Setting the Gold Standard for the Digital Media Supply Chain in Canada

At a time when the industry faces pressure from international regulations, consumer demands and increased advertiser scrutiny, the supply chain must impose self-regulatory standards on itself to ensure it remains secure, effective, and accountable. With a broad spectrum of issues arising over the years, it has been a challenge to identify what exactly the baseline standards should be across each of the respective issues. Internationally, IAB UK has taken a leadership role in defining exactly that through the IAB Gold Standard certification program. 

Last autumn, IAB UK’s Gold Standard 2.0 launched introducing updated criteria addressing privacy, compliance and evolving the program with leading brands Unilever and COTY throwing their weight behind the initiative. They, along with many other advertisers including the likes of Coca Cola and Tesco, have committed to prioritizing Gold Standard certified suppliers, or questioning and encouraging those who are not already certified, to do so. Similar to the original push for TAG certification from P&G in 2017, advertisers leaning in to IAB’s initiative goes a long way to effectively driving change downstream in the digital supply chain. 

The Gold Standard initiative requires companies who wish to become certified to implement several industry best practices, all of which are aimed at providing advertisers with a much-needed sense of security round core industry issues. 

Gold Standard organizations are committed to:

  • Reducing ad fraud by implementing or supporting IAB Tech Lab’s ads.txt, sellers.json, and OpenRTB Supply Chain Object.
  • Upholding brand safety by obtaining TAG Brand Safety Certification 
  • Improving the advertising experience by adhering to The Coalition for Better Ads advertising standards.
  • Addressing data processing and privacy concerns by adopting IAB’s Transparency Consent Framework (TCF).

As IAB Canada continues to work with the global network to develop solutions that address localized requirements, we will turn our attention towards enabling Canadian supply chain members to gain access to the Gold Standard seal. 

Global supply chain members like Facebook, GroupM UK, Index Exchange, Instagram, OpenX, Quantcast, SpotX, Teads, Xaxis UK and YouTube are IAB Gold Standard certified in the UK.  

IAB Canada will open the Gold Standard working group discussions in September and invites interested members to participate in its development. “The supply chain needs vigilance and rigour around standards development. The days of “setting and forgetting” are over. With new compliance requirements emerging at accelerated speeds, the sophistication of fraudulent activity and the evolving brand risk requirements, the industry must invest in demonstrative self-regulatory activity to remain sustainable, and we’re excited to lead the charge for Canada”, said Sonia Carreno, President IAB Canada.