“To be part of a standards body, but not have equal rights meant that you were asking one constituent group to just observe the decision-making of another group,” said Kirk McDonald, North America CEO of GroupM.
With their new status, particularly as representatives on the voting board, agencies will now have an equal say in how to guide the direction of the organization. Agencies and holding companies like GroupM, Dentsu Media, Havas Media Group and others have already applied to be general members.
The IAB serves an important role not only in setting an agenda for the ad industry, but also in acting upon that agenda with concrete standards.
The IAB Tech Lab, for example, developed in October an advertising ID program that seeks to label the many new tracking IDs in the programmatic landscape. As the death of third-party cookies looms, ad networks and publishers are adopting more and more IDs, which makes the protocol a valuable means of organization across the ad space.
Going forward, agencies will be able to come to the table on more privacy-related topics, as well as other areas within the IAB’s centers of excellence, such as augmented/virtual reality, gaming and commerce.
“Our board saw the value of having agencies in the room because the conversations that we’re having now are terribly complex, and they require each part of the ecosystem to weigh in,” said Cohen.