Updated mobile web advertising measurement guidelines

21/11/2012

Released for public comment by IAB (US), MMA and MRC.

Revised guidelines to help drive mobile to scale through measurement standardisation and accountability.

As the mobile advertising marketplace evolves and expands in line with consumer demand, the primary mobile industry trade groups – the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Centre of Excellence, and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), in conjunction with the Media Rating Council (MRC) - today issued updated “Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines” for public comment. The guidelines provide a framework for governing measurement of mobile web-based ads across the mobile interactive ecosystem. Principally applicable to mobile marketers, wireless operators, mobile publishers and ad serving organisations, the proposed guidelines can also be utilised by planners and buyers of mobile media advertising to determine measurement quality.

In particular, the guidelines now require client-side counting for mobile web ad impressions, which will increase consistency with computer-based ad measurement, make impression counts far more robust and reliable, and may help to reduce mobile discrepancies.

The document also mentions the importance of “viewable impressions,” which are expected to be established soon by the Making Measurement Make Sense initiative. While the revised “Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines” do not require measuring viewable impressions in the mobile web as yet, it affirms that mobile media needs to prepare to make viewable impressions a key part of the currency, as soon as it is technically feasible.

Other relevant topics covered, include:

  • Measurement definitions
  • Ad measurement guidelines
  • Enhancing ad impression tracking accuracy
  • Click measurement considerations
  • General reporting parameters
  • Disclosure guidance
  • Auditing recommendations

“With the release of these updates, our organisations and their members are doubling-down on a commitment to making a strong push for the adoption of, and compliance with, these timely guidelines,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Centre of Excellence, IAB. “Trustworthy and credible reporting, as well as adherence to uniform industry standards, are vital to ensuring the growth and success of the mobile advertising market.”

“Given the dynamic and rapid evolution of the mobile space in the past year alone, these new guidelines represent an important and relevant revision to our original mobile web ad measurement proposals,” said Michael Becker, Managing Director, MMA North America. “The work reflected in this document for mobile web ad impressions increases consistency, makes impression counts more robust and reliable, and may help reduce mobile discrepancies in marketers’ media campaigns. Our objective is to ensure that mobile remains a valued component of the marketing mix with clear, actionable guidelines in place.”

“Updating these guidelines to require client-side counting will strengthen the transparency and integrity of the mobile web advertising space,” said George W. Ivie, Executive Director and CEO of MRC. “This is critical to provide marketers with confidence that their spending in the mobile ad ecosystem is well placed, which will lead to additional investment.”

Public comment on the guidelines opens today and closes on December 21, 2012. Feedback and input can be provided by emailing mobile@iab.net.

The “Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines” are available for review by visiting http://www.iab.net/mobilewebmeasurementguidelines.