IAB UK introduces tougher Gold Standard criteria

IAB UK Gold StandardIAB UK, a digital advertising trade association, has made changes to its Gold Standard certification, introducing stricter criteria for businesses to meet in order to gain accreditation.

The Gold Standard was introduced in 2017 with the aim of cleaning up the digital advertising ecosystem by getting IAB UK members to focus on improving in areas of ad fraud, brand safety, and transparency. Since then, the standard has been achieved by a number of companies including the likes of Facebook and Instagram, GroupM, Publicis Media, Google, Amazon, Spotify, Samsung, and many others.

Previously, these companies were only required to be registered with JICWEBS and to complete an audit within six months. This requirement has now been expanded to include that companies must be fully certified under the JICWEBS Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) for Brand Safety before they are able to gain accreditation.

Thresholds have also been introduced to support both ads.txt and the Coalition for Better Ads principles. Both buy-side and sell-side platforms must now ensure that 90 per cent of the traffic they deliver includes a valid ads.txt file, while a minimum of 99 per cent of the domains platforms work with must conform to the Coalition for Better Ads standards. As part of this, companies will need to demonstrate how they filter non-compliant inventory.

Moreover, IAB UK has added the requirement for companies to undergo IAB UK Gold Standard training, as well as asking businesses which trade in-app inventory to raise awareness and encourage adoption of app-ads.txt.

“In its first year, the IAB UK Gold Standard has been embraced by every part of the digital advertising value chain, with over 100 companies registered or certified. However, to support a sustainable future for digital advertising, standards must continue to be raised and the progression to IAB UK Gold Standard 1.1 adds benchmarks that must now be achieved,” said Tim Elkington, chief digital officer at IAB UK. “Whilst I am confident the industry will rise to meet these new standards, it will be incumbent upon us all to ensure the IAB UK Gold Standard continues to evolve to meet the demands of this dynamic industry.”

In order to help members transition to the new requirements, IAB UK will hire its first dedicated standards manager, who will be responsible for driving the thresholds throughout the UK digital advertising industry.

Companies which have already achieved the Gold Standard certification will be required to transition to the new standards. IAB UK says it will support these companies through the transition, but has not yet provided a deadline for when they must meet the thresholds.

What the industry has to say about the Gold Standard