Digital Trading Standards Group - FAQs
Digital Trading Standards Group - FAQs
Q. What is the Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG)?
A. 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. At present the DTSG is comprised of representatives from advertisers, agencies, agency trading desks, demand side platforms, advertising exchanges, sales houses, advertising networks, supply side platforms and publishers.The DTSG’s goal is to protect brand safety and minimize the risk of digital display advertising misplacement. To try to achieve this, it has published a set of Good Practice Principles.
Q. What are the DTSG’s Good Practice Principles?
A. The aim of the DTSG’s Principles is to inject greater transparency into the UK digital display market, ultimately giving brands more control to ensure that their advertising reaches the right audience and is not associated with content that could jeopardize its brand.The Principles outline six commitments for those involved in the buying, selling or facilitating of digital display advertising (see the Principles for definition of display advertising) aimed at doing this. For example: the selection or use of an independently-verified Content Verification (CV) tool and / or Appropriate / Inappropriate Schedule to significantly reduce the risk of display advertising misplacement.
Q. Will business commitments be independently verified?
A. Yes. All businesses that are signed up to the DTSG’s Principles will have their ad misplacement minimization policies verified by a JICWEBS-approved (see below) independent third party (known as a ‘verification provider’). Compliant businesses will receive a seal to show the market that they are meeting the agreed standard.
Q. What does this mean in practice?
A. It means the verification provider will check the Signatory’s compliance with the DTSG’s Principles. The provider will require the following:
- Contract terms and policies relating to the transaction of ads;
- A statement of reasonable endeavours applied to minimize the risk of ad misplacement; and
- Internal policies, procedures and controls relating to the placements of ads, such as details of any CV tools being used.
The provider will provide a written report to JICWEBS (see below) which will be published on its site.
Q. What is JICWEBS? What role does it play?
A. JICWEBS – the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards – is made up of the following UK trade bodies: Association of Online Publishers (AOP), Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), Newspaper Society, Newspapers Publishers Association, ISBA – the voice of advertisers and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA). It has endorsed the DTSG’s Principles and will approve providers that will independently verify the ad misplacement minimization policies of Signatory businesses. Independent verification will take place within six months of committing to the DTSG’s Principles and thereafter on an annual basis. All verification providers are subject to annual review by JICWEBS and its review decisions regarding verification providers submitted to approval will be published on its site. JICWEBS will host and publish all Signatory business’ certificates of compliance.
Q. Do the DTSG’s Principles replace IASH?
A. Yes. The digital display market has evolved significantly in the last few years. IASH was a system designed for the advertising network / sales house business models, and its Code of Conduct was not flexible enough to allow for other trading models and technologies. The DTSG’s Principles aim to cater for all existing trading models and technologies.
Q. Do the DTSG’s Principles replace the IPA’s and ISBA’s own guidance?
A. Yes. The DTSG’s Principles also supersede the IPA’s and ISBA’s own principles published earlier in 2013. However, businesses that committed to the IPA – ISBA Principles will be carried across to the DTSG’s initiative and any independent verification of their business’ processes will remain valid.
Q. Is the DTSG just an UK initiative?
A. Yes. Many ad trading businesses operate at scale and will apply good practice globally and in line with other initiatives, such as QAG2.0 in the US. However, the DTSG’s Principles apply to businesses with a UK presence targeting UK audiences / users.
Q. How will the DTSG’s Principles evolve?
A. The structure of the DTSG reflects today’s digital display advertising market. It will need to evolve in line with technology and market practices and cross-industry good practice will always require the support of both the buy- and sell-side.
Q. Will the DTSG’s Principles totally eradicate the issue of display ads appearing in the wrong place?
A. No. The aim of the DTSG’s Principles is to significantly reduce the risk of ad misplacement. It will not eradicate the issue totally. However, the DTSG aims to ensure that brand advertisers are not associated with content that could jeopardise their reputations.
Q. Which businesses are signed up to the DTSG’s Principles?
A. The full list of Signatories to the DTSG’s Principles can be found here.