Phoenix—Interactive Advertising Bureau President-CEO Randall Rothenberg presented what he called the "founding principles of the digital brand advertising industry" Monday at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting here.
Rothenberg said the "empirical approach" that has won the lion's share of advertising expenditures in recent years has not brought about the "long-sought digital advertising utopia."
"Far from being in a new age of digital advertising enlightenment, I worry that we are entering a new dark ages of advertising," he said. "We assert that we are bringing science, at long last, to advertising, but what if we are merely bringing bad science to our industry?"
Displaying a Web page spattered with ads with headlines such as "Dr. Pete's Super Diet" and "Find Singles in Phoenix," Rothenberg said, "This is what predominates in our medium and, like it or not, this is how consumers and major advertisers view us."
To counteract this trend, Rothenberg urged IAB members to follow a new set of digital brand advertising principles. These include:
- Improving the craft of advertising and allowing agencies "to be more brilliant in digital than they have been in television and print."
- Providing agreed-upon advertising measurements.
- Providing seamless ad experiences across screens.
- Protecting consumer privacy.
- Making data transparent.
- Unifying the digital brand advertising industry globally.
"Never before has the opportunity been greater, given our reservoir of experience and the partnership with marketers and with agencies we have built. The risks, too, have never been greater," Rothenberg said.