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David Pidgeon 

Host of companies awarded IAB's 'Gold Standard' certificate

Host of companies awarded IAB's 'Gold Standard' certificate

The great online clean-up is making good progress. The IAB UK has announced today that 13 member companies have now gained certification for its new Gold Standard.

AppNexus, AutoTrader, Bauer Media, GroundTruth, Inskin Media, Media IQ Digital, News UK, Precise.TV, Sovrn, The Guardian, The Student Room, Time Inc. and Weve were named as part of an initiative that aims to raise standards in the online advertising market.

The seal confirms that the companies' practices have met different criteria - which includes reducing ad fraud, obtaining certification for brand safety, and improving the digital advertising experience by adhering to specific IAB principles.

Launched in 2017, the scheme has now seen more than 80 companies registered, with the first certification announced in February.

“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," said Tim Elkington, IAB UK’s chief digital officer.

"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.”

Online advertising has faced strong criticism in recent years, with headlines over brand safety, ad fraud, transparency, viewability and mis-measurement knocking advertiser confidence.

There have since been calls from major advertisers to clean things up, with Unilever kicking off the year by announcing it cannot continue to prop up a digital supply chain which at times is "little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency."

The Gold Standard should go some way in boosting client confidence and is, crucially, supported by advertiser trade body ISBA, the Association for Online Publishers (AOP) and the IPA, representing agencies.

Bethan Crockett, senior director of brand safety and digital risk, GroupM EMEA, the investment wing of WPP, said the Gold Standard is a "must-have" for every business 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,” she said.

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