US and UK-based cross-industry bodies, the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (Jicwebs) and the Trustworthy Accountability Group (Tag), have pledged to provide a more consistent approach for advertisers by better aligning their brand safety and ad fraud initiatives.
The pair have inked a three-step partnership which will see them bring together many of their key initiatives to tackle the big issues facing digital advertising and to increase industry adoption.
The deepening of the partnership builds on the pair's ongoing collaboration to promote brand safety and buying transparency in the digital supply chain.
While Jicwebs will continue to drive brand safety efforts in the UK, and Tag will keep its attention on ad fraud and piracy, a point of difference is that Tag will now endorse Jicweb's Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) brand safety drive to companies operating in the UK market.
In addition to this, Jicwebs will offer Tag registration in the UK market and introduce Tag's malware and piracy schemes to UK subscribers.
In a further unification, Jicwebs' existing anti-fraud programmes will be merged into Tag's anti-fraud initiatives by the end of 2018, while both organisations' brand safety iniatives will be brought together by 2019.
Until this combined programme is in place, Tag will endorse and promote the Jicwebs version to all existing and future members trading or seeking to trade in the UK.
The move for a better aligned international approach that has the potential to be emulated globally, might make the duo's third-party measurement systems more appealing to platforms like Google – which is not officially prescribed to the Jicwebs model as recommended by IPA and ISBA.
“One of the challenges we have with Jicwebs is the international context. By no means is it a show-stopper, but the question we’re asking is: ‘is there a way of doing this on a global scale and is that something we should be thinking of?," said a Google representative last year on why it had not subscribed.
Richard Foan, chair ofJicwebs said: “Jicwebs and Tag are both committed to raising standards in digital advertising, so it makes sense to create a consistent approach across the UK and US, which is what many from both the buy and sell side want.
"Initially, the partnership will offer a practical way for companies operating in the UK market to buy and benefit from both Jicwebs' and Tag’s products, with the ultimate aim to fuse the best bits from both approaches to create a "super" programme that maximises brand safety and minimises fraud.”