IAB Launches Digital Media Sales Certification to Set New Professional Benchmark for the Interactive Advertising Industry

Registration Opens Today; First Tests Scheduled for June 11

NEW YORK--()--Until now, the digital advertising field has lacked professional benchmarks such as the legal world’s Bar Exam and Wall Street’s Series 7. That situation changes with today’s announcement by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) establishing the first-ever educational standard for digital media sales forces with the launch of the “IAB Digital Media Sales Certification.”

To receive the certification, digital sales professionals must complete an examination, which will be administered through Pearson Testing Centers. Registration for the certification exam kicks off today, with applications available at www.iab.net/certification. The inaugural exams are scheduled for Monday, June 11, 2012 and will be held at Pearson’s Test Centers worldwide.

“The certification program will help raise the level of professionalism in the digital field by allowing salespeople to demonstrate their knowledge of the complex interactive environment,” said Michael Theodore, Vice President, Member Services, IAB. “Much like examinations in other fields, this test will give current job holders and job seekers a ‘score card’ to prove their understanding of the most important concepts, guidelines, and best practices in digital advertising. Businesses also benefit by ensuring that they have the most competent sales teams possible.”

"The IAB's program to create new educational standards for the interactive industry is an exciting step forward for advancing the field of digital advertising sales," said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President & COO, IAB. "Once the digital media sales certification program is launched, we will develop similar training and certification programs for other related professions in the industry, which will both teach and recognize the knowledge and skills needed for success."

There is no formal coursework required for the “IAB Digital Media Sales Certification” examination. Designed for salespeople with 2-5 years of experience in the digital industry, it is recommended that candidates have a strong command of current industry issues, players, and operations, as well as a broad understanding of every major digital platform. The test costs $350 for IAB members and $450 for non-members.

Before creating the certification program, IAB conducted extensive research into the knowledge gaps in the field, including the “IAB Interactive Ad IQ Industry Survey” with Ernst & Young, and a series of in-depth interviews with sales professionals.

The findings showed that many professionals on both the sell-side and buy-side are struggling to keep up with the rapid evolution of interactive advertising platforms, technologies and capabilities. Yet, they agree that a deep understanding of these areas is critical to their success and the growth of the industry.

As a result, the certification exam will cover general comprehension of the digital advertising ecosystem, selling digital media and analyzing campaign performance. Specific topics will include:

  • Differentiating the benefits of digital versus traditional media
  • Describing digital advertising formats
  • Defining key digital advertising tools and technologies
  • Calculating media mathematics
  • Adhering to compliance standards/policies
  • Understanding differences in digital ad formats
  • Prospecting for new clients
  • Aligning digital advertising products with client objectives
  • Comprehending internal and third-party research
  • Analyzing, launching, and monitoring digital advertising campaigns and data
  • Reviewing opportunities to renew or upsell digital advertising campaigns

The IAB worked with the fully accredited test development company Professional Testing, Inc. to create the content of the exam, alongside subject matter experts from IAB member companies:

  • AOL
  • BBC
  • Break Media
  • Buzz Media
  • CNN Money
  • Collective
  • Comcast Spotlight
  • Condé Nast Media Group
  • Disney Interactive Media Group
  • Freewheel
  • Goodway Group
  • Google
  • Liberty Advertising
  • Live Intent
  • Mojiva
  • NBCUniversal
  • Operative
  • Rodale
  • The 614 Group
  • Tremor Video
  • Viacom Media Networks
  • White Pages

The certification program’s Founding Commission will drive its future direction. Members include:

  • Scott Schiller, NBCUniversal (Chair)
  • Paul Caine, Time Inc.
  • Charlie Echevarry, Univision
  • Dave Moore, 24/7 Media
  • Tony Nethercutt, Mojiva
  • Wayne Powers, Yahoo!
  • Brian Quinn, Triad Retail Media
  • Rick Song, Microsoft Advertising

“The constant and rapid evolution of today’s digital media marketplace makes it more important than ever for sales professionals to fine-tune their skills and keep up with new advertising formats, standards and tools,” said Scott Schiller, Executive Vice President, Digital Media Sales, NBCU Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media, NBCUniversal, and Chair of the “IAB Digital Media Sales Certification” Founding Commission. “The new certification exam will establish much needed professional industry benchmarks and best practices, while also raising the bar for talent and providing a career ‘badge’ so they can stand out in their field and super-serve their clients.”

The news about the launch of the “IAB Digital Media Sales Certification” exam was released at the IAB Innovation Days @ Internet Week “Screens(n)” conference. For more information or to register, go to www.iab.net/certification.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.


Laura Goldberg, 347.683.1859


Laura Goldberg, 347.683.1859