AAM Hosts International Assembly of Media Auditing Organizations

January 14, 2019

Group gathered in San Francisco to discuss media assurance solutions.


The International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Certification recently convened its 28th General Assembly, with 24 media auditing executives from around the world coming together to discuss worldwide assurance solutions. AAM hosted the event in San Francisco, and AAM CEO, President and Managing Director, Tom Drouillard, serves as secretariat for the group.

The IFABC General Assembly delegates meet every other year to discuss the most critical issues surrounding global media assurance. This year’s topics included digital advertising fraud, accountability in digital out-of-home advertising and the need for global collaboration and standards.

“As emerging digital technologies continue to change how marketers and media connect with consumers, the need for independent third-party audits remains critical,” explained IFABC President Pedro Silva, president of IFABC and CEO of the Instituto Verificador de Comunicação in Brazil. “Media auditors play a unique role around the world. This event reinforces that we all have more in common as digital issues and innovations impact consumers, marketing and media across borders.”

The IFABC reviewed services from individual audit organizations to solve these issues, which included:

Implementing Solutions to Fight Digital Advertising Fraud

With digital advertising fraud costing global marketers tens of billions of dollars each year, many audit organizations are implementing new solutions to address this concern in their markets.

ABC UK, for example, audits against JICWEBS standards in brand safety, fraud and viewability. ACPM France also verifies publishers for brand safety, fraud and viewability. BRAT Romania has designed a data management platform for 200 publisher websites to help advertisers run campaigns in a safe, clean online environment. AAM has developed AAM Quality Certification, a comprehensive digital publisher audit that gives marketers assurance that ads are served to human audiences on legitimate sites.

IFABC members also heard updates from the leaders of adjacent industry organizations, including George Ivie, CEO and executive director of the Media Rating Council; Richard Foan, executive director of JICWEBS; and Stephan Loerke, CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers.

“As a lack of transparency threatens to divide the marketing ecosystem, there needs to be a source of collaboration and unity,” Loerke explained. “IFABC members are well positioned to be that source. These organizations bring transparency and clarity to areas of the media ecosystem that are often opaque through independent third-party audits.”

Advancing Audit Assurance in Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

Several audit organizations are implementing audit solutions for out-of-home media as investment continues to grow. Romania, Spain, France and Brazil are each verifying out-of-home campaigns to provide marketers with additional assurance in this emerging field. AAM is auditing cross-media healthcare campaigns in the point-of-care market.  

Differentiating Quality Publishers Around the World Through a Global Certified Media List

IFABC members are developing a database of information about the media titles that are audited by participating organizations. This interactive information resource is being designed for advertisers and advertising agencies to understand which media properties are audited globally.   

Need for Global Collaboration

With digital issues persisting, and marketers continuing to be challenged by the lack of transparency in the ad trading ecosystem, the audit organizations recognize the collective importance of collaboration to connect marketers with quality publishers worldwide.

“As media channels evolve and connect audiences around the globe, the roles of the IFABC and each bureau as an independent media auditor become even more important,” said Drouillard. “The trends in individual markets demonstrate that the issues of accountability and transparency reach across borders, and there is a real opportunity for us to work together to provide media assurance for publishers and buyers globally.”

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