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Digital Trading Standards Group Rubber Stamps 9 Companies For Brand Safety Certification

The Drum

The Drum
May 1, 2014

The Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) has edged closer to its goal of rooting out online ad misplacement having given nine companies the official stamp of approval from the UK’s Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS).

Ad2One, Crimtan, Exponential Interactive, IgnitionOne, Tubemogul, Vibrant Media, Quantcast, Specific Media, and Unruly have all been issued with brand safety Kitemarks (pictured), to show they have met industry-agreed standards and proved they strive to reduce the risk of ads being served next to inappropriate or illegal content online.

The DTSG, which is comprised of the AOP, ISBA, IPA and IAB, has issued a six-month deadline to companies to register with JICWEBS and commit to independent verification.

Pulsepoint, byyd Tech, Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo UK, Adaptv, AmnetUK, and Advertising.com have all pledged their commitment to being independently verified.

The move marks one of the first initiatives to come from the DTSG since it reformed, having disbanded for several months while its members solved certain disagreements regarding elements of the group’s policies.

In the interim the IPA and ISBA united to form a separate brand safety initiative, of which Ad2One was the first to receive verification.

However, now the DTSG has reformed the IPA-ISBA Brand Safety initiative has dissolved, and the new verification supersedes that one.

The move has been welcomed by brands.

Andy Muddimer, Santander’s head of digital, said: “Misplaced advertising is an issue that affects the whole online industry. In proactively working together we will foster trust and continue to see online ad spend grow. We encourage market take-up of the DTSG's good practice.”

David Ellison, ISBA marketing services manager, said: “We recommend our members use intermediaries that have been kitemark accredited, as it will provide them with much-needed reassurances over online brand safety.”

Richard Foan, JICWEBS facilitator said: “It has always been JICWEBS ambition to deliver an inclusive set of best practice principles. In this increasingly complex global market, which operates at scale, the industry needs signs about transparency and trust - which the kitemark delivers.”

The DTSG revealed the launch of UK industry guidelines last December, aimed at minimising the risk of online ads appearing against inappropriate or illegal content.

Last November, research from Project Sunblock revealed 38 per cent of UK advertisers don't know where their content is appearing online, while nearly half of all marketing decisions makers said online advertising is not transparent enough and doesn’t provide enough brand protection.

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