UK ad trade group the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has called on Facebook and YouTube to improve the brand safety, measurements and visibility of digital advertising in order to meet “acceptable industry standards” after stating that the duopoly is not doing enough to tackle high-profile problems on their respective platforms.
Digital ad standards have been a hot topic for the industry this year following numerous cases of fake news and ads being matched with extremist content. The debacle on YouTube forced many brands to briefly boycott the site, and though it has since taken steps to address the controversy, the IPA wants major media players to do more across the board.
The IPA is eager for YouTube and Facebook to sign up to the Digital Trading Standards Group’s UK Good Practice Principles so that the misplacement of online ads and other issues can be addressed. It also wants to work closely with the tech giants and fellow trade group the Voice of British Advertisers (ISBA) to raise the quality of standards for all digital ads.
Other solutions proposed by the IPA include making mobile ad inventory 100 per cent viewable and verified by third parties to improve video viewability and adopting a similar method for measuring audience size. It added that “real commitment” would be required.
“As the two biggest online video suppliers, YouTube and Facebook have a responsibility to ensure the best possible standards for advertising on their platforms,” IPA Director General Paul Bainsfair said in a public letter. “While we acknowledge that small steps towards addressing recent concerns have been taken, our advertisers and agencies are increasingly telling us that this progress is neither fast nor significant enough.”
While Google has yet to comment publicly about the issue, Facebook said that it had already begun constructive dialogue with the IPA about important digital ad topics and is already making progress,
A spokesperson added: “In the last few months, we’ve announced an extra 3,000 content reviewers to nearly double our existing team as well as new buying options and controls for advertisers that give choice and transparency over how and where ads appear on the platform. We have also updated our metrics to give more clarity and confidence about the insights we provide.”