BrightRoll not only took the plunge to help flesh them out, but has now fully implemented the IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines for video advertising, which is a pretty huge deal. It's something that, I think, all video networks need to do because of all the questionable practices of many publishers in placement, autoplay and other things that drain away video advertising money from more legitimate sites where the ads are actually seen and placed out in the open.
BrightRoll was already an IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines certified partner and, in fact, they've been involved since the very beginning of the process which means they've helped shape every aspect of the initiative.
What Are the IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines?
The IAB set forth a series of guidelines to ensure trust between video advertising buyers and sellers. It's aimed at making sure that video ads are properly, and legitimately displayed so that the buyers can find exactly where their ads are being shown. Certification for companies, was voluntary, but once they have been certified (and there's not a very long list). It was expanded to include all buyers and sellers of advertising including, "networks and exchanges, premium publishers, supply side platforms (SSPs), demand side platforms (DSPs), marketers, agencies and trading desks."
The certification system is now validated by a third-party in order to bolster the levels of trust and was expanded to include video, mobile, and programmatic buying. Nice to see them roll with the times.
Why Use the IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines?
Well, there's a certain level of respect that should come with certification and implementation. After all, the IAB made them to make sure that ad buyers have all the information they need. They standardized what information sellers should be giving to the buyers, standardized language and video terminology and finally offer a way to report violations of compliance in order to assist in resolving disputes and complaints. The whole framework was made with input from both buyers and sellers. That means, as a buyer, you know exactly what you're getting, or expecting to get, from any certified seller.
For sellers, aside from the respect, it also means they are rated highly in transparency, quality and safety which should, in turn, increase the potential for selling the inventory they have available. The IAB is hoping a snowball effect will happen and more and more sellers will get certified in order to improve the overall marketplace.
Tod Sacerdoti, BrightRoll CEO and founder said of the initiative:
BrightRoll is proud to have delivered the industry’s most advanced programmatic video buying console to address the ongoing challenges marketers face in today’s complex digital ad ecosystem. As the first buying interface to directly integrate IAB QAG, video buyers can select inventory based on a wide range of advertising specifications and ensure confidence with the highest standards in quality, safety and transparency.
BrightRoll Rolls Out IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines
Now, all inventory at BrightRoll can be IAB QAG filtered, an industry first (previously all of their content was categorized as such, but now it's right in the ad buy interface which is the industry first -corrected by BrightRoll). That means, as an ad buyer, you can single out publishers who publish the video ads above the fold, with sound on, whether or not they autoplay, the type of content and on a host of other variables including incentivized content, maturity rating and end-user device. That's some serious trust building going on. Well done BrightRoll, well done IAB.
That's a Wrap
The IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines have been something that the online video industry has needed for years. I've been on record (wow, three years, really?) talking about loads of unscrupulous publishers who have crammed video ads down into the remotest corners of their websites with autoplay on and sound off and how that has been a negative impact on the overall video advertising industry. It's been a black eye for all video advertising for some time and has most likely been part of the reason that some ad dollars have not materialized just yet. With BrightRoll's active implementation of the QAG it will begin to force others to do the same or risk losing business simply because BrightRoll is now in a position that puts them ahead. They're able to point to not only their certification bu also their implementation and say, "you don't get all of that anywhere else," which could, in turn, lead to millions in new ad revenue for them. Publisher who want to be seen as trusted will also need to begin certification and implementation. That means no more post-fold, autoplayed, silenced video ads. They'll need to put them front and center, against high quality content and begin disclosing a wee bit more about it all. I think that's a very good thing indeed.
However, I think it could go a step further in the reporting sense. Certification is a grand thing indeed, but when an issue is reported with a publisher, is that reflected somewhere? Don't you think it should be? Perhaps we need a basic scoring system for publishers that takes into account any issues, resolved or open, their level of compliance with certification and some other factors. Here's the benefit to the publishers, it could then be used to create a more granular tiered system where higher ranked sites can ask more for their placements, when traffic numbers are taken into account, because they're of a slightly higher quality.
Ad buyers might balk at that, but they shouldn't. Why? Because you should get what you pay for. If you want your ad against the highest quality content, in front of the most eyeballs and favorably positioned on a publisher site, you shouldn't believe that it would be the same price as buried under another ad in the lower right corner of a page that's 4000 pixels long, set to autoplay with the sound off, should you?
IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines Certifications
The following companies are certified under the IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines Initiative (from the IAB initiative site:
- 24/7 Media
- Burst Media Corporation
- Casale Media
- Goodway Group
- Matomy Media
- Microsoft Advertising
- Rocket Fuel
- Specific Media
- Tremor Video
- ValueClick Media
- Vibrant Media
- 2 Blue Media Group LLC
- Adara Media
- Adconion Direct
- Condé Nast
- Cox Digital Solutions
- Federated Media Publishing
- Univision Communications Inc.
- Varick Media Management
- World Wrestling Entertainment