January 30, 2020

TAG Today - January 2020


TAG Trust Champions
2020 Priorities
TAG In The News


TAG Today – January 2020

Announcing the Third Annual “TAG Trust Champions”

Every year, TAG recognizes a small number of industry leaders who have made exceptional contributions to TAG and the industry’s efforts to fight criminal activity and improve transparency across digital advertising by awarding them our highest honor as “TAG Trust Champions.”

This year, we are honored and delighted to recognize four executives at two companies who have been trailblazers in helping advance both TAG’s program efforts and our industry’s goals.

The 2019 TAG Trust Champions are:

Lou Paskalis and Terri Schriver of Bank of America

Lou Paskalis serves as Senior Vice President of Customer Engagement and Media Investment, and Terri Schriver is Senior Vice President of Enterprise Media at Bank of America. Lou and Terri have been longtime leaders and public advocates in building a stronger, safer, and more transparent digital advertising supply chain. Under Lou and Terri’s leadership, Bank of America has turned talk into action, creating a new position of Brand Safety Officer as part of an internal team dedicated to issues of brand safety, ad fraud, and transparency. By driving both internal improvements and industry adoption of best practices, Lou and Terri have raised the bar across TAG’s program areas.

“We are beyond thrilled to be recognized by TAG for our ongoing efforts to make the digital ecosystem a safe place where marketers like Bank of America can connect with customers,” said Paskalis. “We know that our clients want the power to achieve the things that are important to them in their daily lives, their communities and their businesses, and digital channels allow us to understand their needs and present solutions at great scale. TAG is doing such great work leading our industry’s efforts overall in this area and this recognition means so much to us all, particularly our brand safety team led by Terri Schriver.”

Alexander Groysman and Lori Hopkins of Charter Communications

Alexander Groymsan is Senior Director, Advanced Advertising, Product Development, and Lori Hopkins is Director of Product Development at Spectrum Reach, the advertising sales and production services team offered by Charter Communications. As active participants on TAG’s Leadership Council, Alex and Lori have helped steer and strengthen TAG’s programs, providing expertise and strategic guidance on how TAG can better serve the industry. Alex and Lori’s leadership on TAG initiatives has been mirrored by their operational excellence within Charter, which has been a model for rigor and compliance with TAG’s program standards. For their leadership within TAG and within their own organization, Alex and Lori have set a new standard for positive cross-industry engagement.

“We are honored for Charter to be recognized as a TAG Trust Champion for our efforts in improving transparency and trust across the digital media supply chain,” said Groysman. “We look forward to our ongoing partnership with TAG in raising the bar for our industry.”  

Past TAG Trust Champions have included Marc Pritchard of Proctor & 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); and Dallas Lawrence, Christopher Hallenbeck, and John Murphy of OpenX (2018).

Please join Team TAG in thanking all of this year’s TAG Trust Champions for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of our industry and our efforts!

TAG Outlines Priorities for 2020

As we enter the new year, it’s abundantly clear that 2020 is going to be a year of dramatic change across the industry. TAG’s 2020 priorities are aligned to address those changes by tackling fraud and piracy in new distribution channels (OTT/CTV), closing information-sharing gaps (ISAO and threat-sharing), strengthening identification needs (TAG-ID), and creating a unified industry certification for brand safety and transparency (IQG+DTSG).

Four key strategic priorities for TAG in 2020 are:

1. Developing industry-wide definitions of Over-the-Top TV (OTT) and Connected TV (CTV), so TAG can lead efforts to address fraud and piracy across those channels.

Obviously, the OTT and CTV markets are huge...and growing fast. There are already 97 million CTV households, and 76 percent of streamers watch ad-supported OTT. US advertisers spent an estimated $6.94 billion on CTV ads in 2019, and by 2023, that figure will reach $14.12 billion. While OTT and CTV are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing, and clear definitions of each are needed to determine the scope of fraud and piracy across those channels, so we can develop industry solutions. TAG’s 2020 priorities including building consensus around OTT and CTV definitions, so we can review and expand TAG programs and tools to fully address OTT/CTV fraud and piracy.

2. Fully operationalizing TAG’s threat-sharing role as industry ISAO, including the TAG Threat Exchange.

Crime, like water, follows the path of least resistance, so criminals will continue to target the digital advertising supply chain until an easier opportunity emerges. We need to make it much harder to profit from digital ad crime by improving our industry’s information-sharing tools (fewer opportunities) and putting more criminals in jail (more consequences). By tightening our defenses against malware threats and sharing real-time criminal activity across industry and law enforcement, we can make digital ad crime a bad investment of time and energy for the bad guys. We plan to do that by focusing even more strongly on TAG’s role as the industry’s only Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO), building a threat-sharing culture throughout the digital ad industry.

3. Driving adoption of TAG-ID transparency to power smart partnerships across the digital advertising supply chain.

Brands want an easy way to keep their ad spend safe from fraud, and we know that TAG Certified Channels fulfill that need by reducing fraud by 88 to 94 percent worldwide. Sharing TAG-IDs across the supply chain lets brands know they’re buying ads through safe TAG Certified Channels, but that visible TAG-ID status is not as widely adopted across the industry as it should be. This year, we plan to push the industry to broadly adopt and display TAG-ID status for every entity in the digital ad supply chain, so every company can tell programmatically whom it should trust and whom it should bust.

4. Launching a new unified brand safety and transparency certification, incorporating elements of both TAG’s IQG and JICWEBS’s DTSG programs.

Ad adjacency and misplacement issues are top of mind across the industry, and companies need a single certification program to cover their brand safety and transparency practices across their global operations. TAG and JICWEBS have committed to align their respective brand safety and transparency offerings – TAG’s Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG) and JICWEBS’s Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) Brand Safety initiative – to meet that goal. A joint TAG/JICWEBS Working Group will report its recommendations for combining the programs this year, and TAG’s Business Transparency Committee will take the lead in finalizing the new guidelines this year.

We look forward to working with all TAG members and other stakeholders in our industry to drive forward on these and other important program areas in 2020.


From a panel discussion at The Drum’s Programmatic Punch conference, as covered in The Drum:

Also on the panel was Nick Stringer, vice president of global engagement and operations at Trustworthy Accountability Group, who claimed marketers should brace themselves for even more changes around data and GDPR.

“Yes, in theory, GDPR should cover the challenges we face around data, but it was only six years in the making and with the rapid rate of change we’re seeing technologically, it will almost certainly be altered soon,” he advised. “You would hope policy makers would put something in place that is more robust and covers things like the privacy directive, and reforms electronic communications much more deeply.”

From Andrew Smith, Sr. Dir. of Product Marketing, Oracle Data Cloud, in AdAge:

The potential risks of UGC [User Generated Content], however, are also well documented. No marketer wants their brand to be associated with hate speech, violence, pornography, bullying, illegal drugs, gambling, offensive language or illegal content, all of which exist in corners of the UGC universe.

In fact, a recent survey from the Trustworthy Accountability Group and Brand Safety Institute found that 80 percent of consumers would reduce or stop purchases of a product that advertised near extreme or dangerous content.

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 andrewwstn@gmail.com for review before release.

Topics: Blog