Tesco and McDonald’s the first brands to commit to ‘gold standard’ to clean up digital advertising

The brands have said they will only use digital suppliers that have signed up to the IAB gold standard as the industry tries to clean up the digital ad ecosystem.

digital adsTesco and McDonald’s are the first advertisers to commit to using the IAB UK’s ‘gold standard’, meaning they will only work wherever possible with digital ad suppliers that have signed up to the initiative.

The gold standard aims to bring together industry attempts to combat ad fraud, improve brand safety and improve the digital ad experience for users. To be certified, companies have to implement ads.txt, undergo an independent audit by JICWEBS’ digital trading standards group and adhere to the principles set out by the Coalition of Better Ads around reducing ad formats that annoy and interrupt the digital experience.

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Currently, 95 media owners, media agencies and ad tech companies have been certified. By bringing brands on board, the hope is it will force more suppliers to sign up to the certificate and therefore clean up the digital ad ecosystem.

IAB UK’s chief digital officer Tim Elkington says: “Since its inception, gold standard adoption has been really strong. The fact that advertisers are now getting behind the initiative is crucial in cementing its effectiveness.

“Tesco and McDonald’s are leading by example when it comes to advertisers’ responsibility to improve digital advertising. It’s only by having all parts of the industry on board that we can affect real change.”

Tesco has spoken before about its “frustration” that so much of its media budget is “siphoned off” and spent on ad verification and ad tech, rather than reaching consumers. By signing up to only use suppliers that have achieved gold standard status, Tesco hopes this will free up budget and ensure the effectiveness of its spend.

Tesco’s head of media and campaign planning Nick Ashley says: “We’re delighted to be among the first advertisers to support IAB UK’s gold standard. It’s in all of our best interests to collectively raise online ad standards, as we strive to communicate to our customers in the most helpful, relevant and effective way.”

However, he sees the gold standard as merely a starting point, with more work needing to be done to agree on industry-wide standards.

“The IAB gold standard is a clear start to building better standards across the industry; moving forward we also encourage all stakeholders to agree a single industry-wide set of standards that we can all get behind,” Ashley adds.