TAG Today - December 2022
In this month's newsletter:
- Launching a New Standard for Transparency
- Milestones in Eliminating Fraudulent Traffic
- Milestones in Fighting Malware
- Milestones in Promoting Brand Safety
- Milestones in Sharing Threat Intelligence
- Milestones in Building a Global TAG
- One More Thing
TAG YEAR-IN-REVIEW: 22 MILESTONES FROM TAG EFFORTS TO REDUCE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, STRENGTHEN BRAND SAFETY, AND IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY IN 2022
The end of the year is an opportunity to look back at progress, review challenges, and develop plans for the coming twelve months. After another year of global growth and measurable effectiveness for TAG and its programs, we are pleased to share 22 of the most notable highlights of 2022 with you.
Launching a New Standard for Transparency
1. Last month, TAG announced the launch of the TAG “Certified for Transparency” Program, a new global standard for responsible transparency practices that will give ad buyers and their partners more confidence, clarity, and control around the details of their digital advertising campaigns. By offering a common transparency framework, TAG’s “Certified for Transparency” Program will establish a “shared truth” on campaign data across the supply chain. A central requirement for seal recipients is participation in a TAG-recognized Transparency utility, such as TAG TrustNet’s Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) framework, which creates a single trusted record for transactions through real-time reconciling and sharing advertising log files with counterparties.
Eliminating Fraudulent Traffic
2. New data demonstrated that ad buyers around the world can purchase inventory from TAG Certified Channels (TCC) with confidence, as invalid traffic (IVT) rates in every region were held under 1% when multiple entities involved in the transaction – such as the media agency, buy-side platform, sell-side platform, and/or publisher – have achieved the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal.
3. In the US, the 2022 TAG Fraud Benchmark Study showed a consolidation of industry gains in the fight against ad fraud, as invalid traffic (IVT) in TCCs was held to just .98%. For the first time, this year’s US fraud benchmark study also conducted a spend analysis of digital video advertising, based on data contributed by SMI. In total, more than $5 billion was spent through video channels in which at least one participant was TAG Certified. Even better, the study showed that CPMs drop as video channels become cleaner, providing a win-win of lower costs and safer inventory for buyers.
4. Sustained low fraud rates in TAG Certified Channels were also found in Asia-Pacific markets this spring, where TAG’s third-annual TAG Asia-Pacific Fraud Snapshot found a 0.37% percent rate for IVT in TAG Certified channels. In Non-Certified Channels (NCC), the rate was more than 2.5 times higher.
5. In June, TAG released its fourth annual TAG European Fraud Benchmark Study, showing a significant 20% year-over-year drop in IVT in TAG Certified Channels in major European markets. The study found the IVT rate in TAG Certified Channels in Europe declined from 0.69% in last year’s study to just 0.55% this year, while maintaining an impressive sub-1% IVT rate across all four years of the study.
6. In May, TAG held its second CTV Fraud Summit in New York City to bring together key stakeholders from across the industry to discuss challenges and best practices in addressing CTV Fraud. With attendees spanning top agencies, intermediaries, publishers, and anti-fraud vendors, the Summit program focused on identifying any gaps in anti-fraud detection and brainstorming additional anti-fraud measures that could be employed in the CTV space.
7. The number of IP addresses in TAG’s Data Center IP (DCIP) list has grown 57% since the same time last year, building a more comprehensive set of IP addresses that have been identified to have a high risk of being the origin of invalid traffic, so TAG members can block them,
8. In July, TAG released V8 of the Certified Against Fraud Guidelines, continuing to strengthen and improve its requirements helping companies fight malicious and criminal non-human traffic.
9. In November, TAG released the digital advertising industry's first Malvertising Taxonomy, which provides detailed and consistent terminology to foster transparency and collaboration in the industry’s fight against malvertising and support the work of the TAG Threat Exchange, as it ensures all participants are speaking the same language when collaborating to find and stop the criminals behind those threats.
10. The number of companies earning TAG’s Certified Against Malware Seal increased by 25% in 2022, making it TAG’s fastest growing program.
Promoting Brand Safety
11. In April, TAG released the first annual report for Project Brand Integrity (PBI), its initiative to protect advertisers from negative brand association by alerting them when their ads run on pirate sites in Europe. The report found that direct outreach by TAG prompted a large majority of advertisers (79%) to reduce their ad impressions on pirate sites, with nearly half of that group (43%) ending nearly all ads on such sites. Among the brands that reduced their ads, there was an overall reduction of advertising on pirate sites by nearly two-thirds (66%).
12. This fall, TAG played a central role in the second annual "Brand Safety Week" in New York City, including TAG executives at the event leading the GARM Master Class on regulation and self-regulation, announcing the TAG “Certified For Transparency Program” from the main stage, and releasing the results of the TAG US Fraud Benchmark Study and a new consumer survey on brand safety.
13. Prior to Brand Safety Week, TAG released the 2022 TAG/BSI Brand Safety Survey, which discovered that US consumers broadly believe that all news content is appropriate for ads. Only one in four respondents felt any specific news topic should be off-limits to ads, while nearly half (46 percent) said all high-quality journalism should be appropriate for ads.
14. When asked directly about industry efforts, an overwhelming majority of survey respondents (83 percent) gave credit to brands that took a leadership role on brand safety by saying they would feel more positive about a company that required its partners to be independently certified for brand safety.
Sharing Threat Intelligence
15. The TAG Threat Exchange (TX) solidified its role as the premier threat sharing forum for the digital advertising industry. Two new TX hires -- Mike Lyden, a 17-year veteran of the US intelligence community, and cybersecurity researcher Thao Tran -- strengthened TAG’s capabilities around industry threat sharing and generating independent analysis and intelligence on new and emerging threats. In addition, TAG continues to be the first and only Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) for the digital ad industry by the US Department of Homeland Security.
16. Since last year, the TAG Threat Exchange has seen a 275% increase in shared intelligence by participating companies, highlighting the critical role it plays in protecting the digital advertising ecosystem.
17. In addition, TAG established a collaborative partnership with the UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), an organization which provides advice and support for the public and private sector in how to avoid computer security threats.
18. In June, TAG hosted a Threat Evolution Series Session on malvertising at the iconic RSA Conference in Las Vegas featuring Splunk, The Media Trust, and MediaMath. For the first time, TAG served as the RSA Conference’s association partner for the event.
Building a Global TAG
19. A record number of companies across the industry and around the world achieved one or more TAG seals in 2022, as the digital advertising industry continued to close ranks against new and emerging threats in fraud, malware, and brand safety. In 2022, 231 TAG certified member companies were awarded 313 TAG seals across TAG’s Certified Against Fraud, Certified Against Malware, and Brand Safety Certified Programs with a large majority of recertified seals (62%) awarded through independent validation.
20. The number of companies recognized with TAG Platinum status by earning all of TAG’s seals also set a new record in 2022, with their ranks increasing by 46%.
21. To educate the industry on responsible supply chain standards and share information about TAG programs, TAG team members participated in scores of industry events, industry briefings, and direct meetings with members and other stakeholders around the world, including tentpole industry events like Cannes Lions (France), DMEXCO (Cologne), Advertising Week (NYC), TAG State of the Fight (NYC), Mad//Fest (UK), Brand Safety Summit (Singapore), IAB Hong Kong, ExchangeWire’s ATS Singapore (Singapore), AllThatMatters (Singapore), RSA Conference (Las Vegas), Advertising Week (APAC - Sydney, Australia), Brand Safety Week (NYC), Digital Trust and Safety Summit (San Francisco), and d3con (Hamburg).
22. Part of TAG’s success across its program areas can be attributed to the reinvigoration of the TAG Working Groups, which brought in dozens of thought leaders from across the industry in 2022 to help participants understand and address issues as varied as “IVT Challenges in Gaming Environments” (with experts from NBCU, Anzu, and Meta), “Best Practices for a Successful Anti-Malware Program” (with Sovrn), and “Navigating Brand Safety at the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup” (with IAS).
Thank you for your continued leadership and support in protecting the digital advertising industry in 2022. We look forward to building on our work in fighting crime, strengthening brand safety, and improving transparency across the digital advertising ecosystem in 2023!
One more thing...
💻🖥️💻 - State of the Fight - ON DEMAND!
Did you miss this year's State of the Fight event in NYC? Or was there a really good soundbite from one of the sessions that you want to use? Click on the line below!
If you've lost the password or haven't received it, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our Data and Insight page 👉 tagtoday.net/state-of-the-fight-2022
🧑🏻💻👨🏼💻👩🏽💻 - Leverage TAG Research into Your Everyday!
From APAC Fraud Snapshot reports, to UK Brand Safety Consumer reports, to Best Practices whitepapers, TAG's research is here to support our member's day-to-day compliance as well as strategic planning.
Visit our Data and Insight page 👉 tagtoday.net/insights
📣📣📣 - Let's Make Some Noise Together 🤝
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 email@example.com for review before release.