IAB Offers Ad Ops Certification For Digital Marketing Pros

With the rise of programmatic trading, digital advertising has become more reliant on automated systems and technology than ever before. With that in mind, the Interactive Advertising Bureau on Thursday introduced a new certification program for digital ad operations professionals.

The IAB says the Digital Ad Ops Certification will be the first credential of its kind for people working at digital publishers, ad agencies, trading desks, demand- and supply-side platforms and ad exchanges. It follows the organization’s launch of a similar benchmarking program last year for digital sales executives, through which nearly 1,000 have since been certified.

The Ad Ops certification process requires candidates to pass a 100-question multiple-choice testing covering seven primary areas including: executing a campaign launch; managing a live campaign; managing emerging technologies; creating, maintaining, and documenting product offerings; managing incidents; inventory management and integrity; and managing client and partner relationships.



The IAB developed the Ad Ops exam with input from more than 24 companies and agencies, including AOL, Facebook, Google, Operative, Rubicon Project, Theorem, Universal McCann and MediaCom. Operative and Theorem are the first to require ad ops teams to take and pass the exam.

“This new certification is designed to test digital ad operations professionals' mastery of the intricate processes that drive digital marketing," said Michael Theodore, vice president training and development, IAB, in announcing the new ad ops program. In addition to serving as a “stamp of approval” for current employees, it can also play a part in the hiring process, he noted.

The first window for taking the Ad Ops test, administered by Pearson VUE, runs from October 15 to November 15, with additional windows slated for January, April, July and Oct. 2014. To be eligible, participants must have at least two years experience in digital ad operations. The cost is $500 for IAB members, and $750 for non-members. No formal coursework or training is required to take the exam.

5 comments about "IAB Offers Ad Ops Certification For Digital Marketing Pros".
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  1. Marc Case from Mezzobit, September 12, 2013 at 9:04 a.m.

    Congratulations to the IAB and the Certification Committee on the development of this important and necessary professional credential. As the space continues to evolve it will be helpful for companies to have an industry standard to measure candidates against during the hiring process.

  2. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, September 12, 2013 at 9:13 a.m.

    IAB? Isn't this the group that created the standardized formats that have conditioned everyone to know precisely where not to look for/at the ads? As the first graduating Ad Ops class will reveal, the IAB is about to do the same thing to the meaning of "expert" that Facebook has already done to "friend". On the other hand, IAB certification does require "at least two years experience in digital ad operations", so at least the standards are high.

  3. Spider Graham from Trainingcraft, September 12, 2013 at 9:48 a.m.

    It's a smart move. As the 'revenue realizers' for any publishing company, having an ad ops teams who knows how to effectively manage campaigns and create better profitability through efficient planning and execution campaign is a must. This approach also helps to create more well rounded ad ops teams who are able to step outside of their areas of focus and not just become a cog in a much bigger machine.

  4. Tracy Hill from T. Hill Group, September 12, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.

    Great. Now hopefully they will take on the bot issue, because it is by far the biggest issue of credibility the industry faces.

  5. Shane Steinfeld from Editorial Projects in Education, September 16, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.

    The cost of the exam seems a little steep for a job that only pays $50-60k/year.

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