Interactive Advertising Bureau

This report provides comScore's perspective on the most pressing topics, issues and trends that are changing the way media buyers and sellers evaluate digital in the context of the broader media ecosystem.

Some of the key topics covered include:

You can download the report off the comScore website here.

The digital content industry has taken its head out of the sand when it comes to the transparency issues in programmatic. Upheavals in the industry have once again kicked up this perennial hot button issue. But as the buzzwords are bandied about, what’s often missing is clarity on what transparency actually means in programmatic ad trading. What do you look for in transparent partners and how can you use this knowledge to your advantage?

So, what does transparency actually mean?

Transparency isn’t just about hidden fees. The issue of transparency in ad tech relates to a range of business practices stemming from the early days of programmatic. For content providers who don’t rely on programmatic advertising income as their main source of revenue, the issue of ad tech transparency is going to have less impact on their business.

However, if you’re a content provider now trading a sizeable portion of your inventory programmatically, considering how your ad tech provider measures up on the transparency scale can certainly be worthwhile. While transparency can seem like a nebulous concept at first, it becomes clearer if you define it in terms of three key areas:

  1. Business model transparency
  2. Openness with data
  3. Which side do you serve?

Beware old addictions: business model transparency

This is the industry-old “non-disclosed fees” issue. It’s rooted in ad tech providers who still apply business models that feed on the high take rates we used to see in the early days of programmatic, when the business was all about remnant inventory.

These legacy practices have left some large ad tech providers with entire businesses based on charging margins as high as 30% and more. They remain dependent on content providers that are less discerning about what ad techs do with inventory they feel they can’t sell anyway. In a world where programmatic inventory is becoming increasingly premium, those kinds of take rates are unsustainable.

For these companies to overhaul their entire business model is a huge undertaking. And one they aren’t likely to engage in with investments that require a high rate of return. They are addicted to high margins which can only appear justifiable when buried deep within a ‘confusopoly’ of fee structures.

 Openness with data: have full access to insights

Data fuels revenue in the programmatic ecosystem. Being able to access and leverage the right data means the difference between possessing the most profitable yield optimisation strategy and a seemingly adequate strategy that leaves money on the table. There are plenty of intermediaries that will be more than willing to optimise that adequate strategy further and gain the fee that would otherwise flow to the content provider. An optimal yield strategy can only be based on deep insight into inputs and outputs. Your ad tech provider should facilitate that, and let you not only see but also encourage you to look under the hood.

Giving you access under the hood means that your ad tech platform should have a user interface that discloses data at various stages of the process. For instance, when determining a floor price strategy, or when monitoring campaign performance. It should allow you to access information and perform complex analyses in real-time. The most sophisticated systems will allow you to download all your data without restrictions. Data should be accessible easily, readily and in full. If any of these three points is missing, it weakens the real value of your data.

But data is useless if you can’t interpret it. To do that, you should start bringing serious data analyst capabilities in-house. Being able to mine data programmatically opens the doors to considerable revenue returns for digital content providers. But to benefit, you will need to know how to analyse, refine, question, and build upon data. This means evolving your ad ops organisation from one focussed on process and administration to one focussed on yield optimization and data analytics.

How to do that? Well, just like a trustworthy ad tech platform can give you full access to your data, a trustworthy ad tech provider can help create a yield optimisation team, or create one for you that will work with your in-house teams. 

Which side does your ad tech serve?

This is another debate as old as ad tech itself. But in the end, an ad tech provider that integrates DSP and SSP technology into one solution will always have a conflict of interest. It’s a conflict the demand side tends to dominate, because it simply offers more extensive and profitable trade opportunities.

Ad techs can set up Chinese walls, but accountability is difficult when you control the entire value chain. Data can appear to match on the surface, but relevant data points can be selectively omitted. Does this mean that there are hidden fees and data is being misused? No. But, you’re left having to take someone’s word for it – and you should ask yourself whether your incentives are aligned.

Be very sceptical about transparency claims in walled gardens. A walled garden is closed off for a reason. For plenty of inventory– unsold, low quality, questionable context, etc. – it might not matter that trading is fenced off; it can be sold cheaply with high margins. However, what is done with high-quality inventory from premium content providers doesn’t need to be hidden from the world, and most certainly not from you. Choose a platform that has only one interest: to act in your business’ best interest.

Final advice: educate, control and check

Use these generic principles to find a partner you can trust and make sure that everybody’s incentives are aligned. Most of all, ensuring that your programmatic solution is working for you, and not you for it, is a three-step process: educate, control, and check.

  1. Educate: understand the incentives going on in the ad tech ecosystem. Become aware of the fees being charged along the value chain. Ask your supply chain partners exactly what they’re charging. Talk to the demand side. Work with your technical demand partners to get a good understanding of who’s taking what margin.
  2. Control: keep close control of your data. Track how deals performed in the past and monitor how they are flowing through your system. On the surface, it’s difficult – if not impossible – to see why a deal isn’t performing to expectation. It’s only when you have access to the details of the deal that you quickly find ways to solve issues and optimize deal performance.
  3. Check: carry out a check now and implement a system of regular checks as part of your operations. Perform a check in-house, ask your ad tech provider to perform the check with you, or if you’re really in doubt, ask a third independent party to carry out a transparency audit for you. Implement a system of regular checks every two years.

Ask the right questions

Ultimately, it’s up to you as a content provider to understand what’s happening in the industry, weigh your business needs and ask your ad tech provider the right questions. What is your business model? How can I access my data? Are you focused on sell-side, buy-side or both? By that same token, it’s up to those of us in ad tech to arm our customers with the knowledge they need to choose the solution that’s best for their business. This issue won’t be resolved by pointing fingers, but by every player in the industry taking its responsibility in the value chain.

Wednesday 18th October 3pm CEST

Join this webinar to gain insight into best practice in consumer behaviour and media planning

Register here


This is the second of two webinars showcasing the winners of the IAB Europe 2017 Research Awards which recognise and celebrate the research projects and the contribution they have made to the development of the digital advertising industry.

This complimentary webinar will share winning case studies of the Consumer Attitudes and Behaviour and Digital Advertising Formats categories.

The winning case studies to be presented are:
• Digital Advertising Formats winner - Moving Pictures: The Persuasive Power of Video, Facebook
• Consumer Attitudes and Behaviour winner - Measuring the emotional impact on Facebook, OMD Spain

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The recording of the first webinar and relevant case studies are available here. Watch the recordings of other IAB Europe webinars on our YouTube channel here.

There have been industry wide calls to improve the quality of digital ad inventory and develop more robust digital measurement techniques. This is considered a vital step towards delivering more ‘realistic’ brand exposure metrics.
More accurate and consistent viewability measurement will help to establish a more reliable digital ‘opportunity-to see’, supporting the need for enhanced comparability with TV and progress towards digital ‘gross rating points’. The European Viewability Initiative will help to address the following macro, industry goals:

  1. Raise minimum quality standards in digital advertising measurement for all stakeholders across Europe
  2. Enhance the (internet) user experience in the context of changing user expectations
  3. Measure digital ad exposure which is deemed a key step towards increasing confidence in digital ad trading
  4. Improve confidence in the digital ad environment

In addition to the above, the primary technical objective is to help significantly reduce data discrepancies between different ‘viewability’ measurement tools via a set of Viewability Measurement Principles.

Download the overview below.

There have been industry wide calls to improve the quality of digital ad inventory and develop more robust digital measurement techniques. This is considered a vital step towards delivering ‘realistic’ brand exposure metrics. More accurate and consistent viewability measurement will help to establish a more reliable digital ‘opportunity-to-see’, supporting the need for enhanced comparability with TV and progress towards digital ‘gross rating points’.

These Principles will help our industry to achieve the following macro goals:

  1. To raise minimum quality standards in digital advertising measurement for all stakeholders across Europe.
  2. To measure digital ad exposure which is deemed a key step to increasing confidence in digital ad trading.
  3. To enhance the (internet) user experience in the context of changing user expectations.
  4. To improve confidence in the digital ad environment.

The Principles form part of the European Viewability Certification Framework which has the primary goal of helping to significantly reduce measurement discrepancies across the different viewability tools.

Download the principles below.

Brussels, 10th August 2017 - The European Viewability Steering Group (EVSG), a cross-industry body originally formed towards the end of 2015 by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB Europe), the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) and the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), today announces the launch of a comprehensive European Viewability Certification Framework.

This includes the publication of the first set of European Viewability Measurement Principles and will soon be followed by the launch of a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to identify suitable auditors across the region.

The Measurement Principles have been created to help reduce discrepancies in the data provided by different viewability measurement tools. Extensive consultation has been conducted with a broad range of industry stakeholder groups including - publishers, media agencies, advertisers, measurement companies, ad technology providers, national, international and cross-industry trade bodies. Notable contributions have been provided by the MRC in the US; JICWEBS in the UK; BVDW, AGOF and OWM in Germany; Digital Ad Trust in France; and key national trade bodies across Europe.

The RFP process will be launched before the end of August and will seek to identify and appoint one or more auditors. Interested companies should contact IAB Europe or EACA. The Measurement Principles will be used as the basis for evaluating the performance of the technical approach undertaken by the viewability measurement companies. An evaluation report will be produced to help inform the potential issuing of a European Seal of Accreditation. The Seal will be recognised by all participating European markets and will remove the need for further market-by-market accreditation.

The EVSG is responsible for shaping the overall strategic direction of the initiative, ensuring it remains relevant and valuable to all stakeholders across Europe. To formalise the involvement of several national markets with developed viewability initiatives, the EVSG is now being enlarged to include nominated market representatives (see page 3).

The ongoing management and implementation of the Certification Framework and awarding of the Seals will be undertaken by a related body called the European Authority (EA) - resourced by representatives from IAB Europe and EACA. The EA will work in conjunction with the appointed national bodies to ensure the certification framework is implemented effectively in each market.

The Certification Framework has been designed to offer a consistent solution across all European markets - irrespective of the existing status quo. In the interests of contributing towards the development of consistent, global standards, the EVSG envisages that the European approach will provide useful guidance for other regions or markets seeking to develop similar solutions.

Quotes from EVSG Founding Member organisations

Alison Fennah, Executive Business Advisor, IAB Europe said: “With digital ad spend surpassing €40bn it’s ever more critical to reinforce the quality of the digital advertising environment to underpin the delivery of free content. Ensuring that viewable impressions are measured correctly and consistently is a key first step. This initiative is designed to enable Europe’s varied markets to collaborate and create regional standards and deliver local growth.”

Jon Chase, Chair Media Agencies Council, EACA noted: EACA are committed to helping shape and implement the drive towards improved viewability measurement standards across Europe and beyond. The ultimate objective being to establish a fully viewable digital ad environment. Whilst other challenges in the digital advertising ecosystem also require increased focus, reducing data discrepancies between the different viewability tools is a crucial step towards enhanced accountability and trust in digital media metrics.”

 Rob Dreblow, Global Head of Marketing Services, WFA said: “Whilst advertisers investing online often work with their own definitions of a viewable impression, it is critical to have a baseline of quality in terms of how to measure a genuine opportunity to see. Building on the excellent work in the US and UK, we hope this initiative will serve to help markets around the world reduce discrepancies and improve the quality of viewability measurement as this project develops into global guidance.”

Quotes from EVSG National Market Member organisations

Thomas Duhr, Vice President, BVDW (rep. IAB Germany) said: “BVDW is pleased to be participating in a European initiative which offers the German market a powerful solution for Viewable Impression measurement discrepancies. BVDW, AGOF and OWM have collaborated to develop a ‘blueprint’ structure to administer the European Certification Framework through active co-operation between the European and national authorities.”

Richard Foan, Chairman, JICWEBS commented: "We are pleased to support and participate in the European Viewability Initiative to drive greater consistency in viewability measurement across the region. Having initiated the UK certification system for viewability tool vendors in early 2014 and working towards building global standards for local markets, JICWEBS will continue to be involved in the evolution of the European Principles and European Viewability Certification Framework."

Sophie Poncin, President, SRI, representing Digital Ad Trust said: “Viewability is such an important KPI for our industry, it is time to implement European guidance on its measurement. We are proud to support this initiative in France with the Digital Ad Trust Committee.”

Assocom, IAB Italy and UPA commented: “The Italian market is looking forward to being involved in the European Viewability Certification Framework to address one of the industry's biggest challenges. This European initiative complements our recently published ‘White Paper of Digital Advertising’ which has been developed as an open, collaborative and cross-industry initiative. This aims to communicate and support a dialogue around hot topics and associated solutions as part of a dynamic digital culture.”



EVSG member organisations and their representatives

IAB Europe:
• Karim Attia, Chair Brand Advertising Committee, IAB Europe
• Alison Fennah, Executive Business Advisor, IAB Europe
• Suzanne McElligott, Board Member, IAB Europe and CEO, IAB Ireland
• Tim Jones, Chair Research Committee, IAB Europe and International Research and Consumer Insight Lead, Oath

• Jon Chase, Chair Media Agencies Council, EACA
• Dan Watson, Digital Director, Carat Global
• Bethan Crockett, Digital Risk Director, GroupM

• Rob Dreblow, Global Head of Marketing Services, WFA
• Sital Banerjee, Global Head of Media, Philips
• Gerhard Louw, International Media Management & Digital Transformation, Deutsche Telekom

• Nigel Gwilliam, Head of Media & Emerging Tech, IPA
• Jon Mew, CEO, IAB UK

Germany - BVDW and AGOF:
• Sven Bornemann, Managing Diector, AGOF
• Katharina Wiegand, Team Leader Digital Business, BVDW

France - Digital Ad Trust (ARPP, Geste, IAB France, SRI, UDA, UDECAM):
• Jean-Baptiste Rouet, UDECAM
• Valérie Chavanne, Vice-President, IAB France
• Hélène Chartier, Director General, SRI

Italy - UPA, IAB Italy and Assocom:
• Anthony Cardamone, Assocom and IAB Italy
• Alberto Vivaldelli, Digital Manager, UPA

Links to relevant documents
Q&A related to the press release
European Viewability Measurement Principles
Overview of the European Viewability Initiative

For further information regarding this initiative, please see below contact details:

IAB Europe
Alison Fennah (Executive Business Advisor)
+44 (0) 7712 645263

EACA (European Association of Communications Agencies)
Jon Chase (Board Director and Chair Media Agencies Council, EACA)
+44 (0) 7899 657862


About IAB Europe
IAB Europe is the leading European-level industry association for the online advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the development of this innovative sector and ensure its sustainability by shaping the regulatory environment, demonstrating the value digital advertising brings to Europe’s economy, to consumers and to the market, and developing and facilitating the uptake of harmonised business practices that take account of changing user expectations and enable digital brand advertising to scale in Europe.

About EACA
The European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) represents more than 2,500 communications agencies and agency associations from 30 European countries that directly employ more than 120,000 people. EACA members include advertising, media, digital, branding and PR agencies. EACA promotes honest, effective advertising, high professional standards and awareness of the contribution of advertising in a free market economy and encourages close co-operation between agencies, advertisers and media in European advertising bodies. EACA works closely with EU institutions to ensure freedom to advertise responsibly and creatively.

About WFA
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) is the voice of marketers worldwide, representing 90% of global marketing communications spend – roughly US$900 billion per annum – through a unique, global network of the world’s biggest markets and biggest marketers. WFA champions responsible and effective marketing communications worldwide.


Website links to EVSG National Market Member Organisations

Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) -
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) -
Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) -
Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) -
Association of Online Publishers (AOP) -

Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) E.V. -
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung (AGOF) E.V. -
Organisation Werbungtreibende im Markenverband (OWM) -

France (Digital Ad Trust – ARPP, Geste, IAB France, SRI, UDA, UDECAM)
Autorité de régulation professionnelle de la publicité (ARPP)-
Groupement des éditeurs de contenus et services en ligne (GESTE) –
Interactive Advertising Bureau France (IAB France) -
Syndicat des Régies Internet (SRI)
Union des annonceurs (UDA) –
Union des Entreprises de Conseil et Achat Media (UDECAM) -

Associazione Aziende di Comunicazione (Assocom) -
Interactive Advertising Bureau Italy (IAB Italy) –
Utenti Pubblicità Associati (UPA) -

Additional website link to the US Viewability Certification provider (MRC)
Media Rating Council (MRC) -


Mobile is driving consumption and usage and as such it is driving advertising spend, the 2016 IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark report reveals that mobile display grew by 52.9%. Mobile is also the ‘most’ programmatic format and therefore the IAB Europe Programmatic Mobile white paper provides guidance around on how to maximise a programmatic mobile strategy.

It addresses the areas to consider when approaching mobile both as part of an omnichannel strategy and focusing on the key similarities and differentiators of the mobile programmatic landscape. The content draws on the new and emerging trends in mobile opportunities, how these can be accessed programmatically, and how to consider mobile as part of the overall programmatic mix.  It also explores how the growth in mobile has impacted the planning and buying process, and how this will continue to evolve.

What attitudes are shaping the future of programmatic advertising investment? Take part in the IAB Europe Attitudes to Programmatic Advertising survey here.

IAB Europe would like to thank the white paper leader that helped to edit and compile the final draft:

And the white paper contributors that provided the content for the white paper:

Please click below and register to download this White Paper.

Schedule a meeting and join our panels @ dmexco 2017

Join us  on 13 September at 14.05 CET in Hall 6 / Debate Hall 

IAB Europe CEO, Townsend Feehan, will host The Privacy Debate - Preparing for GDPR: Embracing the inevitable regulations

Becoming effective in 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the upcoming ePrivacy regulations will bring fundamental changes to the legal framework in which every business dealing with data in Europe has to operate. Especially companies who rely on third party data or whose business model is based on tracking people across the internet and using the data will be affected. Critical voices, among them the World Federation of Advertisers, doubt that the digital landscape is already prepared for the implications of the GDPR. Let's get started with the upcoming changes now and discuss the right ways to embrace the inevitable regulations in our industry, from processes and policies through to technology changes.


Dr Sachiko Scheung, European Privacy Officer, Acxiom   Stefan Loerke, CEO WFA Julia Shullman, Chief Privacy Officer & Deputy GC Appnexus Donata Hopfen, CEO BILD Group Axel Springer


Join us on 14  September at 13.00 CET in Hall 5.1 / Seminar room 7

IAB Europe will host a panel on Measurement and the Future of Digital Trading

IAB Europe, EACA and WFA have recently launched a European Viewability initiative. The panel will discuss how this will be the basis for reinforcing the quality of the digital advertising environment, increasing investment into digital and driving more comparability between digital and TV measurement. Insights will be shared from the recent IAB Europe Digital Measurement Priorities survey for the latest buy-side and sell-side thinking.


Sital Banerjee, Senior Director Global Head of Media, Philips Philipp von Hilgers, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Meetrics Suzanne McElligott, CEO, IAB Ireland Karim AttiaChair IAB Europe Brand Advertising Committee Sylvain Le Borgne, Global EVP of Data Platforms, Havas Media Group

Want to schedule a meeting with us at our booth in Hall 6 / Agency Lounge? Write to us at

You can find more info and register for dmexco 2017 here.

The screen in our hands is now the gateway to the online world - the first choice to answer any questions, accomplish any tasks, stay informed and entertain for hours. Marketers may assume that apps offer limited opportunities to reach and engage audiences, but new research from Ipsos MORI shows that’s false. Apps play a very important role in consumers’ daily lives.

Ipsos MORI asked 12,301 smartphone users, aged 18-64, across the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands how they use mobile apps. They focused on four types of apps: games, news, sport and entertainment.

This new research suggests apps offer marketers a unique opportunity to achieve reach, frequency and engagement.

You can browse or download the report and accompanying infographic below.

IAB Europe
Rond-Point Robert
Schuman 11
1040 Brussels
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