Havas Media Group has become the latest company to be certified for both anti-fraud and brand safety by JICWEBS, an independent body defining best practice and standards for online advertising and trading in the UK.

Havas’ certification for brand safety and anti-fraud now takes the total tally of aligned groups to 72 since JICWEBS announced plans to tackle ad fraud within the online advertising industry January last year.

Demand for trust

Companies are awarded if an independent audit – from the likes of ABC, BPA or ePrivacy – verifies their processes meet JICWEBS’ Good Practice Principles to reduce the risk of ads being served against inappropriate content and/or reduce the risk of fraudulent ads being served.

Affectv, RadiumOne, Underton and Collective are just a number of ad companies already certified by JICWEBS.

“Advertisers want greater trust and transparency in the digital ad chain and it will become increasingly difficult for suppliers to strike trading agreements if they aren’t accredited through JICWEBS,” commented Richard Foan, chairman of JICWEBS.

“Certification shows advertisers who is making a genuine commitment to protect their investment against fraud and unsafe brand environments.”

100% programmatic

Havas Media Group’s certification follows the agency’s claim of becoming “100% programmatic” last year, with over a quarter of its workforce now trained on the workings of automated ad buying in an effort to foster more trust among their clients.

At the time the announcement, Alfonso Rodes Vila, deputy CEO of Havas Group and CEO of Havas Media Group spoke on the need for understanding of programmatic technology across the supply chain in order to secure advertiser trust; “programmatic is the new reality – and whatever our role is, we must understand audiences, addressable content and personalised messages.”

Noticeable reduction in fraud

Despite issues with ad fraud and advertiser trust in programmatic technology coming to a head in 2017, Julia Smith, director of communications for Impact Radius, predicted a “noticeable reduction” in fraud for 2018, aided by the likes of JICWEBS’ accreditation.

“I expect the UK will see an increasing number of companies becoming accredited,” said Smith.

“Those who are not accredited by JICWEBS can expect to see a negative impact on trading so it will become a must have for fraud providers and trading platforms.”

Smith also regarded Ads.txt as a “crucial step forwards” to delivering increased transparency across the industry, closely follow closely followed by a significant uptake in the use of blockchain technology in programmatic trading.