Advertising continues to be one of the most dynamic elements of the modern media business, refusing in recent years to settle into a good rhythm. Oh, there were the old days when 30-second ad buys ruled and TV was the only big game in town (Watch a couple episodes of AMC’s “Mad Men” if you want a taste of the good life). But the on-demand world and the Internet, along with mobile devices, multiplayer video games and countless other time-sucking passtimes, have all conspired to make reaching customers more complicated than ever.

Now, it seems even Internet advertisers—you know, the ones who shook things up in the first place—are finding it just as difficult to find their footing amid mind-numbing and lightning-fast change. So much so that the Interactive Advertising Bureau—a coalition of nearly 400 firms that sell some 85% of all the online advertising space out there—got together this week in New York City to figure out a way to bring more sanity to the online chaos.

A lot of IAB’s recommendations are pretty technical, but they’re also very important and will largely determine how most online ads are sold across cyberspace in the future. So any content owners with online inventory (ie, most of you) might want to take a moment to hear what IAB has cooking. Take special note of the efforts to improve digital video ad serving and rich media in dynamic ad environments:

• E- Business Interactive Standards, a beta release of an XML-based solution for automating the transfer of business order information between advertising agencies and media companies. Beta testing partners will be implementing and refining this solution throughout 2009.

• Interactive Advertising Workflow Best Practices, a document that provides comprehensive process recommendations to agencies and publishers for improved communications and efficient operations throughout the entire lifecycle of an advertising campaign. The document’s best practices focus on how to improve the management of advertising accounts by decreasing discrepancies, campaign set-up errors and billing cycles between advertising agencies and publishers.

• Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST), an XML-based solution designed to standardize communication between digital video players and servers. VAST allows publishers to increase digital video yield by utilizing ad networks to sell unsold inventory and reduce friction with buyers by allowing third-party ad tags.

• Ad Load Performance Best Practices, a document that details how agencies and publishers should develop and serve digital advertising campaigns to reduce load time for ads and improve their performance.

• Best Practices for Rich Media Ads in Asynchronous Ad Environments, a solution that establishes a standard set of rich media implementation rules for rich media ad vendors, creative development teams, and publishers when serving ads into dynamic environments.

The Daily


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