IAB UK reinforces the Gold Standard with new updates

Posted on Monday 02 October 2023 | IAB UK

Following a five week public consultation on the changes, the Gold Standard is being updated to further crack down on scam ads and ad fraud

Taking into consideration the responses we had to the Gold Standard consultation - which were positive and constructive - we will be updating the Gold Standard with the steps outlined below from next week. Companies that are Gold Standard certified will need to adhere to the updates by their next Gold Standard renewal date, or within the next six months (by 2 April 2024) - whichever comes first.

The actions we’re taking include two alterations to what was originally proposed in August as a result of feedback we had to the consultation. These are outlined below. 

What’s changing?

  • Gold Standard certified members need to implement  and include IAB Tech Lab’s DemandChain Object (dchain)  in the bidstream. Either implementing a buyers.json file or maintaining it on their roadmap. Originally we asked for all members to implement buyers.json, but we have updated this to ‘implement or maintain on roadmap’ in response to feedback from members regarding the risk of exposing buyers in a publicly hosted file and the development resource required to implement two standards
  • Gold Standard certified members need to outline their current process for using the Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Services register when working with an advertiser who provides a financial service or product
  • Gold Standard certified members must have one team member signed up to the ASA’s Scam Ad Alert system. This step has been added in response to suggestions from members made during the consultation period 
  • Certified members to comply with IAB Europe’s Transparency & Consent Framework version 2.2 
  • To make things simpler, we'll no longer have different versions of the Gold Standard, and everyone will be required to meet all the criteria from their next renewal date

Commenting on the changes, Tim Elkington, Chief Industry Officer at IAB UK, said: “To ensure that the Gold Standard continues to be a core driver of positive change in our industry, it needs to keep pace with the challenges that the industry is facing. Cracking down further on ad fraud and scam ads is a big part of this, and we’re encouraged by the feedback we have had to the consultation that these updates will effectively bolster transparency across the digital ecosystem.” 

In another positive development, ISBA - the trade body for advertisers - is incorporating the Gold Standard’s steps into its Media Services Framework, meaning that advertisers signed up to the framework will be requiring these tools from partners as a matter of course. Explaining this move, Nick Louisson, Director of Agency Services at ISBA, said: “Consumer trust in advertising is a priority for advertisers. Buyers.json and Demand Chain Object provide media owners tools to combat scam ads and maintain consumer trust in digital advertising. ISBA is incorporating Buyers.json and Demand Chain Object into our Media Services Framework to drive adoption of these important tools.”

You can find out more about the IAB Gold Standard here, and please contact [email protected] if you’re interested in getting certified. 


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