Four Of The Internet’s Biggest Ad Sellers Join In Ads Integrity Alliance

Along with spam and malware, bad ads — whether they’re for illegal or counterfeit goods, delivering malware or trying to scam users — are a scourge on the internet, eroding trust and poisoning the environment for legitimate marketers.

A few months ago, folks at some of the internet’s biggest ad sellers — AOL, Google, Facebook, and Twitter — began talking about collaborating to fight this universal problem. The result is the Ads Integrity Alliance, an industry initiative launching today under the aegis of non-profit StopBadware, and also involving the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

These charter members plan to collaborate in a few different ways. First, they’ll work to develop and share definitions of bad ads, make industry policy recommendations and establish best practices. They will also share information about specific bad actors, who may be buying ads across a variety of sellers. They’ll also establish ties to policymakers and law enforcement agencies, to keep them abreast of trends.

Though the companies and organizations involved, other than StopBadware itself, are all sellers of ads or represent ad sellers (the IAB), Maxim Weinstein, president and executive director of StopBadware said they will also work to recruit consumer advocate groups, to ensure that the consumer’s voice is part of the discussions.

“This is ultimately about protecting users,” said Weinstein.

Weinstein says the charter members will be coming up with policies and a process for other companies and non-profits to join the Alliance.

For the ad sellers, it’s also a way to try to convince policymakers, law enforcement and the public at large that they’re trying to do something about these bad ads. Many critics believe that the ad sellers have a financial incentive to accept ads from anyone that comes along — so they’re disincentivized from finding the bad guys.

Google is the company that’s gotten the most criticism — and legal action — on this count. The company recently agreed to pay $500 million to settle a case involving illegal pharmaceutical ads. It’s also been under fire for ads that are a cover for human trafficking. On the more positive PR side, it’s been helping track down and cancel the accounts of mortgage scammers.

Through it all, Google has maintained that it’s in its best interest to rid its advertising rolls from bad actors, to increase the level of consumer trust — and therefore click-throughs and conversions for legitimate businesses.

The new initiative has set up a web presence at and it’s seeking a part-time program manager to keep things running and help the organization grow.

Related Topics: AOL | Channel: Industry | Facebook: Advertising | Google | Internet Marketing Industry | Twitter: Advertising


About The Author: is executive features editor of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported on, written about and worked in digital media and marketing for more than 10 years. She is a previous managing editor of ClickZ and has worked on the other side of digital publishing, helping independent publishers monetize their sites in her work at Federated Media Publishing.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

Marketing Day:

Get the top marketing stories daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  •עמית-באווני/100000603759412 עמית באווני

    I hear YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are merging to form a super Social Media site – YouTwitFace

    Do you have what it takes? Check yourself at topwebperson

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!