THE BLOG

Europe: Verify or Die

03/07/2014 14:08 BST | Updated 01/09/2014 10:59 BST

The European Digital Ad industry will come to a bitter end unless we embrace verification.

The IAB has recently released a set of UK Viewable Impressions standards to offer guidance and greater accountability for advertisers. These mirror guidelines released in the US at the beginning of April, following extensive collaboration between IAB UK and IAB US to agree common transatlantic standards, ensuring consistency across both markets. For a market that is growing up and becoming more accountable, it is crucial that third parties and brands alike ensure that verification becomes an intrinsic part of what we do and not seen as an add on. This is a welcome move from IAB but in order to ensure total transparency when it comes to reporting on ad impressions the industry needs to collaborate. We're in a position where a lot of work needs to be done in order to ensure one overall verification method is accepted by the entire industry.

The industry is making steps in the right direction, however the whole ecosystem from media companies, publishers, brands and agencies need to be aligned and clear on measurement. Simply, without verification the industry will not progress. To avoid this state of limbo, we at blinkx Media UK have taken steps by working with Nielsen and Integral Ad science to ensure that the quality of the audience viewing is high and meets advertisers' requirements.

With so many outside influences, the digital landscape is extremely complex and a verification tool that is accepted by the entire industry is required. The European market, perhaps more than any other region is demanding consistent verification and so the wider ad community needs to come together to drive this. To ensure that the advertising budgets continue to roll in, the market needs clarity and so a collaborative approach needs to be implemented to ensure that measurement is consistent. Rogue traders need to be eradicated from the market so that one universal standard can be accepted.

As one of the largest digital media players in the field, it is important that industry influencers lead the way in developing the market because verification is the key to the industry evolving. The solution doesn't need to be complex, just consistent and available now. Overall, the market will buy whatever works but we as a community need to have the confidence to test, learn and develop to find the right solution.

If ad verification isn't taken seriously, it will be the end of digital advertising as we know it. The industry has to grow and the only way it can is through universal verification that is accepted by the entire ecosystem.