Gold Standard FAQs for Advertisers

Posted on: Monday 07 December 2020 | IAB UK

Here we answer some of the most-asked questions from advertisers about the Gold Standard. If you have a question that isn’t included below, please get in touch with us at [email protected] and we’ll respond to you directly

1. If we sign up to support the Gold Standard, do all the companies we work with have to be Gold Standard certified?  

We ask supporters to prioritise working with digital advertising suppliers who are Gold Standard certified. However, we recognise that since companies need to be members of IAB UK in order to certify, some players in the industry may not hold a certificate. We also recognise that brands may work with some smaller publishers who may not be big enough to manage the certification requirements.  

We therefore ask supporters to encourage all their partners to register, or to follow the criteria as closely as possible. That way, advertisers can be confident that their media spend is being used to raise standards in digital advertising. In the future, we hope to ask advertisers to commit to only work with Gold Standard certified companies.   


2. We "in-house" some of our digital advertising activity, so what do we need to do to ensure we are still supporting the Gold Standard?  

If you become a supporter of the Gold Standard, it is your responsibility to understand the core ambitions of the initiative and the criteria that sits behind it to raise standards in digital advertising.   

Firstly, you must ensure the relevant members of your team attend an IAB presentation introducing the Gold Standard’s criteria and objectives.  

Secondly your team must complete the IAB Gold Standard e-Learning which will help them put the principles they have learnt into practice.    

Thirdly, you should prioritise working with tech partners who are Gold Standard certified.  

And finally, we have a checklist of useful questions that you can ask any partners who aren’t yet certified, to ensure they are committed to raising standards in digital advertising with your budget. For more information, contact us on [email protected]   


3. We run digital advertising in markets outside of the UK, but does the Gold Standard cover global markets?  

The Gold Standard certification is a UK only initiative, however the individual initiatives that make up the Gold Standard are globally recognised, so we would encourage you to ask your partners to adopt these globally.  

In terms of formalising the Standard globally, we are in communication with other national IABs on how they can support the Gold Standard in their local markets. IAB Sweden launched a Gold Standard programme in 2020 and IAB Ireland launched theirs in 2021.  For other markets where you operate, we would encourage you to get in touch with local IABs to let them know you support the Gold Standard, and to ask them to adopt this in their market.  


4. You say the Gold Standard is evolving and you are adding more stringent criteria over time. How can we keep on top of these changes and ensure we continue to support them?  

If you become a supporter of the Gold Standard, we will send quarterly email updates to keep you informed of industry progress and how we plan to continue evolving the criteria over time.  

You can also visit the following relevant websites for latest updates on the specific initiatives that the Gold Standard draws together. 

For a summary of the Gold Standard, visit our site   


5. I’m putting together the case for my company to sign up as a Gold Standard supporter. Can you give me some reasons why we should?  

The Gold Standard has been created to directly address key issues that understandably concern advertisers. We know that no brand ever wants to support illegitimate activity or appear in inappropriate environments. , By choosing to work with companies that are Gold Standard certified, you can actively raise standards within the digital ecosystem and make it a better place for your ads to be. It’s no secret that where advertisers choose to invest their money is fundamental in shaping the digital advertising industry and, as Gold Standard 2.0 raises the bar, there has never been a better time to get involved.   

The Gold Standard provides you with a shortlist from which you can select partners who are committed to raising standards, giving you confidence in how and where your money is being spent.   

Finally, there is no cost for you to support the IAB Gold Standard, it is just about making the decision to commit. As an advertiser, you have a critical role to play in upholding the core value of the Gold Standard and driving lasting change within the digital advertising industry - making it safer, more user-orientated and more efficient.  By getting behind the initiative, you are purposefully directing spend towards improving the whole industry.  


6. Who else is a supporter? 

Brands from Unilever to Nationwide, Adidas to Coca-Cola and Gousto to Vodafone are already supporting the Gold Standard. See the full list here and get in touch to join them by emailing [email protected]

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