September 27, 2016 Last Updated 9:34 am

IAB launches new digital media certification program for ad agency professionals

NEW YORK, NY – September 27, 2016 — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today launched the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification Program, to ensure that today’s media agency professionals have the necessary knowledge and skills to help their brand clients navigate the dynamic digital marketplace. The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the leading trade association representing the advertising agency business, and Google have partnered with IAB for this landmark certification program to provide the ecosystem with a first-of-its-kind professional benchmark for advertising agency executives. In addition, Google played a critical role in the formation of the program and has made a meaningful commitment to sponsor a number of media buyers and planners to take the exam, as well as offer 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,” said 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 buying plays a central role in today’s media mix, making it increasingly important to establish a benchmark for agency professionals who are focused on navigating the marketplace,” said Nancy Hill, President and CEO, 4A’s. “We are always encouraging our members to continue to learn and grow in the industry, and we believe this new certification will help them do just that.”

“Google has long been committed to infusing the media industry with knowledge and skill sets to navigate today’s complex digital ecosystem,” said Tara Walpert Levy, Vice President of Agency Sales, Google. “We’re proud that our partnership with the IAB to develop this program and our ongoing support extends this pledge and enables digital media agency professionals to deliver superior service to their clients.”

Created for media professionals by media professionals who are working in a digital media role across buying, planning, strategy, and analytics, the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification Exam covers:

  • Collaborating on Campaign Briefs
  • Executing Campaigns
  • Managing Campaigns
  • Creating Media Strategies
  • Developing Digital Media Plans
  • Educating Stakeholders

No formal coursework is required to take the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification examination. The program is designed for media agency professionals who meet one of three criteria:

  • Two years of work experience in digital media buying and planning
  • One year of work experience in digital media buying and planning and a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education or professional training in digital media, preferably media buying and planning
  • A minimum of 30 hours of continuing education in digital media, preferably in media buying and planning, from an institute of higher education or professional training program

The test, independently administered 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.

The IAB Certification Programs establish and measure the baseline industry knowledge required for digital advertising professionals. Since IAB first introduced the certification programs, more than 9,500 professionals from over 300 companies are now actively certified through the three initial offerings—the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification Program, launched in 2012, the Digital Ad Operations Certification Program, launched in 2013, and the Digital Data Solutions Certification Program, introduced in 2015.

This announcement was made at the 2016 IAB MIXX Conference in New York City. For more information on the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification program or to apply to take the exam, please visit To inquire about Google scholarships, please email

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