IPA calls on online giants to tackle video ad standards

IPA 3 (2)The IPA has launched a scathing attack on Google’s YouTube and Facebook, claiming they are not doing enough to bring the safety, measurement and viewability of their online video up to acceptable industry standards.
In an open letter to Google UK managing director Ronan Harris and Facebook regional director of northern Europe Steve Hatch, IPA director general Paul Bainsfair calls on the companies to work with both the IPA and ISBA to sort out the issue, claiming that “progress is neither fast, nor significant, enough”.
The online giants – which control 70% of all digital media spend – have been facing mounting pressure from advertisers in recent months, after The Times exposed fresh instances of ads being placed on extremist videos on YouTube, and Facebook admitted video measurement errors.
Bainsfair outlines three urgent action points required to enable the delivery of global standards in online advertising verification and cross-platform video advertising audience measurement:
– YouTube and Facebook to become signatories to the DTSG Good Practice Principles, which will entail the independent verification of their brand safety policies and processes within six months.
– YouTube and Facebook to meet standards of independent, industry-owned audience measurement, which will enable cross-platform video audience measurement in the UK.
– YouTube and Facebook to use the UK as a test bed for delivering online and mobile video ad supply that is optimised for 100% viewability and which can be independently verified.
Bainsfair said: “The Internet has evolved into a complex ecosystem, fuelled by mobile. Online budgets have exploded from around 16% of total spend (2007) to over 40% today, and online video has now established itself as an effective brand building format alongside television advertising.
“As the two biggest online video suppliers, YouTube and Facebook have a responsibility to ensure the best possible standards for advertising on their platforms.
“Whilst 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.
“We believe it is incumbent upon the key players in this sector, therefore, to show real commitment to finding solutions to these problems.”
In a statement, Facebook said: “We are already engaged in a constructive dialogue with the IPA and its members on these important topics. We take our commitment to advertisers seriously, and through continued investment and innovation we’re making progress, together with our partners in the industry.
“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, including our work with 24 third-party measurement partners who can verify the value we drive for advertisers.”
Google declined to comment.

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