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IAB Seeks Public Comment on OTT Ad Guidelines

NEW YORK—The IAB Tech Lab, a non-profit consortium of advertisers, content creators and consumer electronics manufacturer, has released a set of guidelines designed to improve consumers’ video ad experiences across smart TVs, connected devices and other OTT systems.

The “Guidelines for Identifier for Advertising on OTT Platforms,” promotes a set of industry best practices for delivering targeted ads in order to maintain a high-quality advertising experience, as well as control ad frequency and rotation across OTT systems. The Lab is inviting public comment through May 3, 2018.

[Read: IAB Releases New IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio]

To better manage ad-related activities, The IAB Tech Lab recommends that stakeholders use a unique identifier for advertising (IFA) that is completely disconnected from a hardware ID, MAC address, IMEI, or IP address. Devices and apps must store and send this IFA as part of any ad request, along with an associated IFA type identifying the IFA’s source, and Limit Ad Tracking (LAT), which provides an opt-out mechanism to respect the users’ privacy choices.

“After linear TV, more Americans watch video content on OTT than on VOD or DVR, and the medium is skyrocketing,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “The traditional, semi-persistent cookie we are accustomed to using as an identifier on browsers isn’t at play across OTT systems, so we need to deploy other types of identifiers to ensure that ad experiences are optimal for consumers..”

The IAB Tech Lab is an independent, non-profit research and development consortium comprised of interactive marketing entities, including: digital publishers, ad technology firms, interactive marketers, agencies, consumer electronics manufacturers, OTT app publishers, and ad measurement platforms. The IAB Tech Lab describes its mission as advancing protocols, technical standards, software and services that help drive the growth of interactive advertising across OTT platforms.

After public comment concludes, the IAB Tech Lab’s OTT Technical Working Group will evaluate and incorporate the feedback received and release a final version. To review the proposed guidelines, please visit their website.