Measurement Standards Still Dog Online Ad Industry

Does the online advertising universe need yet another industry organization
to bring cohesion and a sense of order?

Well, yes, at least in the area of measurement standards, according to the
group of industry heavyweights that banded together to form the Advertising
Standards Alliance (ASA).

Standards have been the bugaboo of the online ad game for several years. It’s
not hard to recall just a few years ago when there was next to no agreement
even on such things as standard banner sizes.

Now, the issue appears to be measurement. New standards would allow those
making ad buys to know exactly who is serving a particular ad, said the ASA.

Member companies have decided to develop an identifier code to let the buyer
know exactly who is responsible for an ad’s placement.

“This is not another bottleneck organization; we feel we are closest to the
and the issues,” Lyn Chitow Oakes, COO of ad network and ASA member Flycast Communications, told’s NarrowCast. “We
have already come to one point of view on some things and we want to work
closely with other organizations.”

Those other organizations include the Internet Advertising Bureau , which was set up
in part to address standards issues, and FAST (Future of Advertising Stakeholders).

“With the ASA focusing on the specific needs of third-party ad servers and ad
networks, we are looking forward to seeing how their recommendations may
apply within the much broader focus of both the IAB and FAST,” IAB Chairman
Rich LeFurgy told Internet Advertising Report.

“The ASA is a perfect example of the focus necessary to make headway on
critical issues facing the online advertising community,” said Kate
Everett-Thorp, president and CEO of interactive advertising agency Lot21 and chairperson of the ad standards
committee for FAST (Future of Advertising Stakeholders).

“We are thrilled to
see standards created and implemented among the ad serving community that
will help us better determine how effective an ad campaign is in terms of
audience reach and frequency.”

The new measurement standard, which defines both the entity that sold the ad
and the entity that served the ad, will be implemented by all ASA member
companies within the next six months, the group said. A number of third-party
companies are also supporting the standard, including Media Metrix and
Nielsen NetRatings.

Initial member companies in the ASA are 24/7 Media, AdForce, Adsmart, BURST!
Media, DoubleClick, Engage, Flycast Communications, Microsoft bCentral, Real
Media, Sabela Media,, and ValueClick. The group
apparently will have a Web site at, but it is not
operational yet.

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