The IAB UK doesn’t have any immediate plans to collaborate with law enforcement as part of its freshly unveiled Gold Standard initiative, in which the likes of Facebook, Google and News UK have promised to commit to cleaning up the digital ecosystem.
When pressed on whether the IAB would be looking to team up a police unit to probe into issues like ad fraud with a view to creating a unit similar to the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) – the London-based police operation designed to tackle copyright infringement – IAB chief executive Jonathan Mews said that, for now, this wasn’t the focus of the scheme.
“At the moment, this is about getting companies to adhere to industry best practices.
That’s not something that we need law enforcement to help with, it’s something we can proactively do ourselves,” he said, adding: “Further down the line, perhaps we might get to that point but at the moment it's about trying to make sure we implement the basic things that really help.”
Globally, marketers are anticipated to lose $16.4bn to ad fraud this year, with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) previously saying the practice is “second only to the drugs trade” as a source of income for organised crime, predicting it will cost brands more than $50bn by 2025.
Despite this, little has been done to prosecute those benefiting from click fraud.