The IAB UK has announced that GroupM and Publicis Media, two of the largest media agency groups, have successfully completed their Gold Standard certification process. These two certifications bring the total number of certified firms to 55 in under one year.
The certification affirms that both companies have gone through the IAB UK's three-stage process, and have committed to reducing ad fraud through the ads.txt initiative, increasing brand safety by working with JICWEBS to uphold the Display Trading Standard Group Brand Safety Principles, and improving the digital ad experience by adhering to the IAB's LEAN principles.
"We are delighted to see two major media buying groups get behind the IAB Gold Standard in such a prominent manner," said Tim Elkington, chief digital officer of the IAB. "With GroupM and Publicis Media joining MC&C Media, Mediacom North, Spirit Media and Total Media, and a further six media agencies going through the certification process, it is testament to how the entire industry has embraced the Gold Standard."
Alongside the new network agency certifications, further agency support has come from Amnet Manchester, the7Stars, Goodstuff Communications, Havas, UM London and Xaxis, who have all recently registered their commitment to complete the Gold Standard process.
"We support the IAB's vision of creating a sustainable future for digital advertising and are delighted to complete the IAB Gold Standard certification process," said Sue Frogley, CEO of Publicis Media UK. "It is incumbent on our industry, and the entire media ecosystem as a whole, to work together to tackle the major issues encompassed by this standard so we urge our peers and partners to get involved and get certified - after all it will be to the benefit of us all."
Companies who sign up to the Gold Standard programme have six months to complete certification. This includes implementing changes to both technology platforms and processes covering ad fraud, brand safety and user experience, with compliance criteria tailored to each part of the value chain.
"GroupM has been a vocal supporter of the Gold Standard initiative since it was first announced in January this year," said Bethan Crockett, senior director of brand safety and digital risk for GroupM EMEA. "It is important that the industry commits widely to implementing best practice standards to demonstrate accountability and to drive quality execution across digital advertising. I'm thrilled that GroupM has been able to certify our Digital Programmatic Services under the Gold Standard principles. We will continue to support and encourage all our partners to adopt the IAB Gold Standard."