Digital display ad market unites to stamp out ad misplacement

All the representatives of the UK's digital display advertising market have joined forces to set up a good practice guide in an attempt to prevent ads being placed next to inappropriate content.

Nick Stringer: the director of regulatory affairs at IAB
Nick Stringer: the director of regulatory affairs at IAB

The Digital Trading Standards Group, which comprises the Association of Online Publishers (AOP), ISBA, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), hopes the initiative will inject greater transparency into the market.

The UK Good Practice Principles project comes after year of high profile ad misplacements, including Nationwide being embroiled in the #FBrape scandal and Save the Children leading an ad boycott of Ask.fm after the suicide of a 14-year-old girl.

Principles will include "wide use" of content verification tools and better scheduling of content to ensure advertising is less likely to be associated with inappropriate or illegal content that could jeopardise the brand.

Nick Stringer, the director of regulatory affairs at IAB, said: "The Good Practice Principles represent a major step forward for the whole industry to help minimise the risk of ad misplacement in a complex market.

"They will give marketers greater confidence to continue to invest in digital and the IAB encourages all relevant ad trading businesses to participate."

Under the principles businesses will have their ad misplacement policies verified by an independent third party, which will entitle them to a "seal of compliance" to prove their practices have been audited.

The principles are endorsed by the UK’s Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards and will replace the Internet Advertising Sales House (IASH) code of conduct.

The IPA’s and ISBA’s own principles that were published earlier this year will be superseded by the new principles.