Unilever, O2 and Sky among brands joining Jicwebs blockchain pilot

Trial launched in July to to evaluate how blockchain can tackle trust problems in online ads.

Jicwebs: pilot designed to improve trust and transparency in digital advertising
Jicwebs: pilot designed to improve trust and transparency in digital advertising

A number of brands, media owners and agencies – including Unilever, O2 and Sky – have signed up to Jicwebs’ blockchain pilot programme, which is designed to bolster trust and transparency in digital advertising.

In July, Nestlé, McDonald’s and Virgin Media signed up as the first brands to join the pilot, with their respective media agencies (Zenith, OMD UK and Manning Gottlieb OMD) also onboard. Their arrival followed the web measurement body's calls in May for the industry to join the project.

The initiative has now gained the support of O2 and Unilever and their respective agencies (Havas and Mindshare), as well as Sky, Gumtree, Netmums and Rightmove.

Meanwhile, ISBA, one of Jicwebs’ founding members, is carrying out a separate study of the programmatic supply chain. It is an end-to-end industry market audit that will provide a "snapshot" of some of the problems around trust that the industry faces. It complements Jicwebs’ pilot, which is evaluating how blockchain could be a definitive solution to those problems.

Richard Reeves, managing director of the Association of Online Publishers, said: "We welcome all initiatives that increase transparency for our members and shed light on where advertising spend is being distributed across the digital supply chain."

Jon Mew, chief executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK, added: "We’re delighted to see so many of our members sign up to these opportunities to enhance transparency across the programmatic supply chain. I would encourage all IAB members to take part in the Jicwebs pilot."

If the pilot is successful, Jicwebs will consult the industry on how to implement the initiative in 2020.

Earlier this autumn, Facebook and Instagram earned Jicwebs brand-safety certification.

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