Australian ad industry bodies launch digital code of practice

Two years after the US IAB proposed its set of technical standards for digital ads and nine months after the UK ad tech market launched its Gold Standard pledge, Australia’s marketing industry bodies have released a set of digital working practices.

Released by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Media Federation of Australia (MFA), the guide aims to layout the areas of responsibility and requirements for all involved in the digital advertising ecosystem and improve the online consumer experience.

Unlike the US standard, the Australian guide doesn’t delve into technical specifications and ignores the ban on autoplay ads, instead urging advertisers to “champion the customer experience.”

The 25 page voluntary guide covers digital transparency, viewability, ad fraud and data protection with a one page checklist for advertisers and publishers to help address what the authors describe as “a fog of confusion” that is leading to “a negative impact on trust in the industry”.

AANA chief John Broome said the Australian Digital Advertising Practices offer practical guidance for marketers seeking to drive effective and efficient digital ad investments.

“Our collective goal was to create a common language and set of best practices that could be used by all participants throughout the digital ecosystem. AANA, IAB and MFA and our combined membership cover all points in this ecosystem and working together, as opposed to separately, offers us the best prospect of achieving positive change,” Broome said.

“The approach we are taking means that that the right questions and right discussions can now be had between advertisers and their partners. These will deliver better outcomes for all.”

IAB CEO, Gai Le Roy added: “With the continued growth of people accessing digital media as well as the corresponding increase in digital ad investment, these Practices provide a set of clear and practical and usable solutions that are flexible enough to fit individual advertiser and partner needs.”

Sophie Madden, the MFA’s CEO, said: “The Practices are the culmination of months of cross industry collaboration driven by a common motive to build a solid and robust infrastructure for the digital advertising industry. Today’s release is the first step in our journey and we will be working together to regularly update them to reflect emerging opportunities and issues as they arise.”

The guide lays out five key operating principles for digital advertising;

  • Champion the consumer experience. A better user experience will not only lift key quality metrics but also overall campaign effectiveness.
  • Educate to inspire change. Inspire change through best practice education, communication and a clear understanding of the metrics. We cannot force or mandate change.
  • Shared ownership & responsibility. No one part of the value chain can deliver the goal without the other parts. Shared ownership and shared responsibility are required to solve the issues. All participants in the value chain need to take responsibility for their own knowledge and understanding.
  • Every value chain is unique. Each advertiser’s needs are different. The approach to improving the value chain needs to be optimised for each advertiser’s needs and partner arrangements. The advertiser is accountable for their individual value chain.
  • Fair value for outcomes delivered. Value is created through quality and price. Adopting best practices to deliver better outcomes may cost more.

The Australian Digital Advertising Practices guide is available for public download from the organisation’s websites.


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