(Deutsch) Qualitätszertifikate

Guidelines for a strong digital advertising market

The quality certificates from agof and BVDW

The performance of the digital advertising market is driven above all by two key factors: performance must be right and customer trust must not be disappointed. Clear rules and verifiable performance values are the be-all and end-all here – also in the delivery of advertising media. In order to enforce uniform standards across the market, two strong partners are cooperating: the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) and the German Association for Online Research (agof). As part of a joint certification initiative, key figures and processes will in future be checked against uniform criteria and, if assessed positively, given an official seal of approval.

Transparency and comparability have always been central concerns of agof: whether in the provision of valid planning data, the campaign monitoring process that will soon be launched in regular operation, or the aqi programmatic service. The commitment to comprehensible rules and quality features in the area of ad verification is therefore a logical extension of agof’s areas of responsibility.

By awarding quality certificates, BVWD and agof are not only ensuring greater reliability in the field of ad and audience verification. The certificates are also intended to contribute to a sustainable increase in quality, as the market participants agree on minimum standards and codes of conduct as part of the initiative.

But that’s not all: agof and BVDW are thus realizing IAB Europe’s plan to create a European standard for certifications for the German market and are transferring the European guidelines into practical application. The set of rules for certificates developed in Germany is thus also ideally suited as a blueprint for EU-wide standardization.

The guidelines of the German certification initiative are:

  • Establishing new quality standards for the measurement of digital advertising
  • Improving the comparability of measurement service providers through uniform definitions, measurement points and thresholds
  • Strengthening the trust of the advertising market in the digital advertising environment through clarity and transparency

The Certification of Performance Values (ZvL)

Logo ZvLFor a certificate to be of value, it is crucial that it is issued by a competent, credible and independent body. In addition, the award procedure must be based on comprehensible, generally recognized rules and, last but not least, have practical added value for all those involved in the application process.

These requirements are met in full by the Certification of Performance Values (ZvL), as the initiative of the BVDW and agof is called. For ZvL, both organizations pool their know-how and create the necessary structures to assess procedures for mapping advertising-relevant subject areas.

Roles and distribution of tasks

The administrative framework is the Digital Trust Initiative (DTI) of the BVDW, through which advertisers, agencies, marketers and measurement service providers jointly define which quality assurance and trust-building measures are required in the digital media business. The Quality Framework of the DTI forms the basis for agof’s Commission Performance Values & Guidelines (KLR). In this committee, dedicated sets of rules for the individual certificates are elaborated, i.e. the content-related basis for the assessment is defined. All market participants are also represented here, who contribute their practical, methodological and technical knowledge and, of course, also have legal and market-relevant developments in mind. In addition, the KLR is responsible for coordinating the necessary audit processes, selecting suitable service providers and giving green light for the quality seal after a successful audit process or necessary adjustments made by the company to be certified.

While the KLR operates behind the scenes, the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) handles all external tasks and functions. As the representative body for companies that operate digital business models or whose value creation is based on the use of digital technologies, the BVDW is also responsible for officially awarding certificates. In practice, this means that anyone who wants to have their product or service certified can register on the BVDW website, where they will also receive all the important information, e.g. on terms or costs.

Rollenverteilung ZvL

Kick-off with quality certificate for “Viewability

The first certificate, for the aspect ” Viewability” is already on the market!
Measurement service providers and tool suppliers can now be certified for Viewability solutions. Further certificates from the area of ad verification will follow later this year such as Brand Safety and Invalid Traffic.

Separate quality certificates are also being developed for audience verification, i.e. for checking whether advertising media or campaigns reach the target group. The focus lies on target group reach as well as accuracy of fit and/or targeting quality.

In the first step, certification will be offered for the German or German-speaking market. However, an extension to the continental European region is conceivable and already being discussed.


All important facts about the new offer can be found in a compact summary in the agof factsheet “Certifications”:

(german / pdf 1.4 MB)

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