Is it Time For a Selfie?

Is it Time For a Selfie?

In New York earlier this month the American IAB announced their newly revised Quality Assurance Guidelines Program, know by the catchy title of QAG 2.0.

Despite sounding like an extra from a Star Wars sequel, QAG 2.0 is an important set of guidelines for interactive publishers, networks, exchanges, supply and demand side platforms plus agency trading desks.

Rather than risking intervention from external regulators, the US IAB has developed their own framework. For all members that should go along way to establishing real trust between advertisers, agencies and media owners in a complex and ever-changing digital advertising ecosystem.

As digital becomes the dominant player in advertising sales, our American colleagues have realised that creating an even and fair playing field now is almost certainly the best way to ensure digital's rise continues.

Put simply the interconnected nature of digital media, and the fact that so many players have sprung up chasing a dollar, means buyers are increasingly unsure of which sellers to trust whilst sellers are finding difficult to prove their integrity.

To counter this the QAG includes a list of fully audited companies from both sides of the digital divide who have pledged to provide assurances to advertisers that their ads will not appear next to inappropriate or pirated content.

In terms of transparency, the IAB has published the list of only 29 compliant companies in the US here. But from a bigger picture we believe the act of self-regulation moves our industry one step further into cementing its place at the top of the advertising eco system.

All media industries face the challenges and opportunity of regulation in one way or another, just stop for a minute to consider the challenges newspapers have faced over the years.

But I believe it is truly the sign of a mature and professional medium to face these hurdles face on and define and shape the future of their industry from the inside.

Digital advertising does not at the moment have the growth pressures that some other channels struggle with. However brand safety is always a top five
topic on the agenda. The smart way to answer those questions is to make an effort to get our house in order, before they start voting with their feet.

The Australian IAB met last week to discuss this issue, which is a great step forward to emulating the success of our US counterparts, and I'm sure the result of that meeting will soon be widely known.

I for one strongly urge the industry to get behind a proposal for our very own version of the QAG here in Australia with the benefits to our industry being monumental if we act quickly to take the lead on this issue.

Whilst there may nervousness in some quarters, those companies with the integrity and technology to back themselves on this issue will be the clear leaders in the future of digital advertising in this Australia.

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Thursday, 28 May 2020

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