The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK has today (May 3) announced the first set of companies to become IAB Gold Standard certified in a bid to raise standards in the digital advertising industry.

Launched in November last year, the Gold Standard Initiative which was approved by the IAB UK board member companies comprises of three main components – reducing ad fraud & ad blocking, improving the digital advertising experience and increasing brand safety – as the institution enforces its strategic focus on building a sustainable and transparent online advertising space.

Among the 13 companies certified are AppNexus, AutoTrader, Bauer Media, GroundTruth, Inskin Media, Media IQ Digital, News UK, Precise.TV, Sovrn, The Guardian, The Student Room, Time Inc. and Weve.

“We’re really passionate about the Gold Standard because it demonstrates the commitment of IAB members to make the digital advertising experience better for everyone,” said Tim Elkington, chief digital officer at the IAB UK.

“Companies from all areas of the ecosystem are working together to reduce ad fraud, maximise brand safety and improve the advertising experience by adhering to industry guidelines and good practice.”

According to the IAB UK, companies are required to meet the compliance criteria relevant for the type of company they are in order to be certified by the Gold Standard Initiative – determined by a cross-industry IAB Gold Standard Group made up of IAB members including agencies, publishers and ad tech companies.  

This April saw the House of Lords Communications Committee launched an enquiry into the digital advertising industry which questions the activity of larger ad tech companies following complaints of lack of choice available to advertisers and poor levels of transparency.

“As the industry comes under increasing regulatory and government scrutiny it is critical that we continue to work together to demonstrate that we are a responsible industry that is taking steps to address the issues that have the potential to undermine trust in digital advertising, and to show that we can effectively self-regulate.” added IAB UK’s senior public policy manager, Christie Dennehy-Neil.

Jon Mew, IAB UK’s CEO, concluded that the Gold Standard Initiative is a “straightforward way” for buyers and sellers to demonstrate their commitment to the industry and join the mission of building a sustainable future for digital advertising.