MIAMI — As the name of an organization, it may evoke memories of 1950s cop TV series – but, whilst the Advertiser Protection Bureau (APB) fights misdemeanors, it isn’t a crime-busting agency and its members don’t carry badges.

Launched at the 4A’s Accelerate conference, APB is a new body through which ad agency groups will notify each other when they see ads delivered in “unsafe” media environments. That will trigger APB to flag the environment for an investigation by agency-client teams, assessing it for compliance with 4A’s Advertising Assurance standard.

The bureau’s go-to guardians of safety? Executives from Dentsu Aegis Network, GroupM, Havas Media, Horizon Media, IPG Mediabrands, MDC Partners, Omnicom Media Group and Publicis Media.

It’s the latest measure by which the industry is trying to wrestle back so-called “brand safety”, the practice through which advertisers are comfortable with the content they are served beside.

“The object is to work together as opposed to work against each other,” says Joe Barone, brand safety partner for Americas at GroupM.

“We compete every day in the business pitches. But this is the kind of thing that everyone can agree on is no good for anybody. So, if we can all work together to help our clients advertise more safely, then we’ll clean up the ecosystem and, most importantly, continue to deliver revenue to the legitimate news sources that deserve to generate advertising revenue.”

4A’s members agreed on the Advertising Assurance guidelines in March, setting out to categorize media environments for risk, create a decency code with the Media Ratings Council and introduce new standards, metrics, methodologies and tools to combat unsafe environments.

This video is part of a series titled The Road to the Digital Content NewFronts. It is a preview of topics to be explored at IAB’s NewFronts, which begin on April 30. This series is presented by Meredith Corporation. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.

The Road to the Digital Content NewFronts 2018, presented by Meredith Corporation