The IAB UK is changing the criteria required to receive its Gold Standard certification by introducing updates to encourage those in the ad tech industry to review their processes and take action where required.

IAB UK launched the Gold Standard initiative back in 2017 to improve the standards of online advertising. The Gold Standard comprises three main components: reducing advertising fraud, improving the digital experience and increasing brand safety.

However, more stringent rules for those looking to get approved to the scheme will be rolling out in the next few months.

Gold Standard 1.1

Previously, companies just needed to be registered with JICWEBS and complete an audit within six months, but now, the IAB UK has said that companies must be fully certified under the JICWEBS Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) for brand safety before they can receive Gold Standard accreditation.

New updates have also been introduced for support of both ads.txt and the Coalition for Better Ads principles and the Better Ads Standards. It is now a requirement for both buy-side and sell-side platforms, to ensure 90% of the traffic they deliver includes a valid ads.txt file.

In addition, there is a new criterion to demonstrate a minimum of 99% of the domains platforms work with conform to the Coalition for Better Ads standards. Demonstration of how non-compliant inventory is filtered will need to be provided as part of the Gold Standard Certification audit.

The IAB also wants those seeking the certification to undergo a training course, and businesses that trade in-app inventory will have to make sure they adopt the recently launched app-ads.txt protocol internally.

To support the updates, IAB UK is hiring its first-ever standards manager, who will be responsible for driving these quality thresholds throughout the UK digital ad industry.  Companies that have already achieved the current IAB UK Gold Standard certification will be supported through the transition to the new standards.

“To support a sustainable future for digital advertising, standards must continue to be raised and the progression to IAB UK Gold Standard 1.1 adds benchmarks that must now be achieved. Whilst I am confident the industry will rise to meet these new standards, it will be incumbent upon us all to ensure the IAB UK Gold Standard continues to evolve to meet the demands of this dynamic industry,” commented Tim Elkington, chief digital officer, IAB UK.