Interactive Advertising Bureau

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Interactive Advertising Bureau
TypeTrade association
Legal statusNonprofit
HeadquartersNew York City, U.S.
Region served
LeaderDavid Cohen[2]

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is an American advertising business organization that develops industry standards, conducts research, and provides legal support for the online advertising industry. The organization represents many of the most prominent media outlets globally, but mostly in the United States, Canada and Europe.


The IAB Global Network is made up of 42 international licensee organizations around the world. IAB Europe is a coalition of 27 national IABs across Europe, and over 500 companies. The IAB publishes Mediascope Europe annually, a media consumption study based on over 50,000 consumer interviews.[3]

The IAB's organizational model includes four areas: IAB (New Membership Criteria), IAB Education Foundation, IAB Technology Lab and Trustworthy Accountability Group. The Trustworthy Accountability Group is industry-owned whereas the rest are owned by IAB. Display ads are subject to standards established by the IAB.[4]


Founded in 1996, the IAB is based in New York City. David Cohen is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization.[5]

It has developed a number of interface formats for digital advertising metadata, including the Video Ad Serving Template and Video Player-Ad Interface Definition formats. On February 26, 2012, IAB released IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio,[6] that included detailed information on all display advertising formats.

In June 2011, the IAB, in partnership with the ANA Association of National Advertisers and the 4A's American Association of Advertising Agencies released the Guiding Principles of Digital Measurement. These five principles became the foundation of "Making Measurement Make Sense" (3MS)[7] and created a basis for the advance of viewability metric.[8] [9] The collaboration between ANA, 4A's, and IAB also resulted in the creation of Trustworthy Accountability Group an initiative that includes members GroupM Interaction, AppNexus, engage:BDR, GumGum and OpenX.[10][11]

On May 31, 2012, IAB criticized Microsoft for enabling Do Not Track by default in Internet Explorer 10.[12] One of the main criticisms of IAB's response is that tracking should be opt in, not opt out.[13]

On March 12, 2013,[14] IAB launched a campaign against Mozilla for planning to turn on blocking of third party HTTP cookies in version 22 of Firefox.[15] In July 2013 IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg described Mozilla as "mob rule" and personally attacked specific Mozilla developers for their position on privacy.[16] The campaign has received significant criticism from online privacy advocates.[17][18][19]

In January 2016, IAB did not allow the developers of Adblock Plus to attend their event, and refunded the money that Adblock Plus paid. The IAB did not disclose why they did not allow Adblock Plus to attend.[20][21][22][23] In May 2016, Business Insider reported that the IAB leader had, in January, described Adblock Plus as an "unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of tech wannabes" and an "old-fashioned extortion racket."[24]

In June 2017, IAB finalized its specification for the initial version of an ads.txt standard for publishers to list authorized sellers.[25]

In February 2020, IAB formed a industry-wide consortium under 'Project Rearc' to find a solution to third-party cookies being blocked.[26]

Transparency and Consent Framework[edit]

In November 2017, IAB Europe announced an technical framework (IAB Europe Transparency and Consent framework, or TCF) intended to “enable websites, advertisers and their ad technology partners” to obtain, record and update consumer consent for their personal data to be processed in line with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).[27] Actors can join the TCF through paying a membership fee to IAB Europe, and tailor their data usage purposes and organisational data processing policies to the wording and specifications in the framework laid out in the technical standards and the policy terms and conditions agreed with IAB Europe, initially made available to the public in March 2018. Actors who are members of the TCF are listed in the regularly-updated Global Vendor List published by IAB Europe, which is used by all vendors to know which other organisations are technically and contractually bound by the TCF, and to give vendors common ways to refer to each other other the standardised Transparency and Consent String that is sent as metadata between actors in the online advertising industry.[28]

In 2019, 12 complaints were filed by NGOs across Europe, including the Panoptykon Foundation, Bits of Freedom, Ligue des droits de l'homme and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, against IAB Europe in relation to a range of breaches of the GDPR concerning the Transparency and Consent Framework.[29]

In February 2022, the Belgian Data Protection Authority released a ruling, approved by the European Data Protection Board and triggered by the complaints above, relating to the data protection compliance of the Transparency and Consent Framework. It found multiple failings of the IAB Europe, fining it 250,000 EUR, and demanding it change a range of aspects of the system to ensure that, among other requirements, consent signals were valid and adhere to, and prohibiting the use of certain legal bases by its members.[30] Academic commentators have argued that aspects of this decision point to aspects of online advertising that will be structurally difficult or impossible for the TCF alone to fix, even if it does alter, instead requiring fundamental changes in the underlying real-time bidding system.[31] IAB Europe states it intends to appeal this ruling.[32] The Dutch Data Protection Authority shortly after announced separately from the Belgian Data Protection Authority that Dutch agencies should stop using the system provided by IAB Europe.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dengler, Brian (17 January 2012). "IAB Counsel: Push to Regulate Online Ads May Lose Traction". Street Fight. Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  2. ^ "our story".
  3. ^ "426.9m Europeans online across 28 markets … from Belgium to Bulgaria, UK to Ukraine - Europeans are more connected than ever before". Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  4. ^ Watkins, Elizabeth Anne "Guide to Advertising Technology". Columbia Journalism Review. December 4, 2018. Archived from the original on 2019-12-24.
  5. ^ "Our Story". Retrieved 19 July 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "IAB". IAB - Empowering the Marketing and Media Industries to Thrive in the Digital Economy. Archived from the original on 9 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  7. ^ "IAB". IAB - Empowering the Marketing and Media Industries to Thrive in the Digital Economy. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  8. ^ Kate Kaye, provided by (January 30, 2015). "ANA, 4As and IAB Declare Victory Over the Click-Through, Want Your Data". Archived from the original on August 16, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  9. ^ Peter Minnium, provided by (January 13, 2015). "7 Principles For Making The Viewable Impression Work". Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  10. ^ "BPA Worldwide Extends TAG Certification To AppNexus, Engage:BDR, GumGum And OpenX". Archived from the original on 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  11. ^ Harold Furchtgott-Roth, provided by (February 10, 2015). "Advertisers Have A New Tool To Avoid Pirate Websites". Archived from the original on August 19, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  12. ^ IAB (May 31, 2012). ""Do Not Track" Set to "On" By Default in Internet Explorer 10—IAB Response". Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  13. ^ "IAB urges members to ignore Microsoft's do not track default setting". October 9, 2012. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  14. ^ IAB (March 12, 2013). "IAB Accuses Mozilla of Undermining American Small Business & Consumers' Control of Their Privacy with Proposed Changes to Firefox". Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  15. ^ IAB (March 12, 2013). "an open letter to mozilla corporation". Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  16. ^ Ebbert, John (2013-07-01). "IAB Vs Mozilla: Randall Rothenberg Takes The Gloves Off". AdExchanger. Archived from the original on 2021-03-22. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  17. ^ Alex Kantrowitz (March 25, 2013). "The IAB's Cookie Stance Riles Publishers". Archived from the original on March 27, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  18. ^ Glyn Moody (March 6, 2013). "Is Mozilla "Undermining the Openness of the Internet"?". Archived from the original on March 10, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  19. ^ Michael Larabel (March 26, 2013). "GTK+ Is Becoming Very Usable With Wayland". Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  20. ^ "'Pretending ad blocking will disappear is a mythology' – AdBlock Plus on the IAB fallout". The Drum. Archived from the original on 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  21. ^ "IAB un-invites Adblock Plus from its annual conference". The Drum. Archived from the original on 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  22. ^ "Interactive Advertising Bureau 'dis-invites' Adblock Plus from annual conference". BetaNews. 15 January 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  23. ^ "IAB Dis-Invites Adblock Plus From Leadership Confab". Archived from the original on 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  24. ^ O'Reilly, Lara "Adblock Plus and The Pirate Bay founder have launched a service to let people pay the online publishers they love the most" Archived 2022-03-01 at the Wayback Machine Business Insider; May 3, 2016.
  25. ^ "IAB Tech Lab issues final ads.TXT specs to authenticate verified digital ad sellers". 28 June 2017. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  26. ^ "IAB's Project Rearc: A Possible Solution To Third-Party Cookie Apocalypse". Archived from the original on 2020-06-20. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  27. ^ "IAB Europe presents industry consent mechanism for meeting challenges under the GDPR and calls for broad industry engagement on further development and roll-out – Digital Advertising Consent". Archived from the original on 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  28. ^ Transparency and Consent Framework, IAB Tech Lab, 2022-02-06, archived from the original on 2022-02-12, retrieved 2022-02-12
  29. ^ Herbrich, Tilman; Niekrenz, Elisabeth (2021-10-01). "Privacy Litigation Against Real-Time Bidding — Data-driven online marketing: Enforcing the GDPR by protecting the rights of individuals under civil law". Computer Law Review International. 22 (5): 129–141. doi:10.9785/cri-2021-220502. ISSN 2194-4164. S2CID 239053710. Archived from the original on 2022-02-12. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  30. ^ Belgian Data Protection Authority (2 Feb 2022). "Decision on the merits 21/2022 of 2 February 2022, Complaint relating to Transparency & Consent Framework (IAB Europe), DOS-2019-01377" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 February 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  31. ^ Veale, Michael; Nouwens, Midas; Santos, Cristiana (2022-02-09). "Impossible Asks: Can the Transparency and Consent Framework Ever Authorise Real-Time Bidding After the Belgian DPA Decision?". Technology and Regulation. 2022: 12–22 Pages. doi:10.26116/TECHREG.2022.002. Archived from the original on 2022-02-12. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  32. ^ "IAB Europe to Appeal Belgian Data Protection Authority Ruling – IAB Europe". Archived from the original on 2022-02-11. Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  33. ^ "Toezichthouder: advertentiebranche moet direct stoppen met online volgen bezoeker". (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2022-02-12. Retrieved 2022-02-12.

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