FT, Trinity Mirror & Reckitt Benckiser among brands to attend first UK trade body-led group to combat online ad fraud

UK advertising trade bodies have formed a working group aimed at tackling the ongoing issue of online ad fraud, with the Financial Times, Trinity Mirror and Reckitt Benckiser among the brand and media owner attendees.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), IPA, ISBA, and ABC, which are all part of the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS), came together for the first ever cross-industry group meeting created to crack down on online ad fraud.

The group will publish anti-fraud good practice principles for the UK market in July, and will also oversee the accreditation processes for companies which meet the industry-agreed standards set out to reduce the risk of fraudulent ads being served.

Bob Wootton, ISBA’s director of media and advertising, referenced a recent US study from the Association of National Advertisers, which predicted that online ad fraud could cost advertisers $6.3bn globally this year.

“This is an astronomical sum and the issue has to be dealt with. Fraud seems to have permeated every level of the supply chain, even the premium sites, and is quite rightly a major concern for advertisers that we need to tackle. The first meeting in December was a technical discussion that has now been reported to JICWEBS. ISBA supports the management of this important area through JICWEBS, thus ensuring the needs of advertisers are foremost,” he said.

Part of the group’s remit will be to identify and define the different types of online ad fraud and the measures which companies can take to deflect it.

IAB UK chief executive Guy Phillipson said brand safety has “never been more important” to marketers given the increasingly complex supply chain.

“It’s our aim to work to minimise ad fraud in the UK as a united industry committee, and, working on the successful Display Trading Standards Group framework, we expect to achieve this through JICWEBS in 2015,” he added.

The IPA's consultant head of media and emerging tech Nigel Gwilliam, said tackling online ad fraud is "a priority" for 2015.

"The UK online ad industry has a great track record of working together to address issues of collective importance and the IPA looks forward to working with our industry partners on this,” he added.

The trade bodies, via JICWEBS, will liaise with their US counterparts to develop an anti-fraud framework for the US market to ensure global standards are in place.

Other attendees of the group in December were Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify and comScore.

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