The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has today (May 17) launched its Global Media Charter – a call to encourage reform to the digital advertising ecosystem.

In collaboration with some of the world’s largest advertisers, including Procter & Gamble and Unilever, the documented framework sets of eight core principles to address some of the industry’s ongoing issues around transparency, brand safety and ad fraud.

The Charter will become a mandatory framework that all agencies, ad tech firms and media platforms must abide to establish better relations and secure ad revenue. The mandated principles include ‘zero tolerance’ for ad fraud and compensation for any breach in addition to ‘brand safety protection’, ‘minimum viewability thresholds’ and improving standards with ‘data transparency’.

On announcing the framework, Stephan Loerke, chief executive of WFA said that “the time for indulgence is over”, adding that the “largest chunk of the world’s marketing budgets is now invested in digital platforms and advertisers have a right to demand that the money they invest can be clearly tracked and understood.”

“We also need to be reassured that brand and consumer interests are protected in these new platforms.” he said.

Cleaning things up

The likes of Procter & Gamble and Unilever have for some time been critical of the digital marketing industry. Earlier in February saw Unilever’s chief executive officer Keith Weed stating that the company may consider pulling its ads from platforms such as Facebook, that “create divisions” and prevent an environment where “our consumers don’t trust what they see online”.

Procter & Gamble’s brand officer Marc Pritchard made a similar statement last year, criticising Google and Facebook’s “walled gardens” and demanding transparency from the media supply chain, branding it as “murky at best”.

“We serve ads to consumers through a non-transparent media supply chain with spotty compliance to common standards, unreliable measurement, hidden rebates and new inventions like bot and methbot fraud,” Pritchard said at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership event in Florida.

Industry responds

A number of agencies and tech companies responded to the news of the WFA’s Global Media Carter, with US mobile advertising company Taptica’s director of business development EMEA Ruth Manielevitch calling it a “welcome step in regulating and standardising practice in digital marketing,”

“The industry still has a long way to go – but this new charter is certainly a positive sign that the industry is moving in the right direction.” she said.

Eric Visser, CEO and founder of programmatic advertising firm JustPremium added that with the digital advertising industry changing by the minute, it is crucial that “we continue to grow with it”.

“We have always striven to ensure quality, creativity and transparency are at the heart of everything we do,” said Visser; “It’s only by following these fundamental principles that we are able to bring truly unprecedented value to our partners.”