Video Game Industry: IAB Guidelines for In-Game Advertising Measurements

June 16, 2009

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is finally tightening their guidelines for advertising in the video game industry. The new guidelines are expected to improve advertising best practices in the Video Game industry especially PC, Console Games and Web Based Games . The In-Game Advertising Measurement Guidelines are also expected to assist In-Game Advertising planners and buyer determine the quality of measurements.

According to the IAB website, The IAB In-Game Advertising Measurement Guidelines Draft v6.0 is expected to “develop a transparent methodology that will support growth and stability in the industry as advertiser will have consistent and reliable metrics across various providers.” Key players in the In-Game Guidelines creation include: Dynamic Logic, Activision, 2KGames, Extent, IAC, IGN, Google, Microsoft and many more respected companies in the Marketing Research and Interactive Advertising Industries. A full list can be found on page 2 of the In-Game Guidelines document located on the IAB website.

 The IAB In-Game Advertising Measurement Guidelines include a glossary of advertising terms for the game industry which include:  definitions that explain terminology used to describe the types of ads commonly exposed to In-Game users. These advertising categories include: Ad Angle, Around-Game Ads, Dynamic In-Game Ads, Event-Based Ads, In-Game Display Ads and, other ads.

The IAB In-Game Advertising Measurement Guidelines provide Advertisers and Buyers with a clear and concise definition of an “Ad Impression” including metrics used for measuring valid ad impressions. The new guidelines also address issues around server side transactions of in-game activity which do not neccissarily infer that a user was exposed to an advertising message.  The new guidelines also address the exposure time required for an Ad Impression to be deemed valid as well as “Cool Off Periods”.

The IAB In-Game Measurement Guidelines also require Disclosure Guidance which should outline: Nature of In-Game Measurements, Data Collections Methods Employed, Reporting Standards, Reliability of Results and Limitations on Data Use.

For an in-depth look at the IAB In-Game Advertising Guidelines please visit the


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