The Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) will certify companies that provide anti-fraud products in the next stage of its plan to tackle online ad fraud.
This certification scheme for anti-fraud products will sit alongside a similar scheme already in place for companies within the ad supply chain itself, including ad tech providers, trading desks, ad networks and media owners.
However it took some time to implement this, with JICWEBS’ chairman Richard Foan admitting there was concern among companies interested in applying for certification that they would have to share confidential and competitive information about how products worked.
“Consequently we worked with the companies to build a scheme that worked for them and the JICWEBS stakeholders,” Foan explained.
That new process will see companies that provide anti-fraud products asked to sign-up with JICWEBS for an independent audit from ABC to verify how they reduce the risk of fraudulent ads being served.
To be certified, the must successfully demonstrate how their products deal with the 16 different sources of fraud listed in JICWEBS’ taxonomy of online fraud.
The initiative has been welcomed by advertisers, including Santander’s chief marketing officer Keith Moor who described it as “important” and “one that we fully support”.
“As a member of JICWEBS’ UK Cross-Industry Anti-Fraud Commercial Working Group, Santander has been working with other advertisers and our digital media partners to reduce the risk of exposure to ad fraud," he said.
"We look forward to investing our digital marketing spend with trusted, certified companies.
It comes as marketers continue to grapple with the “murky at best, fraudulent at worst” media supply chain now infamously described by P&G’s top marketer Marc Pritchard earlier this year.
Since his landmark speech, advertisers have also had to reckon with a national exposé into how household brands were inadvertently funding extremism by appearing next to content online.
As a result, JICWEBS has been inundated with adtech companies signing up to its brand safety audits.
However, the two biggest players in the market and those at the centre of the 'brand safety' scandal – Google and Facebook – have are thus far not fully subscribed to the JIC model.
Google's DoubleClick Ad Exchange is certified by the group’s Digital Trading Standards, but other areas of the business, including YouTube, are not yet accredited.
Speaking at an advertising industry event earlier this year, a Google representative said one of the challenges it has with the embracing the model beyond DoubleClick is the lack of an international solution.
Meanwhile, Facebook is reportedly still in negotiations with JICWEBS on joining the Digital Trading Standards Group in the UK.