Corporate Eye

Top Ad Publishers Announce Plan to Fight Bad Ads

StopBadware logoGoogle, AOL, Facebook, Twitter, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) have joined together to form the Ads Integrity Alliance with a mission fight bad ads. Those bad ads are the ones that promote malware (such as viruses, malicious downloads, and phishing sites), illegal goods and counterfeit goods, or try to scam people in any way.

Of course, the reason for the new alliance is partially self-serving. Bad ads could ultimately hurt the lucrative online advertising businesses that Google, Facebook, AOL, and Twitter depend on. As reported in AdWeek, online advertising revenue during the first quarter of 2012 increased by 15% over the prior year and reached a record high of $8.4 billion.

The new Ads Integrity Alliance will partner with StopBadware, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting bad ads online, to police online ads and reduce bad ads. In a post on the Google Public Policy Blog, Google Global Public Policy Director Eric Davis explains that the partnership represents the next phase of Google’s own policing efforts against bad ads. He explains that in 2011 Google disabled more than 130 million ads and 800,000 advertisers that violated Google’s policies.

According to Davis’ article, the Ads Integrity Alliance will work together to:

  1. Develop and share definitions, industry policy recommendations, and best practices.
  2. Serve as a platform for sharing information about bad actors.
  3. Share relevant trends with policymakers and law enforcement agencies.

Bottom-line, bad ads reduce consumers’ trust in online advertising and damage the online advertising ecosystem for all parties involved — good advertisers, consumers, and ad publishers. Let’s hope that the Ads Integrity Alliance can make a difference in the future of online advertising.

Image: StopBadware

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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+.