TAG Today - February 2018

February 28, 2018


TAG and JICWEBS Align Fraud and Safety Initiatives

Late last month, TAG and the UK’s Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) announced plans to align many of their key initiatives to create a consistent approach to challenges facing digital advertising and increase industry adoption.

As part of that alignment, TAG will take the long-term lead on fighting fraud, malware, and piracy, while JICWEBS will continue to drive brand safety efforts in the UK. JICWEBS, along with the leading UK advertising trade bodies will formally endorse TAG, while TAG will endorse the JICWEBS Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) Brand Safety initiative for companies’ UK operations.

Beginning immediately, the alignment will roll out in three stages:

In announcing the plans, TAG CEO Mike Zaneis said, “By working together, TAG and JICWEBS can ensure that UK advertisers have a clear and consistent approach to building brand safety while fighting fraud, malware, and piracy. By reducing redundancy and harmonizing the existing efforts, TAG and JICWEBS will be able to expand their efforts, increase adoption, and further protect the digital supply chain worldwide.”  

Coverage of the announcement included MediaPost, The Drum, Campaign, Mobile Marketing, Research Live, Exchange Wire, and PerformanceIN.

Recertification Rolls On

As many of you know, TAG is in the process of recertifying many of our existing seal holders for an announcement next month, so we wanted to give you a quick update.

Broadly, the TAG program continues to build momentum with increasing numbers of companies applying for seal programs or expanding their certifications from a single seal to multiple programs. To date, 80 companies have earned 110 seals across TAG’s four programs. Of those, 39 companies are due to recertify 60 seals in March. (The others do not yet require recertification, as the seals were already valid for this year.)

Reinforcing TAG’s global expansion, the vast majority of seal recipients are choosing “global” applicability, rather than only a single geographic region.

TAG plans to announce the 2018 Seal recertifications in early March. If your company has any questions about the 2018 recertification process or would like to apply for additional seal programs, please contact

TAG on the Dais 

TAG believes that industry education and engagement is key to expanding adoption of our seal programs, particularly as the organization expands worldwide. To drive that industry thought leadership, TAG executives are undertaking an active speaking and event schedule over the next several months, with an on-stage presence at many of the industry’s most prominent events in the US and around the world, including: 

In addition, TAG representatives will be attending other major industry events, including the ISBA Annual Conference on March 6th in London, UK and Cannes Lions in June. If you are attending any of these events and would like to connect with a TAG representative in person, please let us know.


From Andy Evans, CMO of Sovrn, in MediaPost: 

In addition to the tools available to fight fraud, numerous initiatives are pushing the industry in the right direction, and many companies are working together to make the web a safer and more user-friendly place to advertise. This includes the Coalition for Better Ads, whose mission is to develop and implement strict new standards for online advertising, and the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a cross-industry accountability program that fights criminal activity within the digital advertising supply chain. …

Among the thousands of players in the digital advertising market -- including ad networks, service networks, technology providers, and SSPs -- only a handful are certified and supporting industry initiatives. It’s a positive step that agencies and advertisers are planning to buy against ads.txt, but they should equally commit to companies that have put their best foot forward and are audited, approved and support other industry-changing initiatives. It’s important that anti-fraud credentials are used across the ecosystem to help select trusted, compliant partners.

From Joe Mandese, Editor in Chief of MediaPost in MediaPost’s Digital News Daily:

Whatever basis you use to analyze it, adoption of the new industry standard for filtering publishers’ inventory authorized to be resold is gaining momentum and has reached critical mass.

Last week, for example, the Trustworthy Accountability Group, made adoption of ads.txt a requirement for receiving TAG’s ad fraud certification seal.

From an interview with TAG CEO Mike Zaneis on

“We were chartered by the leading trade associations, the IAB of course but also the Association of National Advertisers and 4A’s to bring the industry together to fight criminal activity,” he tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “Specifically, fraud, privacy and malware. But we also have this overarching mission to increase transparency throughout the ecosystem.”… 

Until then, he is helping media companies clean up their supply chain, by laying down guidelines platforms should follow. “We come up with high standards,” he says. “We set really high bar.” Compliant companies earn a TAG Certified-Against-Fraud seal. And Zaneis says it is working.

“Our certification programs are proving to be very effective,” he adds. “It means you’re living up to the highest levels of fighting criminal activity.

A PR Reminder from TAG

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.

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