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Ad Quality Charter

The charter was officially launched at the AOP’s Inside Out Digital Publishing Convention on 1st and 2nd November. The charter outlines terms supported by the AOP and aims to take the lead in promoting premium verified quality audiences and inventory. Covering many issues currently topping the digital agenda — such as viewability, brand safety, and ad fraud — the terms form best practice guidelines the AOP is encouraging the entire industry to adopt.


The core tenets of the charter centre on applying assessment and verification measures that will provide a better quality media for advertisers and agencies, while also delivering valuable experiences for audiences and enabling publishers to secure their assets.


Richard Reeves, Managing Director at AOP, commented: “The AOP has made significant headway in raising the bar for online media through its integral role with JICWEBS, but to make the shift towards high-quality media permanent, the industry must work together to create standards that go above and beyond minimum requirements. With this charter the AOP hopes to create a more sustainable, accountable, and reliable future for premium digital publishing. If all members of the ecosystem can join forces, agree to ethical trading standards, and better media verification, there will be a real possibility of making this vision a reality and securing the long-term success of digital publishing.”


Key elements of the charter include:


Brand safety


To minimise the risk of ad misplacement, publishers should:

  • Be independently verified for brand safety through the Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) Good Practice Principles
  • Use accredited Content Verification (CV) tools to screen 100% of impressions
  • Deploy custom blacklists and whitelists as requested by advertisers or agencies
  • Implement the Infringing Website List (IWL) from the City of London Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU)
  • Rebate any activity confirmed to be misplaced and remove any ads that breach brand safety rules



Continually reduce and work to stamp out fraudulent activity in the following ways:

  • Commit to being independently verified by the Anti-Fraud Good Practice Principles for business trading digital display advertising.
  • Use Fraud Detection/Non-Human Traffic tools verified under the JICWEBS Anti-Fraud Tools principles.
  • Commit to 0% fraud as measured by independent third-party verification tools, billing only for human traffic.



Ensure ads have the opportunity to be seen and raise the viewability threshold by:


  • Either upholding the minimum MRC standards 50% of display ads viewable for one second and two seconds for video — or exceeding them by ensuring 100% of display and native ads are viewable for one second (two for video).
  • Deliver bespoke viewability metrics defined by advertisers or agencies.
  • Maximise viewability of advertising by optimising in-page placement based on user behaviour and content consumption.

The following is a summary from Inside Out convention 2017:


This session offered clear action and opportunity towards one of the Industry’s most pressing issues.


AOP believes its Members offer the most clearly defined and brand safe ad environment in the supply chain. We also believe that these ad quality standards are the start of a process that will lead to closer interaction with buy side and Clients that this closer interaction and partnership will help to:


- Determine what the best standards for quality are.


- Keep developing and improving the quality standards.


- Cut through the pain points and barriers that slow progress.


The panel consisting of Paul Astbury, Bethan Crockett, Richard Reeves, Danny Spears and Steve Chester were fully supportive of this approach and mapped out a set of next steps that would include:

  • Identifying key issues to be resolved (buying through authorised points, identifying bad actors, reconciling conflicting measurements, better definitions of brand safety vs values etc).
  • Finding suitable resolutions to those issues.
  • Finally formalising the Ad Quality Charter (Q1 2018).

The net result, developed in partnership with the buy and Client side, will be an Ad Quality Charter that distinguishes AOP Member inventory as the highest quality standard available in the market but also delivers a closer relationship and involvement with the industry as these key issues are addressed.



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