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JICWEBS update on online ad viewability initiative

The UK’s Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) is updating its recommended guidelines for products that aim to measure the viewability of online ads.

The “Principles for Viewability Products” guidelines, initially produced in January 2014 to help advertisers and their agencies assess which companies to use to measure online ad viewability, is being replaced by an updated version, reflecting how the viewability issue has changed over the last 18 months.

“It’s important the industry doesn’t stand still when it comes to tackling the big issues affecting online advertising,” said JICWEBS’ Chairman Richard Foan. “This update builds on the good work implemented last year around ad viewability and is a further step in the right direction around bringing greater transparency and trust to digital advertising.”

The updated principles take into account learnings from the MRC and IAB in the U.S. as well as participants in the UK-focused cross-industry group that fed into JICWEBS. Key changes include greater transparency around methods to further reduce discrepancies between suppliers.

It is anticipated JICWEBS will award the first seals to companies confirming their products meet these updated industry-agreed standards, in the second half of 2015.

Pete Robins, co-founder, agenda21, and Chairman of the IPA Digital Media Group: “It’s good to see the industry keeping pace with the rapid developments in the online advertising ecosystem. Trust and transparency are crucial factors in who agencies choose to partner with, so we strongly encourage all viewability vendors to seek JICWEBS verification.”

Steve Chester, Director of Data & Industry Programmes, IAB UK: “Buyers, sellers and those involved in the trading of digital display now have updated information and transparency about how viewability products measure if an ad has been seen. The companies who've agreed to further auditing by ABC to prove they have applied the updated JICWEBS principles will form part of the next update on this important area for digital ad trading."