mUmBRELLA: IAB seeks to create a definition for news following Buzzfeed debate

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is looking to establish a definition around what content should be classified as news after viral content site Buzzfeed complained it had been put in the wrong category, Mumbrella understands.

The move by the digital advertising body, which will be an initiative of the IAB Measurement Council, comes after Mumbrella reported last month Buzzfeed's Australian operation had enough traffic to make it into the top ten for news sites, but had been classified under "search engines, portals, and communities", despite its official launch by the Walkley Foundation in January where it claimed to be a news site.

In the month since, Nielsen has had extensive consultations with its parent US company and chosen to reclassify Buzzfeed into a news subcategory in Australia, but will still not be allowed to enter the main news site rankings.

"As of May data to be released in June, Buzzzfeed will fall into the News & Information > Multi-category News & Information sub-category," said a spokeswoman for Nielsen in a statement.
"This adjustment is as a result of a review of Buzzfeed's content by Nielsen in collaboration with Buzzfeed in the U.S. and locally, that review concluded that their content is now best aligned with this sub-category definition."

CEO of the IAB Australia Alice Manners told Mumbrella the body would seek to create a definition around the news category as well as other categories such as entertainment to help guide future debates around content and what should not be allowed in the various categories.

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