Trade bodies come together to tackle online ad fraud in the UK

The advertising industry’s trade bodies have confirmed that they will produce a set of standards to tackle online ad fraud by July 2015, which is said to be costing brands billions.

The Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) is made up of various trade bodies including the Voice of British Advertisers (ISBA), Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

JICWEBS will establish good practice principles for a range industry actors including media agencies, programmatic ad platforms, publishers and networks. After setting these principles in July 2015, it looks to announce accredited companies for meeting industry standards to reduce the risk of fraudulent ads being served.

The announcement comes after a recent US study by the Association of National Advertisers predicted that online ad fraud would cost advertisers $6.3 billion globally. Until now, there had been no announcement of how this issue would be tackled in the UK.

There is increased concern from advertisers about how much ads can be seen, as many increase use of programmatic advertising, an automated form of ad placement.

In November 2014 Dominic Grounsell, sales and marketing director at More Th>n, spoke about the worry marketers have as they consistently battle with only knowing that 50% of marketing is working, during a discussion held by The Marketing Society at the Festival of Marketing.

JICWEBS will liaise with relevant US industry bodies to produce a complementary anti-fraud framework. Although there is a need for local standards, international brands will need to work with global standards, according to a statement from JICWEBS.

JICWEBS will also make an interim announcement in February 2015 updating the industry on the different types of online ad fraud. A frequently mentioned form of fraud comes from “bots”, which suggest that advertisers are getting more impressions than they do in reality.

Bob Wootton, director of media and advertising at ISBA says: “Fraud seems to have permeated every level of the supply chain, even the premium sites, and it is quite rightly a major concern for advertisers that we need to tackle.”

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