66% of display ad industry is signed up to good practice principles to avoid ad misplacement

Two-thirds of the display advertising industry have signed up to ‘good practice principles’ set by the Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG), according to a report published by the UK’s Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS).

The report, produced by DTSG shows that many of the applicable digital display market which includes advertisers, agencies and ad exchanges, have signed up to ‘good practice principles’ set by DTSG in December 2013.

Twenty-eight ad businesses have been awarded seals confirming they meet standards aimed at reducing the risk of online ads being served next to inappropriate or illegal content, which includes the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google’s DoubleClick and AOL. A further 13 are progressing towards the same accreditation.

Guy Phillipson, CEO of the IAB UK says: “The UK digital advertising industry has made good progress in delivering cross-industry good practice, making transparency and increased trust in the supply chain a reality.”

DTSG, the committee focused on brand safety – comprising members from all sectors of the digital display ad trading ecosystem set out six commitments for those involved in the buying, selling or facilitating of digital display advertising to significantly reduce the risk of display advertising misplacement.

The commitments ask all parties involved to use certified tools and have agreed misplacement minimisation policies verified by JICWEBS.

JICWEBS accreditors will check that all parties including buyers and sellers of ad space have a contract of terms and policies relating to the transaction of ads, that a statement of reasonable endeavours have been applied to minimise the risk of ad misplacement and that internal policies procedures and controls relating to the placement of ads, such as the right tools are being used.

Trade bodies such as The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) have repeatedly asked for its groups, including marketing directors, trading directors and CEOs to request their buying teams to ask suppliers if they are DTSG accredited prior to transactions, according to the report. The IPA has said that vendors that are not accredited pose a greater risk to brands should be placed under greater scrutiny.

The IPA Digital Media Group predicts that the amount of signatories signed up to principles set by DTSG will reach 80-90% this year.

In the past, marketers have been negatively affected when their ads were placed beside inappropriate content. Facebook was one publisher that was repeatedly criticised for allowing display ads to appear near groups, pages or images that showed violent content.

Brands such as Nissan UK and Nationwide suspended advertising on the social platform in May 2013, after consumers complained that their ads were placed nearby content that promoted domestic abuse and rape.

Facebook has since become a signatory to DTSG’s good practice principles.

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