ABC named as IAB's Gold Standard auditor

IAB UK appointed ABC to ensure confidence in its online advertising standards, ahead of the launch of Gold Standard 2.0 later in the year.

New Gold Standard aims to reduce ad fraud and improve the digital advertising experience
New Gold Standard aims to reduce ad fraud and improve the digital advertising experience

The Audit Bureau of Circulations, the magazine, newspaper and online auditing company, is partnering with the IAB UK as the auditor of its Gold Standard.

The company, which represents digital advertisers, believes that introducing a trusted, independent auditor is a key part of giving brands and agencies renewed confidence in the Gold Standard. 

The ABC has played a key role in developing and auditing online standards for 25 years, having launched Jicwebs in 1996, and is used by 85% of companies that adhered to the Jicwebs DTWG brand safety principles, which are also part of the Gold Standard. 

It comes after the IAB announced the launch of Gold Standard 2.0, a new version of its certification process that aims to reduce ad fraud and improve the digital advertising experience, in January. An auditor is yet to named for 2.0.

The IAB and Google have come under fire from data privacy campaigners over the standards set for online advertising, while the UK data watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office has been investigating the real-time bidding supply chain. 

Tim Elkington, IAB UK’s chief digital officer, said: "By appointing ABC – an independent third-party auditor – to audit the Gold Standard certification process, we are not only providing assurance of its thoroughness, we are also able to ensure that we put in place internal measures to maintain this level of rigour as the Gold Standard grows and evolves." 

The Gold Standard 2.0 incorporates the Transparency and Consent Framework, a widely promoted industry standard for online advertising. The IAB also launched a 2.0 version of the TCF last year.

As of January, there were currently 93 media owners, media agencies and adtech companies certified, with another 11 registered to certify.