TAG Today - February 2023

In this month's newsletter:





Each year, TAG honors a select few industry leaders who have made exceptional contributions to the industry’s efforts in eliminating fraudulent traffic, facilitating the sharing of threat intelligence, promoting brand safety, or strengthening transparency to be recognized as TAG Trust Champions.

This year, we are honored and delighted to recognize two extraordinary contributors to TAG’s success in addressing those challenges: Abrahim Farraj, Senior Director, Brand Safety at NBCUniversal and Lindsay Superczynski-Matthies, former Sales Operations and Strategy Lead, Exchange Quality at Yahoo!

In addition to this year’s Trust Champions, TAG is also pleased to name two veteran industry leaders - sovrn CEO Walter Knapp and former NBCUniversal Vice President of Public Policy David Green - as our first-ever Career TAG Champions, a new recognition for senior executives who have been long-term leaders in providing time, energy, thought leadership, and action to support trust and transparency. 

Trust Champions

Abe Farraj

AbeFarrajAbe was a founding father of TAG’s Brand Safety Certification (BSC) program, serving as chair of the Brand Safety Working Group and playing a key role in our efforts to expand Project Brand Integrity to other markets and mobile apps. Thanks in large part to his engagement and leadership, BSC has become the most visible and influential certification program of its kind in the world, and we are deeply grateful for his commitment to this important issue.




Lindsay Superczynski-Matthies

superczynski_headshot 1

A year ago, all of the members of the TAG Threat Exchange (TX) were recognized as TAG Trust Champions for their efforts in sharing real-time intelligence and partnering to shut down malvertising attacks. This year, TAG is pleased to honor an important TX participant whose work over the last year has helped elevate the efforts of that group and better protect our industry from criminal activity.

Over the last year, Lindsay has been a leader in helping to build out the Threat Exchange, so it can better identify, analyze, and share emerging threats across the industry. She was also a key contributor to the TAG Malvertising Taxonomy, which fosters transparency and collaboration by providing accurate and consistent terminology to describe malvertising, and she was a key participant in TAG’s first Red Team exercise.


Career Champions

Walter Knapp

Successful self-regulatory programs rest on the bedrock support of key companies in the industry. Walter was one of the first leaders in digital advertising to publicly call for the industry to take on the multi-billion dollar ad fraud problem, and his call-to-action helped lead to the creation of TAG and its Certified Against Fraud program. 

Walter did more than talk the talk; he made sure sovrn walked the walk. Under his leadership, sovrn was one of the first companies to achieve the TAG Certified Against Fraud seal, and it extended its engagement across all of TAG’s other seal programs, becoming one of the inaugural companies to achieve TAG Platinum Status by obtaining all four of TAG’s program certifications.



David Green

In the organization’s earliest days, David was a driving force in helping TAG design and launch its first program, the TAG Certified Against Piracy Seal (now part of the Brand Safety Certified program), and he was a long-time Co-Chair of the Anti-Piracy Working Group. David was also one of TAG’s most vocal and effective industry evangelists, tirelessly promoting its work and recruiting companies to join TAG’s seal programs. 

David also served as an important liaison in TAG’s efforts to build relationships with federal law enforcement officials at the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.



Past TAG Trust Champions have included Marc Pritchard of Procter & Gamble (2017); Scott Spencer of Google (2017); Steve Sullivan of Index Exchange (2017); Louisa Wong, David Murnick, and Olga O'Donnell of Dentsu Aegis (2018); Dallas Lawrence, Christopher Hallenbeck, and John Murphy of OpenX (2018); Lou Paskalis and Terri Schriver of Bank of America (2019); Alexander Groysman and Lori Hopkins of Charter Communications (2019); Vinod Panicker and Christian Martine of Amazon Advertising (2020), and the members of the TAG Threat Exchange (2021).

Please join us in congratulating and thanking our new TAG Trust Champions and Career TAG Champion for their efforts on behalf of our industry.



What is your role at TAG? 

I am the Vice President of Policy and Compliance with TAG. On the Policy side, that involves working with our directors of policy on engaging with TAG members and our Working Groups to continue to evolve TAG’s certification programs. On the Compliance end, I work with members on understanding how they need to comply with program guidelines in order to become certified by TAG. With that in mind, members should feel free to contact me with any questions they have regarding how to become certified by TAG.

What stands out to you about the work you do at TAG?

The most rewarding part about working with TAG and the TAG community is that, together we have a positive impact on everyone who uses the Internet. In small ways, every day, we’re working to help make the world a better place, and that is exciting and fulfilling.

What fun fact about you would surprise your TAG friends and colleagues?

During my first two years of college, I also worked as a radio disc jockey in California; spinning your favorite music with another 10 songs in a row – back-to-back – right after this!


Team TAG is hitting the road in March with stops in London, Singapore, and Virginia!

TAG leaders will be taking part in an Executive Women’s Forum event on March 8th in McLean, Virginia, USA; the IAB UK Leadership Summit on March 9th in London, UK; Brand Safety Summit Singapore on March 16th; and Brand Safety Summit London on March 23rd. Please let us know if you’ll be attending these or any other upcoming industry events, so we can connect in person!



From “How to Make Digital Advertising in SEA Safer and Less Attractive to Criminals” by Nick Stringer, TAG VP of Global Engagement and Operations, in Campaign Asia:


Proper digital marketplace standards will make our region a less attractive target for bad actors, improve advertising performance, and support responsible businesses. Period.

First, any company that wants to participate should have its credentials checked to ensure they are a legitimate business. This might seem obvious, but bad actors can't act if we don't let them in.

Second, every organisation must show it is organised, resourced and with accountable staff responsible for avoiding harm. Third, what gets measured gets managed, so the first compliance rule has rules.

Third, when advertisers only work with those companies that meet industry standards, it incentivises others who don't. Like in the hotel example, anyone wanting business from the best buyers must be a responsible seller.

Finally, the digital ad industry is an ecosystem. Even advertisers with sound systems face greater risk if others, inadvertently or otherwise, let in bad actors. So it needs industry standards that cover everyone.

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 info@tagtoday.net.

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 andrewwstn@gmail.com for review before release.


Topics: Blog