It's time to take action on advertising's biggest digital ad woes

The IAB has released a set of statements around five issues it deems crucial to ensure a successful future for digital advertising, but is a statement enough to galvanise an industry around these problems?

Following the IAB Believes initiative the industry needs to take action
Following the IAB Believes initiative the industry needs to take action

This week the IAB released statements around five digital advertising issues, clarifying its position on areas that have come under scrutiny over the past year.

The topics of brand safety, viewability, fraud, ad blocking and privacy (see bottom for the statements) are real pain points for many brands and placing focus on them has been largely welcomed. Although releasing these during the height of summer, when many brands are out of action has been questioned.

But what next? What part do brands and the wider industry need to play in creating a better digital advertising ecosystem?

Dominic Grounsell, global digital marketing director at Travelex, said advertisers need to partly look at themselves and to the quality of ads, which has led to issues such as an increase in consumers using ad blockers.

"I think the advertising industry also needs to take a hard look at itself also. The explosion of digital advertising in recent years has left many sites looking very cluttered and new ad formats are often intrusive and annoying in the way they attempt to interrupt your experience. If campaigns were more effectively targeted and relevant, we might stem the tide of people turning to ad blocking to avoid the 'noise'," he said.

But with these issues spreading far and wide, it will take more than advertisers and the IAB to kick some change into the industry. The IPA and ISBA have come out with responses to the statements but Grounsell believes it needs to reach as wide as possible.

"It feels like this issue needs to be debated more visibly across the advertising industry - media owners, media agencies, creative agencies and clients. The threat this trend presents to one of the critical pillars of the marketing mix is such that we need a fully holistic response. This is one of those issues that demands the combined effort of all our key trade bodies i.e. ISBA, IPA, IAB, AA," he said.

IAB Believes five statements

1.  The IAB believes in brand safety online. Maintaining processes that ensure a safe environment for ad trading, thereby minimising the risk of misplacement, protecting the integrity and reputation of brands, and stifling the funding of content and services that infringe copyright.

See the full statement here

2. The IAB believes in maximising ad viewability. Working across the industry with accredited technology partners to develop cross platform standards, our goal is to achieve effective viewability, engagement and attention for advertisers' online campaigns.

See the full statement here

3. The IAB believes in tackling ad fraud head on. We are committed to ensuring that the significant investment brands make in digital advertising is effective and reaches the right audience. Working with our industry partners, we will issue practical advice, and accredit technology solutions to stamp out fraud in the supply chain.

See the full statement here

4. The IAB believes in an ad funded internet. Our goal is to help make all forms of digital advertising more effective, efficient and relevant to people¹s interests. We want to help brands reach their audience and to provide revenue to publishers so they can continue to make their content, services and applications widely available to British citizens at the appropriate cost. We believe ad blocking undermines this approach.

See the full statement here

5. The IAB believes in privacy. Together with our industry partners across Europe and beyond, we are working to ensure advertising businesses give citizens greater transparency and control over the information that is collected and used to make advertising more relevant and effective.

See the full statement here