Tesco and McDonald’s are committing to working with certified digital advertising suppliers "wherever possible" as part of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK’s efforts to clean up ad fraud.
The pledge means that the two major UK advertisers would prefer to work with companies that are certified by the IAB Gold Standard, launched in 2018 to improve the health of the digital ad industry.
Tesco and McDonald’s will also internally educate their teams about the benefits of the initiative.
Gold Standard certification began in 2018 after 23 IAB board member companies (including Facebook and Google) publicly signed a letter in 2017 committing to three actions:
- Reduce ad fraud by implementing the ads.txt initiative on all sites carrying ads
- Improve the digital advertising experience by adhering to the LEAN principles, the Coalition for Better Advertising standards and never using the 12 "bad" ads
- Increase brand safety by working with Jicwebs, with a view to becoming certified or maintaining certification.
There are currently 95 media owners, media agencies and ad tech companies certified, including Publicis Media and Group M, which signed up last year.
Ad fraud accounts for $22.4 billion globally and represents almost 11% of global digital adspend, according to GroupM figures released in September. The rate of ad fraud is relatively low in EMEA (3.6%), but enormous in China (84%).
Nick Ashley, head of media and campaign planning at Tesco, said: "It’s in all of our best interests to collectively raise online ad standards, as we strive to communicate to our customers in the most helpful, relevant and effective way.
"The IAB Gold Standard is a clear start to building better standards across the industry; moving forward, we also encourage all stakeholders to agree a single industry-wide set of standards that we can all get behind."