SYDNEY: A new Australian initiative from IPG Mediabrands, Project Quality, is aiming to encourage industry-wide action on viewability and ad fraud.

Ultimately it wants to achieve 100% viewable ads and fraud-free online advertising across its digital media bookings.

Victor Corones, managing director of Magna Global, IPG's investment division, pointed to the lack of any industry consensus around these issues. "In that void, it felt like we had to draw a line in the sand," he told Mumbrella.

"Clearly we have to give confidence to clients and it is important to the vitality of the sector that if we aren't seen to be putting strategies in place then they will start to question the value of the media," he explained.

Project Quality has been led by Maria Grivas, head of digital for Magna Global, who outlined the approach.

"By collaborating with publishers and exchanges we are aiming to maximise adoption and therefore campaign effectiveness," she explained. "To that end, we have agreed to accept a publisher's viewability measure provided it's from an industry-accredited third party and an IPG Mediabrands approved vendor."

A client dashboard will offer real-time reporting of campaign performance across such key metrics as measurable impressions, viewable impressions, fraud, and the percentage of impressions that are on target.

"We think the timing is right to really take a stance and help drive and agitate around these measures," said Grivas.

IAB Australia welcomed the move, with CEO Alice Manners, saying it "made a lot of sense" as it wasn't placing unreasonable demands on publishers to trade on 100% viewability and was "exploring other options such as working with publishers to optimise during campaign flight to demonstrate improved viewability".

"It's a collaborative approach that involves us all rolling up our sleeves – and it's what we'd like to see others in the industry do," she wrote in Ad News.

IPG Mediabrands has been trialling Project Quality for 18 months and Grivas reported that the moves to tackle fraud were paying off, as the proportion of fraudulent impressions had fallen from 12% to 0.005%.

Data sourced from Ad News, Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff