AOL Sharpens Sales Team, Must Pass IAB's Exam

Trying to set a new standard for online publishers, AOL will now require its salespeople to pass the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s digital media sales certification exam.

The new policy virtually guarantees that AOL’s brand partners will be in good, experienced hands, according to Marta Martinez, head of sales strategy and operations at AOL.

“By certifying all our sales employees … we are demonstrating our dedication to our clients,” Martinez said.

First offered last summer, the IAB’s exam covers general comprehension of interactive advertising, selling digital media and analyzing a campaign’s performance.

According to Michael Theodore, vice president of training and development at the IAB: “The … certification is the professional barometer that all digital media companies should aspire to.” If true, that will mean a nice new revenue stream for the IAB, considering that the test costs $400 for IAB members, and $500 for nonmembers.

While no formal coursework is required to take the exam, Martinez said it is designed for salespeople with two to five years of experience in the digital industry.

To craft the exam, the IAB said it worked with test development company Professional Testing, Inc., along with various industry experts. The exams are being administered through Pearson Testing Centers, and are now available worldwide.

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