The digital advertising supply chain is both vibrant and complex. In 2014, more than $100 billion was invested in digital advertising across more than a million sites, involving hundreds of technology vendors. Criminals have inserted themselves into the supply chain, deceiving and defrauding all legitimate industry participants. Rooting out illegal activity will require a common framework to help buyers know which sellers to trust and to allow sellers to demonstrate their ability to meet advertisers’ needs. All industry participants should know more about their suppliers and their suppliers’ suppliers.
TAG helps all participants gain a better understanding of the digital supply chain and the challenges that threaten its continued success. We work to build openness, understanding and trust at all levels. Our initiatives aim to make it easier for honest participants to stand out through their voluntary adherence to industry standards and best practices. TAG is a voluntary, self-regulatory program that supports the development of common standards to combat digital ad fraud, malware, and piracy in the digital advertising supply chain. TAG will promote the voluntary adoption of those standards throughout the industry.
TAG’s work in this area is coordinated through the TAG Business Transparency Committee.
TAG’s Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG), originally developed by IAB as the Quality Assurance Guidelines and subsequently transferred to TAG, represent a strong foundation on which to build. The IQG program promotes the flow of advertising budgets into digital advertising with industry regulation that offers a framework for brand safety.
The mission of the IQG 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 goals of the IQG 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 IQG disclosure framework that enables buyers to make informed decisions; and
- Review compliance among IQG-certified companies and facilitate the resolution of disputes and complaints.
Forty-two leading interactive publishers, networks, exchanges, supply-side platforms, demand-side platforms, agency trading desks and other advertising technology companies have been officially certified under the IQG program. Seven other leading digital advertising sell-side companies are also in process to gain accreditation under the program.
TAG’s Business Transparency Committee will contribute to the industry’s progress in promoting transparency.
Throughout 2015, TAG will work to update and strengthen the IQG program. It will be expanded to include programmatic advertising buys. In addition, a series of disclosures that buyers must provide to sellers of ad inventory will be developed. Finally, the program will move from one that is based largely on self-attestation to a fully audited one.