The IAB's Gold Standard initiative is designed to raise standards in digital advertising by addressing three key issues facing the industry: ad fraud, brand safety and ad blocking. It does this by pulling together three existing initiatives ads.txt, JICWEBS DTSG and the Coalition for Better Advertising's Better Ad Standards respectively.
IAB UK launched the Gold Standard initiative at Engage 2017 with the support of its Board members and subsequently the criteria for complying with the scheme were released in January. To date more than 80 companies have registered and the first certification came in February.
Tim Elkington, IAB UK's Chief Digital Officer said, "We're really passionate about the Gold Standard because it demonstrates the commitment of IAB members to make the digital advertising experience better for everyone. Companies from all areas of the ecosystem are working together to reduce ad fraud, maximise brand safety and improve the advertising experience by adhering to industry guidelines and good practice."
Bethan Crockett, Senior Director of Brand Safety and Digital Risk, GroupM EMEA said, "At GroupM, we have always supported industry initiatives which encourage excellence across digital advertising. The IAB Gold Standard pulls together industry standards and, in my view, is a must-have for everyone operating in digital advertising. We look forward to continuing our work with the IAB and other industry associations to further improve digital advertising quality and ensure safe and successful campaigns for our clients."
In order to be Gold Standard certified, companies have to meet the compliance criteria relevant for their company type. These criteria are determined by a cross-industry IAB Gold Standard Group made up of IAB members including agencies, publishers and ad tech companies.
The Gold Standard is supported by ISBA, the Association for Online Publishers (AOP) and the IPA. In April, the House of Lords Communications Committee's report on the advertising industry recognised the important role of self-regulation in digital advertising and encouraged the industry to sign up to JICWEBS.
Christie Dennehy-Neil, Senior Public Policy Manager at IAB UK said, "As the industry comes under increasing regulatory and Government scrutiny it is critical that we continue to work together to demonstrate that we are a responsible industry that is taking steps to address the issues that have the potential to undermine trust in digital advertising, and to show that we can effectively self-regulate."
Jon Mew, CEO at IAB UK added, "Open to a wide-range of companies, the Gold Standard is an easy way for buyers and sellers to demonstrate their commitment to the industry and join our mission of building a sustainable future for digital advertising. I encourage all of our members to commit to the IAB Gold Standard by fighting ad fraud, discouraging ad blocking, and maximising brand safety."