Digital Display Steps Up To The Plate, Finally

Digital display has its issues, but you have to hand it to the industry -- it's certainly trying to put its house in order. You may well say it's about time, but let's at least give the industry a round of applause for realising reform is absolutely required, even if the conversation seems a little late on the proverbial road to Damascus.

For evidence, look no further than today's announcement that Inskin Media has become the first ad network to get IAB UK's Gold Standard. 

Regular readers will know that I have been banging on for quite some time that the industry needs a comprehensive seal of approval, and this is a very good start. The Gold Standard is very welcome because it incorporates three attributes in one award.

First off, we have use of ads.txt to ensure that brands' advertising goes on the premium sites they think they are paying for, and not a ripoff pretending to be that destination. That means we have anti-fraud ticked off, or at least mostly ticked off. Secondly, we also have brand safety certification. In principle, advertisers should be able to rest assured that their budget is going on inventory that won't leave them red-faced. 

Perhaps most interestingly for me, we also have a commitment to IAB UK's LEAN principles as well as the Coalition for Better Ads. In short, that means the networks are only seeking to work with responsible publishers that place ads where they are acceptable. 

Just fire up a few news stories from the non-subscription-based local and national press and you'll instantly see how important this is. Checking out your local news becomes virtually impossible on a mobile device and every page opened on a free national site is soon accompanied by a video blaring out.

The one obvious aspect missing from the Gold Standard is viewability certification, but apparently that's a potential addition to what is currently very much positioned as the 1.0 Standard. 

The current seal of approval is an IAB initiative, while viewability is very much in JICWEBS sphere of influence. A chat between the two is incredibly likely, I would predict.

As it is, we now have out there in the wild a Gold Standard that brands can look to for reassurance fraud, safety and customer experience are taken care of. 

That's as good a way of ending the week as any, surely?

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