4A’s, IAB Issue First Web Rules; More to Come

A long process ended in a good start last week, as the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Internet Advertising Bureau issued the first Terms and Conditions for Internet advertising.

But the T&C’s architects cautioned that much more work remains.

The guidelines for negotiating online media buys “cover the waterfront,” said Mike Don a hue, evp/mem ber services of the 4A’s. This includes establishing policies for some basic issues before the two sides, such as cancellation policies, site-redesign notifi cation, insertion orders, makegoods and other topics.

As expected, the agency group’s key need—that Web sites adhere to its sequential liability policy for unpaid bills—is part of the agreement [Adweek, Feb. 26].

Next up for the two groups is the topic of third-party ad servers. Discrepancies between impression-measurement figures from the Web sites and those from ad servers such as DoubleClick sometimes reach more than 50 percent.

Robin Webster, IAB CEO, said, “The IAB has committed to a study that’s going to be fielded by PricewaterhouseCoopers that is basically a massive audit of third-party ad measurement.” Once that study is done, the IAB and the 4A’s will work on another T&C document on third-party ad servers and standardized measurements.

“This is ‘version 1,’ dealing with issues that are 2 to 5 years old,” said Dave Smith, president and media director of San Francisco-based interactive shop Mediasmith, who worked with the 4A’s on the just-released T&C document. “Now that we’ve got the basics done, we [will go to] ‘version 2’ and tackle a number of issues that haven’t been dealt with yet, such as proof of performance and acceptance by the sites of third-party ad-serving numbers.”