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IAB launches ‘Gold Standard’ to clean up online advertising

23 senior IAB Board members commit to new initiative

In an effort to raise the standards in digital advertising and address the key issues facing the industry, the IAB UK is launching the “IAB Gold Standard” initiative, comprising three primary actions that media owners can take.

Initially, the Gold Standard has three fundamental aims – to reduce ad fraud, to improve the digital advertising experience and to increase brand safety. Spearheading the initiative are 23 IAB UK board member companies (including Facebook and Google) who’ve publicly signed a letter committing to the following three actions:

  1. Reduce ad fraud by implementing the ads.txt initiative on all sites carrying ads
  2. Improve the digital advertising experience by adhering to the LEAN principles, the Coalition for Better Advertising standards and never using the 12 “bad” ads
  3. Increase brand safety by working with JICWEBS with a view to becoming certified or maintaining certification.

The deadline for implementing the three initiatives will be confirmed in the coming weeks. The IAB will encourage all of its members to commit to the IAB Gold Standard, intended to be an iterative programme to expand to cover other issues, for example audience measurement and viewability.

“Everyone agrees that digital advertising standards need to improve to keep this industry sustainable and thriving. The IAB Gold Standard is a practical measure that demonstrates media owner commitment to making this happen,” said the IAB’s Chief Digital Officer Tim Elkington“Media owners need to send a clear signal to advertisers and agencies that they take their responsibilities seriously to offer the best environment possible so that brands can confidently use digital advertising.”

Bethan Crockett, Senior Director of Brand Safety and Digital Risk, GroupM EMEA and IAB member said, “GroupM fully supports IAB UK’s Gold Standard initiative and it is fantastic to see the industry committing to implement best practice standards relating to ad fraud, brand safety and the digital advertising user experience.”

The 23 board member signatories are AppNexus, Bauer Media, ESI Media, Facebook, Google, Guardian Media Group, GroundTruth, Immediate Media, Mail Brands, Microsoft, News UK, Oath, Quantcast, RadiumOne, Teads, Telegraph Media Group, TripAdvisor, Trinity Mirror Solutions, Twitter, Vevo, Viant, Videology & Weve.

The IAB Gold Standard is the first tangible step on the IAB’s journey as they announce their focus on building a sustainable future for digital advertising at their annual event, IAB Engage.