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IAB Tech Lab Adds a New Taxonomy to its Portfolio – Ad Product Taxonomy 1.0 – Enabling Stronger Publisher Controls Over Programmatic Ad Delivery

IAB Tech Lab released a new taxonomy – Ad Product Taxonomy 1.0 – for 30-day public comment through November 6, 2020. The Ad Product Taxonomy establishes for the first time a standardized nomenclature for describing the product or service being advertised within a creative unit. It aims to provide publishers with stronger signals to, 1) control the types of ads that are delivered via automated channels and, 2) measure the performance of those ads against internal KPIs. It joins two other sister taxonomies managed by IAB Tech Lab – the Content Taxonomy 2.1 and Audience Taxonomy 1.1 – which standardize naming conventions for the “aboutness” of page content and audience segments, respectively. 

The Ad Product Taxonomy is a long-awaited specification to help publishers have better oversight of the types of programmatic ads that get delivered to their websites, and enables stronger publisher reporting and analysis of how ad content correlates to revenue across content channels and audiences. Once adopted and scaled by the buy-side – which would need to support the standard by tagging creative units with taxonomy metadata so that it’s machine-readable by publishers upon creative render – the Ad Product Taxonomy would enable:

  1. Blocking of unwanted advertiser demand, allowing for more granular controls over:
    a. Lower production value creative units
    b. Ads that don’t conform to editorial or brand safety values
    c. Competitive conquesting services
    d. Competitive separation requests by advertisers

2. Analysis of content channel performance – in terms of demand and revenue – relates to product or service types  

3. Measurement of how specific publisher audiences respond to certain types of products / services based on interaction with the creative units or purchase events after exposure

Each of these use cases would provide immediate tactical, short-term benefits to publisher sales, research, and ad operations teams. It would also establish a foundation and tool-set to fuel publisher innovation and new products for advertising partners via a private marketplace and direct deals. Feedback on Ad Product Taxonomy 1.0 is being accepted through November 6, 2020, and can be sent to We look forward to hearing from you!


Ben Dick
Senior Director of Product – Consumer Privacy, Identity & Data
IAB Tech Lab