Media holding groups Group M and Publicis Media are the latest companies to attain the Gold Standard certification set by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK in a bid to combat ad fraud and increase brand safety.

Following the launch of its Gold Standard Initiative, the IAB UK has awarded 55 companies to date, with a further 37 in the process of receiving the trade body’s certification.

Launched in November last year, the Gold Standard Initiative, which was approved by the IAB UK, comprises of three main components – reducing ad fraud and 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.

Publicis Media and Group M’s digital programmatic services are the first two networks to have approached the Gold Standard at a group level, and join the likes of Google, Oath, AppNexus and the Guardian in having met the stipulations set by the trading body.

Bethan Crockett, senior director of brand safety and digital risk at GroupM EMEA, said it was “important that the industry commits widely to implementing best practice standards to demonstrate accountability and to drive quality execution across digital advertising”.

Publicis Media UK chief executive, Sue Frogley added that it was “incumbent” on the entire media industry to work as a whole to tackle the big issues surrounding the sector.

“We urge our peers and partners to get involved and get certified – after all it will be to the benefit of us all,” she said.

On the Gold Standard Initiative, IAB UK’s CEO Jon Mew said that 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.