Publicis Media UK is pleased to announce that we have achieved the IAB Gold Standard certification.

Today’s digital advertising marketplace offers extraordinary opportunities for marketers to effectively reach target audiences. Yet it also poses unprecedented challenges including the increase in fraudulent ads, brand safety and poor user experience.

The IAB Gold Standard seeks to address these challenges through the adoption of three key industry initiatives: ads.txt, JICWEBS DTSG and LEAN/Coalition for Better Ads (CBA).

To achieve the Gold Standard, Publicis Media demonstrated our support and operational processes for these initiatives. You can read more about each of these below.

Sue Frogley, UK CEO for Publicis Media said, “we support the IAB’s vision of creating a sustainable future for digital advertising and are delighted to complete the IAB Gold Standard certification process. It is incumbent on our industry, and the entire media ecosystem as a whole, to work together to tackle the major issues encompassed by this standard so we urge our peers and partners to get involved and get certified – after all it will be to the benefit of us all.”


  • Publicis Media Supports the IAB Ads.txt initiative

In early 2017, the Internet Advertising Bureau introduced the “Authorized Digital Sellers” tool (ads.txt). The tool is intended to increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem by providing content owners (publishers) with a mechanism to declare exactly who is authorized to sell their inventory. It is part of a broader effort to eliminate the ability to profit from counterfeit inventory in the open digital advertising ecosystem and ensure that media spend reaches legitimate publishers.

The ads.txt file is stored on the publisher’s domain and contains the domains of the vendors that have been authorized to sell the publisher’s inventory. It also contains any related identifiers such as member ID. The proposition is similar to robots.txt, which is used by search engines to understand which “robots” are allowed to crawl their websites, including web pages that are off-limits.

How does Publicis Media work with Ads.txt?

Publicis Media advocates for all publishers to adopt ads.txt at the earliest opportunity. Where there is evidence of an ads.txt file, Publicis Media endeavours to only purchase publisher inventory from authorised sellers.

Publicis Media continues to work closely within the IAB Ads.txt working group to foster the development of this standard. Via our Precision team, we also drive conversations with individual DSPs, SSPs/Exchanges and publishers to gather information, run initial testing and develop goals for standardization.

Our Precision team have increased its own verification process (Publicis Verified) criteria by requiring DSP vendors to have functioning updated crawlers, reporting and the option to run only on authorized inventory. Google released an enhancement within the Display & Video 360 (legacy DBM) platform enabling buyers to buy only ads.txt authorized inventory as an opt-in feature. SSPs must also ensure all inventory is ads.txt compliant to obtain Verification status and publishers participating in PMX PMPs must post ads.txt files.

While not viewed as a standalone solution to end all ad fraud, Publicis Media is encouraged that this initiative has sparked a deeper conversation around inventory transparency and views ads.txt as an important tactic to employ within a holistic brand safety strategy.

Publicis Media is committed to building a sustainable future for digital advertising and committed to helping our clients navigate this continually evolving space


  • DTSG certified since 2015

The Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) is an UK industry body made up of representatives from across the digital display advertising ecosystem, including the buy- and sell-side. The DTSG’s goal is to protect brand safety and minimise the risk of digital display advertising misplacement. To achieve this, it has published a set of Good Practice Principles.

The intention of the Principles is to significantly reduce the risk of the misplacement of display advertising on digital media properties, uphold brand safety and protect the integrity of digital advertising. The work of the DTSG also reflects a common goal: that digital display advertising should not support inappropriate or illegal content or services.

DTSG Verification

Publicis Media has been a strong supporter of the DTSG Good Practice Principles and was one of the first agency groups to receive the certificate in January 2015. To achieve this, we have had our ad misplacement minimisation policies verified by the ABC, a JICWEBS aproved independent auditor.

What does earning the seal mean?

  • We have responded to the industry’s needs and are proactively demonstrating our support for industry agreed standards.
  • We have opened up our business to an independent, industry owned auditor and allowed them to see our business and the processes we follow.
  • We abide by the six Principles which the industry has agreed are key to trading in a manner that protects brand reputation online.
  • We are transparent about how ads will be delivered prior to delivery.


You can view Publicis Media’s certificate here.

In addition, Publicis Media works with TAG’s Domain Fraud Threat List in the US and is a registered TAG member company. We have completed both the TAG “Certified Against Fraud” program and the TAG “Inventory Quality Guideline” requirements.

Publicis Media incorporates TAG’s standards and guidelines, and seeks to exceed TAG quality, brand safety and ad fraud requirements for inventory, SSP’s, DSP’s, ad servers, data providers and third party verification partners. As such, TAG has actively engaged with Publicis Media to support their efforts in strengthening current TAG guidelines via the brand safety standards available with Publicis Groupe Verified.

Through our memberships with industry bodies we continuously campaign for greater transparency of ad inventory, more stringent and rigorous processes to avoid fraud and an industry aligned approach to the removal of criminal and infringing websites


  • Promoting a better user experience through the CBA

The Coalition for Better Advertising (CBA) was formed by advertising trade associations and online media companies from across the globe and aims to improve consumers’ online ad experiences.

The CBA developed the Better Ads Standards for desktop and mobile web after conducting in-depth research involving over 25,000 consumers in Europe and North America, who were presented with a wide range of formats and units and asked to rank them based on different user experience factors. Twelve ad formats were identified as falling below the expected standard.

Publicis Media supports the reduction in use of these formats by ensuring our creative partners and clients are aware of these standards and do their best to comply with them.

We have also developed an extensive training programme within our own Publicis Learning e-learning platform that all Publicis Media buying teams are required to undertake.

News of this certification also appeared in various publications, including Campaign.