When people think about TAG’s mission, it’s easy to get distracted by some of our high-profile initiatives to fight the criminals profiting from fraud, malware, and piracy. Equally important, however, is our work to build trust in the advertising supply chain through the fourth pillar of TAG’s work: increasing transparency.
At the center of TAG’s transparency work are the Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG), a set of common disclosures made predominantly by publishers and platforms about the quality of their inventory. Those guidelines increase transparency in the ecosystem by giving companies a common framework to describe and disclose the characteristics of advertising inventory before and during transactions.
Each year, TAG recognizes the companies that comply with the IQG requirements, and this year more than 20 leading digital advertising companies attended the mandatory training and submitted the required documentation to do so.
A few companies took extra steps to achieve “Tier 1” status, our highest level, by hiring an auditor to review their compliance, while many others self-attested to the steps they had taken. (Under the IQG program, companies can either self-certify to their compliance, or they can hire an independent auditor to confirm they have done so.)
The Inventory Quality Guidelines are regularly updated to keep pace with the rapid technological and business changes in our medium, and TAG released an updated version of the IQG requirements last December. The main changes were enhanced requirements incorporating programmatic disclosures and OpenRTB Specs, as well as a new streamlined and interactive training program. As part of the update, buyers are also now invited to make disclosures about their creative.
Starting in 2017, the timeline for IQG compliance will be adjusted to match the calendar year. TAG Compliance Officers at every participating company will have access to a schedule of quarterly trainings, one of which they must attend every year to reach compliance. They also will need to submit IQG documents by December 31 for self-attested companies or by January 31 of the following year if they have opted for Tier 1 validation.
Below is the list of compliant companies for the period of April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. The remaining companies are currently working toward compliant status and will reach it upon submission of their latest quarterly audit report and attestations.
Congratulations to all of the companies who have achieved IQG compliance! Your efforts to increase transparency are building the trust necessary to continue to expand and improve the digital advertising ecosystem.
TAG IQG Compliant Companies:
Time Warner Cable