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Ad-tech firm requires job applicants to pass 100-question exam

New York based ad-tech agency “Col­lec­tive” have announced they require job appli­cants to pass an exam as part of their recruit­ment process.

The 100-ques­tion mul­ti­ple-choice exam has been devised by the Inter­ac­tive Adver­tis­ing Bureau.  If it proves a suc­cess oth­er online adver­tis­ing agen­cies are expect­ed to fol­low suit.  The move could mean an aspir­ing copy­writer, art direc­tor or account man­ag­er apply­ing for a job will need a lit­tle more than a strik­ing resume and a batch of glow­ing ref­er­ences to seize the prize.

Mes­sage to appli­cants: keep a fin­ger on the adver­tis­ing pulse

The aim of the new “Dig­i­tal Media Sales Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion” exam is to test an applicant’s exper­tise in the bewil­der­ing­ly intri­cate dig­i­tal-ad eco-sys­tem.  Appli­cants who haven’t kept their ear to the ground may need to hold off until they’ve done their home­work.  If you didn’t know that cut­ting-edge audio elec­tron­ics firm Denon has just com­mis­sioned award-win­ing adver­tis­ers BBDO to launch an unprece­dent­ed 75 per­cent dig­i­tal media adver­tis­ing cam­paign, or that the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion is plan­ning to open up the opaque world of hedge fund mar­ket­ing to adver­tis­ing agen­cies, it may be wis­est to stay put for the time being.

The test also seeks knowl­edge about man­ag­ing, ana­lyz­ing and sell­ing dig­i­tal ad campaigns.
“Sales appli­cants won’t have to pass the test before join­ing the firm,” says com­pa­ny chief Jed Sav­age.  They will be required to keep tak­ing it “in role” until they do.  He added, “We’re very pleased with the stan­dard try­ing to be set from an indus­try per­spec­tive and look at this as a way to gauge our sales orga­ni­za­tion, which we push to be the best out there.”

How much is enough?

The first round of test­ing took place in June, when most of the firm’s sales team took it – and passed.  Oth­er giants in the dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing world have also been exper­i­ment­ing with the exam, with employ­ees from AOL and Yahoo sit­ting it.

It’s not clear at this stage how many points will be need­ed to achieve a pass.  Those who sit the exam sim­ply find out whether they have passed or not but are not told what score they achieved.  The IAB is being a lit­tle cagey about how many of the peo­ple who have tak­en the test so far have failed, per­haps reflect­ing sen­si­tiv­i­ty to the way in which the indus­try per­ceives the exam.

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