You Have a Late Creative Policy Whether You Like It or Not

As we’ve been approaching our Online Technical Forum this Thursday April 23rd at 11am EST, the response that I’ve received about this particular topic has been very interesting. For many, there is great interest in somehow moving the ball on this issue. For others it’s a foregone conclusion that publishers will never enforce a late creative policy. The most striking thing about this debate is the all or nothing approach in which it’s discussed. The reason is that ‘late creative policy’ is invariably tied to the IAB late creative policy which frankly is hard for publishers to enforce and agencies to swallow. It’s a hard ‘standard’ to adopt and for which no real best practices exist. Our Online Technical Forum looks to re-frame the conversation in a way that is mutually beneficial for both publishers and agencies. Here’s how:

You already have a late creative policy: accept late creatives no matter the cost. Late creative is like other issues we discuss at AdMonsters events, but just needs a new set of best practices. Creative is sometimes late and it’s important to know why and establish a plan to prevent it and/or deal with it when it happens. The key is to first work through these tactical steps for your own company and share them with others. From that, standards will evolve.

It’s not an all or nothing conversation. If as a publisher you speak to an agency regarding the IAB late creative policy, you’ve set a big stake in the ground. Instead, talk to the agency about creative being late and see if there are options, even on a campaign by campaign basis.

With each day, the late creative problem becomes more measurable. Both agencies and publishers continue to grow their abilities to measure yield, and with it the tools to measure the impact of late creative. My feeling is that with the ability to measure opportunity lost not enforcing a late creative policy will compel companies to figure out where to draw the lines.

Non-standard ad units allow us all to revisit the issue. Publishers are looking more and more to providing non-standard ad solutions and with it comes the opportunity to open up these discussions. Since non-standard ad units often involve more development on both the agency and publisher side, even more is at stake if creative is late or never runs. This is especially true for ads that are sold on a ‘by day’ basis and not strictly impression based. With some communication up front, publishers can establish what they find acceptable. In many cases, agencies will agree with this positioning with their clients if everyone is up front on the consequences.

It doesn’t hurt that our presenter is someone who has actually enforced the IAB late creative policy successfully. Joanne Bathurst will provide her recommendations and lend her experience to making it happen. It’s time to rethink the late creative problem. Please join us on Thursday!

Rob Beeler is Vice President of Content and Media for AdMonsters and has worked in Ad Operations for over ten years. Rob started attending AdMonster events in 2004 as a member and will be in New York on May 21st for Ad Ops 360°