It has been an exceptional year for the advertising industry. In 2020, brands and their agencies have adapted to the new home-centric consumer landscape by increasing their investment in digital advertising across TV and digital formats. This has accelerated the trend for personalised advertising and provided opportunities for advertisers to reach new audiences.
As our industry evolves at this accelerated pace, it is crucial to retain the necessary checks and balances which support a healthy digital advertising ecosystem. The launch of the IAB UK’s Gold Standard in September marks the continued efforts from an increasingly diverse collective to ensure digital advertising is a safe and profitable environment for brands. Despite most of us being physically separated, the launch of the Gold Standard is an important collaborative effort in moving the industry towards a stronger future.
The Gold Standard 2.0 introduces a more rigorous criteria to digital advertising. The initiative is supported by major advertisers including Unilever and COTY and currently has 10 companies certified: Facebook, GroupM UK, Index Exchange, Instagram, OpenX, Quantcast, SpotX, Teads, Xaxis UK, and YouTube. GroupM UK’s agencies that are certified include: Essence, MediaCom, Mindshare, m/SIX, and Wavemaker.
The initiative requires certified companies to implement a number of best practices. They can be easily broken down into four categories:
- Reduce ad fraud by implementing or supporting IAB Tech Lab’s ads.txt, sellers.json, and OpenRTB Supply Chain Object
- Uphold brand safety by obtaining TAG Brand Safety Certification
- Improve the advertising experience by adhering to The Coalition for Better Ads advertising standards
- Address data processing and privacy concerns by adopting IAB Europe’s Transparency Consent Framework (TCF)
By adhering to this criteria, tech partners can assure advertisers that they conform to the highest standards of ad trading. Increasingly, brands and agencies are reviewing their tech partnerships based on the levels of transparency and brand safety they provide. We expect Gold Standard 2.0 certification to become a priority for major advertisers as companies seek collaboration in order to achieve strong results in 2021.
We spoke to Jon Mew, CEO at the IAB UK, who reiterated the importance of working together in the current climate. “While no two businesses will be dealing with the effects of the pandemic in the same way, we are collectively navigating new territory and maintaining a sense of unity is beneficial for all. We may have to remain working remotely for the time being, but by coming together we can continue to grow, learn, and evolve.”
The Gold Standard is open to all IAB UK members who buy and sell digital media. It improves the digital advertising experience, addresses concerns around data processing and privacy, tackles ad fraud and upholds brand safety. For more information you can contact our demand team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Ed Wale is Managing Director, EMEA at SpotX.