IASH developing new tech to stop ads showing on dodgy websites


Trade body Internet Advertising Sales Houses (IASH) has announced an investigation into the use of real-time “Content Safe” services, to help advertisers ensure their messages are not shown next to inappropriate content on the web. The use of these real-time content-screening services will be complementary to the established IASH Code of Conduct, which prohibits the use of barred content such as hate, indecent or obscene sites.

‘Content Safe’ or ‘Content Verification’ services can provide an additional layer of protection for advertisers online, and reflect the IASH mission to protect brands from appearing next to inappropriate content. They involve the analysis of URLs and web content to detect inappropriate content to ensure that brands can minimise any risk associated with where their adverts appear online. Brands can choose certain terms, semantics or websites on an ongoing basis to reduce the risk of their ads being placed inappropriately.


Led by its Technical and Ad Ops sub-committee, chaired by Addvantage Media’s Harvey Sarjant, IASH issued a Request for Information (RFI) in January to review what is available in the market. Eight Content Verification suppliers* have responded, indicating they can meet the minimum set of requirements outlined by IASH. Each supplier is being invited to undergo testing independently verified by ABCe, with the results to be announced once that review is complete by the Autumn of 2010.

IASH, under its new chair Matt Whaley, founder of Jemm Media, actively supports engagement with new technologies which demonstrate the continued growth and accountability of digital advertising. The role of IASH and ABCe is to conduct independent reviews of these technologies to provide a stamp of trust based on industry-agreed standards.

Matt Whaley, chair of IASH: “This is a big step for not only IASH but the digital advertising as a whole. Our industry employs some of the brightest minds, who keep technology developing at a rapid pace, it is our job to help advertisers and agencies understand this technology and how they can apply it to their own campaigns.

“IASH is in the perfect position to endorse products and services that will contribute significantly to further brand safety online, as long as they pass the tests our industry have independently set out, based on industry agreed and JICWEBS-endorsed criteria.”

Richard Foan, MD of ABCe: "Our digital market – including major companies such as Microsoft and Unanimis - is leading the way in the use of technology. One element of that is Content Verification tools and the increased trust they can deliver. IASH with ABCe is delivering best practice in this area by encouraging CV providers to offer transparency to the users of their systems. This approach, through IASH, seeks to enable choice of supplier while managing industry agreed self regulation, for the benefit of professionals across our industry."

Julia Smith, head of IASH said: “It is the responsibility of the Council and its members to regularly investigate ways in which IASH can better serve brands and reinforce their confidence in the medium. We are currently looking into various ways of taking this protection to the next level, and enlisting Content Safe services may enable us to do that.”

The 8 suppliers on the shortlist are:

The 8 suppliers on the shortlist are:

Advert Angel
Crystal Semantics
Project Sunblock



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