Following up on the planned actions in its battle against ad fraud, independent online ad trading standard body JICWEBS will certify companies enforcing combative measures.

Participating publishers, ad tech providers and agencies will be able to take part in an independent review, examining their processes to check if they lower the risk of serving fraudulent online ads. If successful, the businesses will earn a certification seal.

The audit will verify the companies against JICWEBS’ anti-fraud Good Practice Principles, which include, among others, adopting policies and strategies to identify fraud and mitigate its impact, implementing technology to detect and prevent fraud, and filtering traffic through vendors who prioritise fraud detection.

ABC’s chairman, Richard Foan, considers this as a new way to demonstrate commitment in tackling the issue.

“This is a real opportunity for companies to back up the talk by showing they’re actively committed to reducing the risk of online ad fraud across our industry,” he said.

Among the independent third-party companies implementing the verification process are ABC and BPA Worldwide.

Trust and transparency

Although Integral Ad Science revealed earlier this year that the rates of ad fraud in the UK in Q1 were lower than any seen in the same period last year, the Association of National Advertisers predicted that advertisers will lose $7.2 billion to ad fraud in 2016, up from $6.3 billion in 2015.

With potential losses looming over the industry, JICWEBS’ efforts to reduce the levels of the crime received a warm welcome.

Santander’s chief marketing officer Keith Moor highlights the company’s full support for the initiative.

“As a member of JICWEBS’ UK Cross-Industry Anti-Fraud Commercial Working Group, Santander has been working with other advertisers and our digital media partners to reduce the risk of exposure to ad fraud,” he commented, adding the company is looking forward to working with certified businesses committed to improving transparency and protecting the “digital investment”.

Bethan Crockett, digital risk director at GroupM, too, has shown support for delivering trust and transparency to the industry.

“We’ll continue to be part of JICWEBS anti-fraud group as this important initiative delivers the increased trust our clients demand,” he confirmed.

It’s expected that the first reviews will take place in Q4 this year.

More options

This isn’t the only certificate available for companies wanting to prove their commitment against fraud. The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) recently launched a “Certified Against Fraud” initiative to reduce the risk of ad fraud across digital advertising, witnessing uptake from companies including Sociomantic, Appnexus and Integral Ad Science. 

TAG certification gives companies the choice of either self-certificating, which only requires the business attests to following the Certified Against Fraud Guidelines, or going through an independent validation, where, similarly to JICWEBS, companies are judged by an independent vendor.