ISBA draws up brand safety guidelines

ISBA is in the process of drawing up guidelines to educate its members on the latest developments on how online ad space is traded via programmatic methods, such as agency trading desks, as it prepares to launch industry-standard protocols for online brand safety with fellow trade bodies. 

Talks to between trade bodies to establish cross-industry guidelines to protect brands are still under way.

The trade body – which claims to be the voice of brand-side marketers – is in talks with consultancy firm ID Comms and ad technology provider Infectious Media to draw up the guidelines, which are expected to be made available to members early next year. 

ISBA confirmed such plans are underway with Marketing Week, adding that it had detected an appetite for basic best practice guidance on programmatic trading and real time bidding among its membership.

Such a document is expected to advise brands on how best to verify the safety of their brand online by asking for reassurances from their media agencies and third-party tech suppliers, such as domain-level reporting of where their ads are appearing online.

This comes just weeks after Marketing Week revealed a breakthrough in talks between the IAB, the IPA and ISBA to establish the Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) to agree brand safety protocols when trading media via ad networks or exchanges.    

Details of the expected DTSG are to be circulated among the three trade bodies’ members as early as next month with the proposed entity expected to launch early next year.

The DTSG is to be put in place to ensure instances of ad misplacement, i.e. brands’ ads appearing against inappropriate and illegal content, are minimised when using automated trading systems and is seen as a successor to the now defunct IASH. 

IASH was stood down in 2012 as its remit solely covered online ad networks, and the technology used to deliver display ads has since developed rapidly calling for a new set of best practice protocols.

The move also comes as online advertising technology firm DataXu is circulating a whitepaper urging the ad tech sector to be more transparent with brands over how their ads are traded using programmatic methods.

This includes recommending that advertisers ask for dynamic CPM billing models when dealing with programmatic buying companies and insist that they are given clear reporting of spend, impressions and actions by tactic.

It reads: “Agency teams should require satisfactory confirmation that
their campaign setup and delivery requirements are being met.

your [ad tech] vendor can’t show you a user interface of some kind, you’re probably not working with a real [demand-side platform] DSP or programmatic marketing company.”

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