One year on: IAB reveals steps taken to solve digital advertising’s 5 biggest issues

Aug 3, 2016 | Online advertising, Regulation

One year after launching its “IAB Believes” initiative, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK has published a summary of the progress made to tackle the five biggest issues facing digital advertising. The “Believes” initiative outlined a concise industry position and the direction for each issue – brand safety, viewability, ad-fraud, (all ad verification issues), ad blocking […]

One year after launching its “IAB Believes” initiative, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK has published a summary of the progress made to tackle the five biggest issues facing digital advertising.


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The “Believes” initiative outlined a concise industry position and the direction for each issue – brand safety, viewability, ad-fraud, (all ad verification issues), ad blocking and privacy (both consumer-led issues).
“Despite growing at its fastest rate for seven years, digital advertising continues to face a number of medium term challenges, so it’s time to outline the huge amount of work that’s been going on, some behind the scenes, to tackle them,” says IAB UK’s CEO Guy Phillipson. “We’ve made good progress but, of course, there’s still plenty of work to be done, by everyone involved in the industry, and we’re committed to seeing this through.”
Digital is the fastest-growing advertising medium in the UK – worth £8.6bn, up 16.4% year-on-year – now accounting for about 43% of the total UK ad market.
The highlights are listed below. The full list of steps taken is available on the IAB website.
Ad blocking – launched DEAL as a set of options to help publishers; working towards the launch of the more detailed LEAN ad standards, supported by 44 IABs globally; delivered ongoing research to understand and monitor the issue; lobbying Government and regulators to raise concerns regarding mobile network ad blocking
Ad-fraud – Delivered a taxonomy of the 16 different types of potential online ad fraud; created Good Practice Principles against which companies can be audited; developing a certification programme with first companies expected to be certified early 2017
Viewability – Launched the second certification of viewability vendors to reduce discrepancies; released updated principles to include desktop video; developing a certification programme with first vendor companies expected to be certified early 2017
Brand Safety – 36 companies involved in the trading of digital display now certified in the third round of audits against the DTSG Good Practice Principles.
Privacy – launched a working group to respond to the new EU General Data Protection Regulation, and in discussion with Government and ICO following Brexit.
Last year, the trade body issued is “IAB Believes” initiative. Here is a summary of the five statements:
1. The IAB believes in brand safety online. Maintaining processes that ensure a safe environment for ad trading, thereby minimising the risk of misplacement, protecting the integrity and reputation of brands, and stifling the funding of content and services that infringe copyright.
2. The IAB believes in maximising ad viewability. Working across the industry with accredited technology partners to develop cross platform standards, our goal is to achieve effective viewability, engagement and attention for advertisers’ online campaigns.
3. The IAB believes in tackling ad fraud head on. We are committed to ensuring that the significant investment brands make in digital advertising is effective and reaches the right audience. Working with our industry partners, we will issue practical advice, and accredit technology solutions to stamp out fraud in the supply chain.
4. The IAB believes in an ad funded internet. Our goal is to help minimise Ad Blocking by making all forms of digital advertising more effective, acceptable and relevant to people¹s interests. We want to help brands reach their audience and to provide revenue to publishers so they can continue to make their content, services and applications widely available to British citizens at the appropriate cost. We believe ad blocking undermines this approach.
5. The IAB believes in privacy. Together with our industry partners across Europe and beyond, we are working to ensure advertising businesses give citizens greater transparency and control over the information that is collected and used to make advertising more relevant and effective.

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