to thrive without constriction.
“The new QAG 2.0 represents the best efforts of the IAB and member companies to ensure that the highest standards of trust, compliance, quality and integrity are continually met for all stakeholders to keep pace with the constant change that drives our business.”
QAG 2.0 is an evolution of the program, expanding the initiative beyond networks and exchanges and include a full dynamic range of buyers and sellers – including large premium publishers, supply side platforms (SSPs), demand side platforms (DSPs), marketers, agencies and trading desks. It also includes the option for independent third-party validation of a company’s certification, designed to strengthen the program by creating a new level of trust in the marketplace.
The QAG 2.0 program also addresses processes in the areas of:
- Programmatic auction mechanics (real-time bidding)
“Companies that participate in the Quality Assurance Guidelines 2.0 program will demonstrate that they have achieved a higher level of trust, transparency, quality and safety in interactive advertising,” said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO, IAB. “Marketers seek out brand safe environments for their advertising, and IAB QAG certification provides this assurance. We expect that companies certified under these updated guidelines will attract more brand dollars.”
The draft QAG 2.0 guidelines were released for public comment on April 13, 2013. Upon the conclusion of the public comment period on May 20, 2013, the QAG 2.0 Task Force reviewed a number of constructive submissions, and incorporated the following changes to the final release:
- Increased information on how to obtain independent certification
- Details on how to make the transition from compliance to the earlier QAG 1.5 guidelines to the new final 2.0 version
- Clarification regarding complaints and non-compliance
“Innovation in the digital advertising ecosystem has transformed our industry at an unprecedented rate, bringing new opportunities for brands, marketers and everyone in the ad pipeline,” said Steve Sullivan, Vice President, Advertising Technology, IAB. “The new QAG 2.0 represents the best efforts of the IAB and member companies to ensure that the highest standards of trust, compliance, quality and integrity are continually met for all stakeholders to keep pace with the constant change that drives our business.”
“The final release of version 2.0 of these guidelines is a great step forward,” said Rob Rasko, an author of the original IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines, and now leader of The 614 Group, which has been engaged by IAB to help guide the process of bringing QAG 2.0 to the marketplace. “This iteration of QAG has now broadened the framework to embrace a wide set of stakeholders in the digital advertising supply chain. However, this is part of a longer progression down a formidable path, which will ultimately allow us to more fully address some of the industry’s most contentious issues – including piracy – in the months to come.”
For a copy of the new QAG 2.0, and more information about the IAB’s Quality Assurance Guidelines program, please visit iab.net/QAGinitiative.
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.net.