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Thursday, May 23, 2013, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

Apple's iAd first major mobile ad-network to get Media Ratings Council accreditation

Apple's iAd for iPhone and iPad gained a bit more legitimacy this month as it received accreditation from a major advertising body, making it the first mobile platform to achieve the distinction.

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Earlier this month, the Media Ratings Council gave full accreditation to Apple's iAd platform, according to Advertising Age (via TUAW). That accreditation is based on iAd's adherence to the standards of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Mobile Marketing Association.

iAd's accreditation was dependent upon the system accurately reporting the numbers of impressions, taps, visits, views, average time spent, conversions, and other metrics important to advertisers. The MRC's evaluators were pleased with Apple's system's performance.

"We were favorably impressed with the range of metrics that iAd provides and their quality," one MRC executive said. "It gives the buy and the sell side confidence that the measurements are accurate and can be relied upon as currency."

While its true importance to individual marketers is uncertain, MRC accreditation does serve as notification that a particular system has achieved sufficiency in some basic metrics, including accurate reporting of things such as click-through rates. In addition to Apple, Google's DoubleClick platform is also undergoing the accreditation process.

Accreditation means that advertisers can know that their ads will display properly when served through a given network. A number of smaller ad networks, given pause by its $100,000 price tag, are also said to be pondering getting MRC accreditation.

iAd has had something of a rough road since its 2010 introduction, when Apple rolled out the service with several high profile advertisers. The initial minimum cost for an iAd campaign was $1 million, but soft demand for Apple's platform caused the company to cut that minimum buy in half.

Apple soon after lopped another 40 percent off its price, bringing the minimum buy to $300,000. Subsequently, the company has lowered the minimum price to $100,000 and boosted developers' cut of iAd revenue from 60 percent to 70 percent.