Quality Assurance Guidelines

Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) 2.0 have now been finalized and published.
Download QAG 2.0 | Read the change log
Read the Press Release on QAG 2.0
Download the previous QAG 1.5 guidelines for Networks and Exchanges

With more than a million sites that carry advertising and the hundreds of technology vendors, the transaction of ads in the digital advertising ecosystem is complex. Without some framework for common ground, buyers aren’t sure which sellers to trust and sellers have a difficult time trying to prove their integrity.

The IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) promotes the flow of advertising budgets into digital advertising with industry regulation that offers a framework for brand safety. The mission of the Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) Program is to reduce friction and foster an environment of trust in the marketplace by providing clear common language that describes characteristics of advertising inventory and transactions across the advertising value chain.

The QAG program has recently been updated and published as QA Guidelines 2.0:

  • Expanded to include ALL buyers and sellers of advertising including networks and exchanges, premium publishers, supply side platforms (SSPs), demand side platforms (DSPs), marketers, agencies and trading desks
  • Strengthened compliance with the introduction of an option for independent third-party validation of a company’s certification
  • Updated to reflect video, mobile and programmatic buying disclosures given the increasing importance of these platforms

The goals of the QAG program are to:

  • Support the information needs of advertising buyers
  • Define a common framework of disclosures that sellers can use across the industry
  • Offer clear language in the QAG disclosure framework that enables buyers to make informed decisions
  • Review compliance among QAG-certified companies and facilitate the resolution of disputes and complaints.

QAG offers value to both buyers and sellers:

For the Buyer
QAG provides transparency for buyers, enabling them to buy advertising inventory with confidence. QAG was created in joint efforts by buyers and sellers and represents the buyers’ voice to sellers in defining terms for seller disclosure.

For the Seller
QAG creates a simple, common, and standard language to describe and classify advertising opportunities. Doing so makes buying inventory easier for the buyer, which increases overall demand for QAG-certified sellers. Increased inventory value for certified companies enables increased revenue because QAG certification classifies these companies as industry leaders, which clearly distinguishes them from any bad actors.