Revised guidelines redefine viewable mobile advertising impressions

As part of an effort to finalize guidelines on ad measurement for mobile and in-app adverts, the Media Rating Council (MRC), Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) have released their final draft.

The revised guide now counts an ad impression on “count-on-begin-to-render”, which means that impressions are counted later during the ad serving. References to “served” impressions have been omitted from the final guide document. Instead, the latest changes should more accurately define a viewable ad impression.

The changes come at a time when ad fraud is on most marketers’ minds. A lack of transparency and multiple cases of offensive content have resulted in greater scrutiny of digital ad measurements.

Although the latest set of guidelines cannot exactly solve these issues, they do offer peace of mind and advertisers can trust ad networks which adhere to these rules that they won’t be overcharged for their impressions.

One of the main concerns among marketers is of course paying for ads that are not actually seen by anyone. Arguably then, if a common standard is being created of what may be deemed as viewable and what may not, brands may find it easier to understand their ROI.

As usual, the document is open to public commentary until November 30. Video advertising guidelines were also issued.