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New US IAB chair wants to declare industry standard to help weed out 'bad actors' and 'fake news'

Setting industry standards – to combat the wave of fake news and ad fraud that is threatening both publishers and advertisers is imperative according to Jim Norton, the new chair of the US branch of the the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), an organization that represents the online advertising industry.

“A lot of bad actors out there are profiteering from proliferation of fake news unreliable content, using social media platforms and new ad technology. How do we weed out the bad actors?" Norton told BeetTV recently. "We can do a much better job.”

The IAB post is Norton’s second new industry role in just a few months. In October, Condé Nast hired him from AOL as its chief business officer and president of revenue.

Norton's place at the center of the digital media and marketing conversation brings his understanding of adtech complexities into play. He hopes to support quality content, fight fraud while also optimizing data and adopting and enforcing technical standards.

His plan, revealed in January, sees cost savings, titles being grouped in to “brand collections” and “client industries”, and “publishers” of magazines replaced with “chief business officers”, with the addition of “chief industry officers”, according to reports.

Norton notes that authenticity in the supply chain has been a challenge in an industry that is burdened by fake news and fraud and it is his hope that in his new position he will implement standards that will do a much better job on behalf of brands and the public, he said.

“This authenticated supply chain has been a real challenge in our industry, causing a proliferation of fake news and fraud,” Norton tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “Conde Nast is a stalwart of quality content and trusted journalism. We think we can empower and enable quality journalism and trusted content."

Norton also notes that as an industry we have gotten away from the craft of creativity and that is what has really suffered. That is one of the reasons why we cannot lose creativity and hold on to the power of advertising. The industry needs to declare how we are going to get back to creativity, and he believes that the onus of creativity is on the brand.

Brands do need to tell the story better and make sure the story is well told either within or adjacent to high quality content, he notes.

IAB chief executive Randall Rothenberg has previously told Beet.TV there are too many ad-tech vendors all offering the same thing.

“The intellect and insightful leadership of the IAB Board of Directors is critical to the growth and health of the entire internet economy, from publishers to platforms and mobile to video,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and chief executive, IAB. “I’m pleased to have Jim Norton as the new Chairman of the Board, an innovative leader from one of the most vibrant premium publishers in the media landscape.”

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