Corporate Eye

New Digital Ad Best Practices Will Benefit Brands

gavelEight of the biggest digital ad networks in the United States are voluntarily implementing a set of best practices that should reduce online copyright infringements, piracy, and counterfeiting. AdWeek reports that Google, Yahoo!, 24/7 Media, AOL, Microsoft, Conde Nast, Adtegrity, and SpotXchange will all implement new guidelines that support the White House’s efforts to better protect intellectual property.

This is great news for online publishers, including brands, brand journalists and sites that publish branded content because it is a key step in ensuring content owners’ copyrights and brand’s trademarks aren’t violated. The best practices will enable ad networks to stop paying sites that publish content which violates intellectual property protection laws. By cutting off an important revenue stream to these nefarious site owners, advertisers, high quality online publishers, and consumers win.

The new Best Practices Guidelines for Ad Networks to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting includes three primary sections:

1. General Commitment

Ad networks will maintain policies that prohibit websites from earning revenue through the network, which are found to be primarily dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or infringe copyrights by publishing content owned by another individual or entity. These policies will be published on each ad network’s website.

2. Identification and Verification Process

Ad networks must be certified against the Interactive Advertising Bureau Networks and Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines or maintain an independent quality assurance process.

3. Complain Process

Ad networks sill accept and address notices from rights holders related to content published on sites in the ad network, and contact information for the person or entity responsible for receiving complaints must be clearly published on the ad network’s website. Ad networks must conduct appropriate investigations for all valid complaints received.

You can follow the link above to read the complete best practices document.

Not only will the new ad networks best practices cut the revenue stream of sites that are clearly breaking copyright laws, but it will also hurt sites that are selling counterfeit branded merchandise. Of course, these best practices won’t completely stop these types of sites. They’re likely to be replaced faster than consumers can complain about them and ad networks can remove them from their networks. However, it’s a step in the right direction.

At the very least, this is a topic that brand marketers need to be aware of and follow, because the outcome will help them protect their copyrights and trademarks as well as reduce ad spending on these sites. It’s an all-around win for brands.

What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: Jason Morrison

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.