Social Networks Get Advertising Guidelines

The Interactive Advertising Bureau's latest best practices provide a library of examples of how to execute such ads for various marketing messages.

K.C. Jones, Contributor

May 18, 2009

2 Min Read

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has released best practices for social advertising.

The group's Social Advertising Best Practices aim to protect consumer control and privacy while allowing advertisers and marketers to work with consumers to enhance their brands and spread their marketing messages.

"Social media is one of the areas that our clients are most interested in, based on the audience size and high level of engagement," Curt Hecht, president of VivaKi Nerve Center, said in a statement released Monday. "It is also one of the most transparent brand and consumer connection points that we have ever faced in marketing."

Hecht, whose company provides ad and marketing consultation, said the guidelines will help bring brands and people together.

It outlines key terms and definitions related to social ads and explains the distinctions between social advertising, in which consumers interact with brands, from online display ads. The guide provides a library of examples of how to execute such ads for various marketing messages. It contains recommendations to allow consumers to opt in or out. It also contains privacy guidelines for publishers, and marketers. The recommendations address data gathering, consumer disclosure, and use of consumer information.

"We have inventoried the vast array of resources available in social media and created a guide that publishers, marketers, and agencies can use to build powerful dialogues between consumers and brands," Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB, said in a statement released Monday. "This document is an excellent introduction to the conversation economy -- where consumers have more ways to engage than ever."

The document is available on IAB's Web site.

"Industry standards are essential to making social media easy, safe, and scalable for advertisers," Seth Goldstein, CEO of and co-chair of the IAB's UGC Social Media Committee, said in a statement. "The new IAB framework is a critical first step in this direction, and we are excited to help enable the next generation of social advertising."

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the business uses of social networks. Download the report here (registration required).

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