A Gold Standard breakfast at the Houses of Parliament

Martin Weller

Weve's Managing Director, Martin Weller, writes on the back of the IAB's Gold Standard breakfast at the Houses of Parliament.

Wednesday 24 January saw a media breakfast with a difference. Yes, there was the usual cooked breakfast on a fancy plate (albeit minus the usual soya flat white) and even a view of the Thames, as can occasionally be the backdrop for the more special occasions, but with a guest list comprising several MPs, a baroness and a Lord, there was no doubt that the hot topics of the digital industry would be analysed and debated with a somewhat different perspective.

The Thames Pavilion in The Houses of Parliament was the setting for a breakfast briefing to raise awareness of the IAB’s Gold Standard. With a guest list full of the ultimate power players who regulate our industry, the roundtable was an important step in raising awareness of the Gold Standard’s adoption within the industry, and showcasing the IAB’s new and evolved mission of building a sustainable future for digital advertising, rightly considered to be the lifeblood of the UK digital economy. 

For those unaware of what the IAB Gold Standard initiative covers: 

  • Reducing ad fraud by implementing the ads.txt initiative on all sites carrying display ads

  • Improving the digital advertising experience by adhering to the LEAN principles, the Coalition for Better Advertising standards and never using the 12 “bad” ads 

  • Increasing brand safety by working with JICWEBS with a view to becoming certified or maintaining certification

After scene-setting from Jon Mew, IABUK CEO and Ed Vaizey, Conservative MP for Wantage and former Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, a lively debate ensued, with views, insights and opinion exchanged enthusiastically and thoughtfully around the table. In short, we were out to kick the tyres on what needs to be done in digital advertising, what is already being done and what is yet to come, in order that we can all feel confident that digital advertising is another significant step closer to realising its full, unique potential, while delivering the Gold Standard’s aim of: keeping people and brands safe online.

Over the course of an animated discussion, what became clearer to our esteemed audience and hosts was that a lot of these initiatives are in fact already long standing in one guise or another, but are now being consolidated and further strengthened by the IAB’s initiative. As responsible players in the industry, we all still need to proceed full steam ahead because particularly in digital advertising, time is of the essence, but there is also the need to raise awareness of the Gold Standard with everyone from Joe Public to the rest of parliament. 

From Weve’s perspective, our rich Messaging platform has brand safety and a positive creative experience built into the platform, fraud-free by default, and our Display platform has long since complied with the Gold Standard ethos (and now a registered participant of the Gold Standard process itself). As the only telco-powered ad platform, reaching over a third of the UK, we have uniquely comprehensive and accurate data and insights, enabling us to understand the behaviours and preferences of real people, thus enabling targeted ad experiences that enrich lives, while keeping the user and the brand safe.

Initiatives like the Gold Standard gives digital advertising the platform to continue innovating, at the uniquely furious pace digital tech allows, while more emphatically and effectively showing the necessary self-regulation that ultimately protects the incredible, largely free content and services we’ve all so quickly become accustomed to.

We will continue to adhere to, support and help promote these initiatives and applaud the IAB and its members for their commitment to match the almost unlimited potential of digital advertising with the very highest of standards and an increasingly transparent, safe and user-friendly future.

Written by

Martin Weller


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