In Pursuit of Online Standards


Using our experience as the UK's industry-owned auditor, we've created an interactive guide that brings together key initiatives in the UK and beyond.

Pick a subject below (or click the ‘pursuit’ pieces to the right) to learn about:

  • The available initiatives
  • Their purpose
  • Where they’re relevant geographically


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Ad Fraud: Fraudulently generating ad impressions, clicks or conversion data in order to generate revenue.

Brand Safety: Keeping a brand's reputation safe when they advertise online.

Viewability: An online advertising principle that aims to track impressions that can actually be seen by users.

Measurement: Data and analytics used for website and ad server reporting.

Data Transparency: The accurate and reliable collection of data, with appropriate consents and clarity on its usage.

User Experience: The overall experience of the online advertising environment in terms of how easy and pleasing it is to use.


We’ve got a wealth of expertise in these areas, so if you’d like more information on any of the standards or audit processes involved please contact us.

NB: This is a constantly evolving guide, just like our industry! So while we’ll do our best to ensure the above is correct, we welcome feedback so we can keep it up to date.

Brand Safety

JICWEBS Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) Principles
Purpose: To reduce the risk of ad misplacement
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms and Media Buyers
Relevant in: United Kingdom
Independent audit: Required
More info

JICWEBS Content Verification (CV) Principles
Purpose: To test the ability of CV products to block and/or report, in real time, the serving of online ads
Designed for: Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom
Independent audit: Required
More info

Media Ratings Council (MRC) Ad Verification: Content Level Brand Safety
Purpose: To ensure ads don’t appear in contexts that can damage an advertiser’s brand
Designed for: Tech Vendors and Digital Platforms
Relevant in: United States
Independent audit: Required
More info

4A’s Brand Safety Floor and Suitability Guidelines
Purpose: To help all players in the digital ecosystem develop guidelines that appropriately align ads with specific categories of content
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms, Media Buyers and Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United States
Independent audit: Not required
More info

Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG)
Purpose: To provide clear, common language that describes characteristics of advertising inventory and transactions
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms and Media Buyers
Relevant in: United States
Independent audit: Optional
More info

Viewability

JICWEBS Viewability Principles
Purpose: To minimise discrepancies in reporting by providing guidance for the measurement of viewable impressions and raising awareness on how the methodologies of viewability products differ
Designed for: Tech Vendors and Digital Platforms
Relevant in: United Kingdom and Europe
Independent audit: Required
More info

Media Ratings Council (MRC) Viewable Impression Measurement Guidelines
Purpose: To minimise discrepancies in reporting by providing guidance for the measurement of viewable impressions
Designed for: Tech Vendors and Digital Platforms
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Required
More info

Measurement

ABC Web Traffic Reporting Standards
Purpose: To define key reporting metrics and requirements for the measurement of website traffic
Designed for: Media Owners and Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom
Independent audit: Required
More info

IAB/ABC International Spiders & Bots List
Purpose: To filter known, non-human activity that can significantly inflate ad impression and site traffic counts
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms and Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Not required
More info

JICWEBS Audio Visual (AV) and Ad Reporting Standards
Purpose: To define key reporting metrics and requirements for the measurement of Audio Visual (AV) and Ad Web Traffic
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms and Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom
Independent audit: Required
More info

IAB Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines
Purpose: To deliver common practices for measuring ad impressions
Designed for: Digital Platforms and Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Not required
More info

Data Transparency

European Digital interactive Advertising Alliance (EDAA) – YourAdChoices
Purpose: To establish and enforce responsible privacy practices while providing consumers with enhanced transparency and control
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms and Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom, Europe
Independent audit: Optional for Media Owners, mandatory for everyone else
More info

IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework
Purpose: To enable the digital advertising ecosystem to comply with certain obligations under the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms and Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom, Europe
Independent audit: Not required
More info

Privacy Shield Framework
Purpose: To provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data
Designed for: Any business required to transfer personal data
Relevant in: United Kingdom, Europe, United States
Independent audit: Not required
More info

User Experience

Coalition for Better Ads
Purpose: To improve consumers’ experience with online advertising
Designed for: All ecosystem
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Not required
More info

IAB VAST
Purpose: To create a video ad serving template which efficiently delivers ads and improves the viewing experience
Designed for: Media Owners and video Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Not required
More info

Ad Fraud

Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) Certified Against Fraud
Purpose: To combat invalid traffic in the digital advertising supply chain
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms, Tech Vendors and Media Buyers
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Required outside the US (optional in the US)
More info

IAB Tech Lab ADS.TXT
Purpose: To deliver greater transparency in the inventory supply chain with a public record of Authorised Digital Sellers
Designed for: Media Owners and Digital Platforms
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Not required
More info

JICWEBS Taxonomy
Purpose: To identify both malicious and non-malicious sources of non-human traffic
Designed for: Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom
Independent audit: Required
More info

Media Ratings Council (MRC) Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines
Purpose: To detect and filtrate both General and Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (IVT)
Designed for: Media Owners and Digital Platforms
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Required
More info

IAB/ABC International Spiders & Bots List
Purpose: To filter known, non-human activity that can significantly inflate ad impression and site traffic counts
Designed for: Media Owners, Digital Platforms and Tech Vendors
Relevant in: United Kingdom, United States, Europe
Independent audit: Not Required
More info