The Interactive Advertising Bureau today launched the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification Program, in partnership with the 4As and Google.
The program, which the groups say is a first, is designed to help media agency pros keep up with the knowledge and skills needed to guide brand clients in today's dynamic digital marketplace.
Google is credited with helping to shape the program and making a financial commitment used to sponsor a number of media buyers and planners to take the exam and for annual scholarships.
“A high level of digital media and planning expertise is needed by agencies to build effective relationships with publishers and strengthen collaborations with brand clients,” stated Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO, IAB. “This new program is aimed at delivering a meaningful industry credential that will encourage greater brand investment on digital screens.”
Digital planning and buying is not an exact science. T
he new certification program comes amid increasing skepticism by some marketers that they are not getting their money’s worth from digital advertising. There has been speculation that some advertisers moved money out of digital and back to TV during the past upfront for that reason.
The program also debuts amid a developing scandal at Dentsu, the Tokyo-based ad holding company that reported last week that a digital operation in Japan botched hundreds of digital transactions involving over 100 clients. Last week, Facebook admitted to overestimating average view times for video on its platform for two years.
The IAB’s new program covers executing and managing campaigns, creating media strategies and developing digital media plans. Educating stakeholders and collaborating on campaign briefs are also among the topics covered.
No formal coursework is required to take the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification examination. The test, independently administered by Pearson VUE, costs $400 for IAB and 4A’s members and $500 for non-members. To keep their credentials active, certificate holders are expected to meet continuing education requirements within two years.