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IAB UK launches Gold Standard 2.1

David Murphy

IAB UK has launched the latest version of its Gold Standard, which incorporates new criteria to strengthen end-to-end transparency within the digital advertising supply chain. Improving supply chain transparency is an ongoing cross-industry priority and trade bodies including the Advertising Association, ISBA (representing brands) and The IPA (representing agencies) are vocally backing the latest version of the Gold Standard, which aims to add rigour to the existing framework.

The overriding aim of the Gold Standard, which first launched in 2017, is to bring together industry initiatives that address challenges in online advertising, including ad fraud, brand safety and ad bombardment. The evolved criteria, which launches today after a period of industry consultation, introduces new requirements focused on improving transparency within digital advertising. 

Companies certified under the new criteria must commit to implementing IAB Tech Labs’ Buyers.json and DemandChain Object to help address the challenge of scam ads and bring transparency to programmatic transactions. Tech Labs’ Open Measurement SDK (OMSDK) has also been added, to help facilitate third-party viewability and verification measurement for ads served in web video and app environments. Meanwhile, the new criteria incorporates an upgrade of ads.txt, with certified companies needing to adhere to ads.txt 1.1. 

The latest launch also broadens the scope of companies that can become Gold Standard certified. Audio, CTV and gaming businesses are now eligible for certification, reflecting the growing diversification of digital channels. This is in addition to display and video advertising, which have been covered by the Gold Standard since it first launched in 2017. 

The first IAB UK members to be certified under the new criteria are: Activision Blizzard Media, Auto-Trader, Global, GroupM, Hearst, Index Exchange, Magnite, Meta, Omnicom Media Group, The Guardian and Tik Tok.

Publishers, platforms, ad tech providers and media agencies are all eligible for Gold Standard certification. Advertisers cannot be Gold Standard certified, but can help to improve standards in digital advertising by becoming Gold Standard supporters and encouraging their suppliers to be Gold Standard certified.

“Bringing greater transparency to the digital advertising supply chain is a key priority for our industry, and something our members are committed to helping deliver,” said IAB UK CEO, Jon Mew. “By incorporating these new steps into the Gold Standard, we’re taking a significant step towards that, and it’s brilliant that the first companies to be certified come from across the digital ecosystem. This is further reinforced by the support for the Gold Standard from the AA, ISBA and IPA, and shows that our industry is pulling in the same direction for real, effective change.”