The Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) has launched its first advertising campaign calling on marketers to only work with digital advertising suppliers that adhere to the Gold Standard.

Labelled as its “multifaceted initiative to improve the digital advertising ecosystem”, IAB’s Gold Standard is being demanded from its media partners in the six-week campaign urging marketers to ‘shelve the silverware’.

The IAB is the UK’s industry body for digital advertising, committed to building a sustainable future in the sector. Through its partnership with TMW Unlimited, the campaign has been provided with insights powered by its Human Understanding Lab, encompassing display, social, search, and influencer marketing.

The latest campaign from the IAB emphasises the importance of its Gold Standard, an initiative that requires certified companies to implement tools to tackle ad fraud, uphold brand safety, and improve the online experience for consumers.

Gold Standard certification can be achieved by any IAB member that buys and sells digital media, but advertisers are excluded from certification. However, the IAB aims to draw close attention to the “crucial role” that advertisers can play in the marketing process, by encouraging them to prioritise Gold Standard certified companies in its campaign.

What’s the end goal?

In a statement released by the IAB, its Gold Standard is described as having the potential to be the most important driver of positive change in digital advertising, if it’s adopted across the supply chain.

James Chandler, CMO of IAB UK, explains, “With three quarters of advertisers’ spend going into digital channels, it’s imperative that marketers are aware of what the Gold Standard is, why it matters and how to support it.”

First launched in October 2017, the Gold Standard 2.1 later introduced tools to support supply chain transparency when released in 2022, while also expanding the remit of the Gold Standard to cover audio, CTV and gaming.

“With this campaign, we want to get the Gold Standard on the radar of all major brands in the UK and encourage them to prioritise the companies that are adhering to it.” Chandler explains.

He continues to detail the message behind the IAB’s new campaign, “Our industry creates brilliant, boundary pushing creative work - and that should be celebrated - but an obsession with awards is ultimately meaningless if we’re not getting the fundamentals right and jointly upholding core standards. All digital advertisers need to be demanding the Gold Standard as a necessity from their partners.”

The Gold Standard has continuously been recognised positively by policy makers in the marketing industry. As well as being central to the industry’s self-regulatory framework, it has garnered support from other industry bodies.

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