August 27, 2021

TAG Today - August 2021



TAG’s Jules Kendrick Highlights Learnings from Global Fraud Studies in IAB Europe Blog

Earlier this month, IAB Europe published a guest blog from Jules Kendrick, TAG’s MD for UK & Europe on the learnings from TAG’s worldwide studies around fraud. An excerpt follows:

Several years ago, the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) began to pull back the curtain on ad fraud through a series of studies in the United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region to evaluate the effectiveness of its TAG Certified Against Fraud Program in reducing the rate of invalid traffic (IVT) and fraud.

Last month, TAG released its third annual benchmark study of ad fraud in Europe, which highlighted several learnings from its work across the continent, as well as a next-step strategy for companies to keep fraud rates transparent, manageable, and low. …

In addition to the quantitative results, the study also conducted a qualitative analysis through interviews with senior executives from the participating ad tech holding companies. Those experts ascribed the significant increase in attacks through mobile channels to changing consumer behaviour and the impact of the pandemic. They affirmed that benchmarks to measure fraud over time are critical to industry analysis of the problem. The experts also noted that many agencies are now requiring their publisher partners to obtain TAG certifications.

While the European study didn’t explicitly focus on other regions, TAG has now conducted similar research across four continents, all of which points to the same conclusion: Successfully fighting fraud requires cross-industry collaboration to set consistently high standards across all participants in the supply chain. In regions with less developed digital advertising markets, the baseline rate of IVT and fraud may be higher, but the solution path is the same. In those emerging markets, however, the tools and resources provided to industry participants are critical to helping them understand the importance of this common standard-setting process.

Brand Safety Institute Releases White Paper Highlighting Importance of TAG Programs

As advertising and media professionals continue to grapple with the impact of the events of 2020 and 2021, Louis Jones, Brand Safety Officer in Residence for the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) has released a new white paper, “Brand Safety Evolves,” which catalogues some of the issues our industry faces going forward, as well as the importance of TAG programs in addressing those issues.


Based on interviews with more than a dozen TAG members and other experts, the white paper provides insights into the complex and intertwined brand safety challenges of partisan strife, disinformation, racial injustice, and the breakdown of democratic norms in the United States and around the world.

Through the voices of the industry leaders tackling those challenges, the white paper offers a snapshot of the current state of play, as well as a potential path forward as companies continue to offer both moral and business leadership on these issues.

The white paper also highlights how TAG programs can play a critical role in addressing those challenges, given the “topic of brand safety includes fraud, invalid traffic (IVT), viewability, piracy, malware, contextual adjacency, and more recently mis/ disinformation.” As the white paper notes, TAG programs and benchmarks play an important role in addressing those issues.

To accompany the whitepaper, Lewis interviewed several industry executives in a video discussion on how brand safety professionals can work to achieve a healthy media ecosystem and society. Participants included Robert Rakowitz, Initiative Lead, The Global Alliance for Responsible Media; Sarah Personette, VP Global Client Solutions, Twitter; and Joshua Lowcock, Global Brand Safety Officer - UM Worldwide.


From “TikTok Achieves Brand Safety Certification in the Middle East” in Campaign Middle East:  

TikTok For Business METAP announced that it was awarded the TAG Brand Safety Certificate across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Awarded by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), the leading global certification program, this certification recognizes TikTok for setting rigorous brand safety standards to protect the safety of our community, provide brand protection, and ensure transparency into our practices. …

“We are pleased to recognize TikTok for taking the steps necessary to extend its TAG Brand Safety Certified status worldwide,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO, TAG. “By adopting industry best practices to protect its partners and the supply chain from the full range of potential brand safety threats, TikTok is demonstrating its strong commitment to the safety of its growing community and the protection of brands within that community. We look forward to continuing to work with TikTok to raise the bar for other companies across the digital ad supply chain.” 

From “Context Is the King of Digital Advertising’s Future” in The Drum:

Content is still important, but context is the new king. Where your ads appear matters just as much as their content – and news sites provide a bigger bang for your buck than social platforms. …

The issue of brand safety is especially poignant in the midst of a global pandemic: research by the Trustworthy Accountability Group found that more than 85% of consumers say they would reduce or stop purchasing products from brands they regularly use if they saw their ad run next to a Covid-19 conspiracy theory or misinformation.

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We love it when TAG members highlight our work together to fight digital ad crime and improve transparency. Please send any TAG-related press releases, blogs, or other announcements to Andrew Weinstein at for review before release.


Topics: Blog