Where brands choose to invest will define the future of digital
By formalising their support for the Gold Standard and prioritising certified partners, advertisers are actively helping to build a more sustainable, effective and user-orientated digital ecosystem.
Change isn’t in short supply when it comes to digital advertising. From developments in gaming and AR to the rapid growth of online audio, technological innovations are providing advertisers with newer, more immersive ways to engage consumers across online channels. While this makes digital a hugely exciting space to be in, the pace of change – paired with the perceived complexity of the industry – can also make it feel overly complex and daunting for advertisers to navigate.
However, against this backdrop, there are core pillars that remain constant – allowing brands to embrace change while having the confidence they’re supporting standards that are working to make digital advertising safer, more transparent and better for consumers.
This is where the IAB UK Gold Standard comes in. Launched in 2017, the Gold Standard pulls together existing industry initiatives to: tackle ad fraud; uphold brand safety; improve the digital advertising experience for consumers; support greater supply chain transparency; and aid compliance with ePrivacy regulations. In short, it’s a one-stop-shop certification for companies that buy and sell digital advertising to ensure they’re adhering to industry best practice.
Just like the industry, the Gold Standard has changed over the years and will continue to do so, ensuring that it keeps pace with shared challenges. We’ve recently launched the latest iteration of the initiative, which introduces a focus on improving supply-chain transparency and broadens the scope of who can be certified to bring gaming, audio and connected TV advertising into the mix, alongside display and video.
Today, 74% of all UK advertising spend is on digital channels, making it even more important that spend is going towards responsible players.
Companies that are Gold Standard certified are actively working to instigate change for the digital ad industry from within, making it better for everyone across the supply chain – and advertisers have a hugely important role to play in this. Ultimately, where brands choose to invest their ad budgets is the single biggest factor that will help to define the shape of the digital ad industry going forward.
Prioritising partners that are Gold Standard certified is a straightforward way of ensuring that you’re working with businesses that are raising the digital bar and committed to creating a better environment for your ads to be in. We know that this is happening already – our research shows that over 75% of agencies are spending more with Gold Standard certified companies. This is backed by the fact that our 2021 Digital Adspend report shows Gold Standard companies are growing at more than twice the rate of non-certified companies, indicating that spend is being channelled towards players that are upholding best practice.
What’s more, we have created a group of Gold Standard advertiser supporters, including Adidas, ASDA, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nationwide, Unilever, Vodafone and more. This is open to all brands that are committed to spending with Gold Standard certified suppliers wherever possible, as well as educating their partners and internal teams about the benefits of the initiative.
By formalising their support for the Gold Standard and prioritising certified partners, these brands are actively helping to build a more sustainable, effective and user-orientated digital ecosystem. If you’re interested in joining them, or are already working with Gold Standard ad suppliers but haven’t been named as a supporter, please get in touch with us at IAB UK.
Today, 74% of all UK advertising spend is on digital channels, making it even more important that spend is going towards responsible players. By throwing your support behind the Gold Standard, you can play an integral part in pioneering positive change. The digital ad industry may be complex and evolving quickly, but the Gold Standard is an easy way of helping you to navigate it effectively. It’s as simple as that.
Find out more about being a Gold Standard advertiser supporter here.
James Chandler is CMO of IAB UK.