TAG Today - January 2022

In this month's newsletter:




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

This year, we are honored and delighted to recognize more than a dozen of the largest ad tech and anti-malvertising companies in the industry who spent 2021 sharing real-time intelligence and partnering to shut down malvertising attacks on a daily basis within the TAG Threat Exchange (TX), resulting in shorter and less impactful attacks across the digital ad supply chain.  

This year’s honorees include Amazon Ads, Index Exchange, Magnite, MediaMath, OpenX, PubMatic, The Media Trust, The Trade Desk, Xandr, and Yahoo!, as well as other vanguard companies participating in the TAG Threat Exchange.

2021 marked the second full year of successful operations within the TAG TX, which holds the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designation as the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) for the digital ad industry.

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); and Vinod Panicker and Christian Martine of Amazon Advertising (2020).



For the last two years, every company in our industry has had to be adaptable, proactive, and constantly alert to the rapidly changing dynamics in the world around us. 

Those principles have also guided TAG’s work with its members, as reflected in its successful efforts to build a rapid-reaction team to address new and emerging threats through the TAG Threat Exchange (TX), expand the network of trusted partners using TAG Certified Channels, and adapt TAG standards and programs to address changing needs and challenges.

In 2022, TAG’s priorities are designed to accelerate those efforts by shifting into offense in the war on cybercriminals, making it simple and convenient to use TAG Certified Channels, jumping a step ahead of new criminal and brand safety threats, and expanding TAG’s reach to new companies and regions across the world. 


2022 Strategic Priorities

Take the Fight to the Criminals

Last year marked a turning point in the fight against digital ad crime, as Methbotorganizer Aleksandr Zhukov was convicted and sentenced to ten years behind bars. TAG member companies played a vital role in assisting law enforcement with the Methbot investigation, and this year we plan to energize those proactive efforts by expanding the operations and engagement of the TAG Threat Exchange (TX), including the hiring of new TX-dedicated staff to assist members in sharing timely intelligence about criminal attacks and activity with each other and law enforcement.

Make It Easy to Buy Through TAG Certified Channels

A flood of data from regions around the world has demonstrated unequivocally that TAG Certified Channels maintain predictable, manageable, and low fraud rates, including last year’s milestone sub-1% IVT rates shown in the TAG US Fraud Benchmark Study. Now TAG plans to make those channels even easier to use, so there is no reason any company would decide to use a non-Certified channel. Over this coming year, TAG plans to work to ensure brands and agencies can take advantage of the “TAG Easy Button” for safe, simple, and transparent advertising through testing and rollout of TAG TrustNet, TAG Automated Channel Election (ACE), and other potential simplification tools.

Keep the Digital Ad Industry a Step Ahead of Evolving Criminal and Brand Safety Threats

The pace of change in our industry is accelerating, and TAG plans to help its members move even faster to stay ahead of new risks, information, tools, and defenses as criminal activities and brand safety threats move into new channels and media. Over the coming year, TAG plans to extend its CTV efforts to ensure its programs and standards encompass the unique implications of this new medium, while also ensuring newer environments – like gaming and programmatic audio - are built and expanded safely.

Increase TAG’s Global Reach

In a remarkably short period of time, TAG has adapted its programs and standards to nearly every corner of the world. Those efforts accelerated over the last year with new and expanded partnerships in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Gulf region of the Middle East, among others, and TAG plans to build worldwide momentum for its programs and partnerships in 2022. To do so, TAG plans to increase its marketing and media activities, expand its industry education and engagement (including participation in key events), and launch a media campaign around the benefits of TrustNet. TAG also plans to conduct a first-of-its-kind study to quantify the effectiveness of the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program.



TAG is pleased to announce that Mike Lyden, an experienced intelligence officer and law enforcement analyst with the US Air Force, has joined TAG as Vice President of Threat Intelligence, overseeing the TAG Threat Exchange.

After 17 years as a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Mike left the US Department of the Air Force as its ranking counterintelligence officer, serving as the Senior Intelligence Officer and Associate Director for Intelligence Management for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), a federal law enforcement organization. Mike is passionate about intellectual property rights protection and while at OSI, specialized in counterintelligence, due diligence, and supply chain risk management support to the National Security Innovation Base, emerging technologies, and the microelectronics industry.

"The TAG threat exchange has become our industry's primary nexus for the intake and exchange of near-real time information about new and emerging threats across the digital advertising ecosystem, and we are delighted to welcome an experienced threat intelligence leader like Mike to help us direct those efforts," said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. "Mike's background encompasses both law enforcement and intelligence for a federal agency, so he can help us not only strengthen and expand our intelligence sharing but also work with law enforcement agencies to assist them as they investigate and prosecute the criminals responsible."

Mike enjoys volunteering as a mentor for national security-focused startup accelerators, studied psychology and chemistry at Case Western Reserve University where he also played varsity football, and earned his M.S. in Applied Intelligence from Mercyhurst University. Please welcome Mike to the team!



From “Government Awards Six-Figure Grant to TAG TrustNet” in Campaign UK:  

The UK government has awarded a six-figure grant to TAG TrustNet to further its work of making digital advertising more transparent and efficient. The IPA supported TAG TrustNet throughout the process and facilitated the conversations that resulted in the grant from Innovate UK.

TAG TrustNet is a global initiative launched by the Trustworthy Accountability Group. … TAG TrustNet uses blockchain technology – specifically, distributed ledger technology – developed by Fiducia.  …

Mike Zaneis, chief executive at TAG, said: “As digital crimes become more sophisticated and complex, the ongoing work done within the TAG Community and initiatives like TAG TrustNet become more important than ever. The support we’ve received from the IPA has demonstrated the industry’s need to continue to work more collaboratively in maintaining a safer and accountable digital advertising ecosystem.”


From “New Breakthrough: China’s Internet Advertising Standards Are Included in the International Certification System for First Time” on Zhiniuer.net


For a long time, CAA [China Advertising Association] and TAG have been jointly promoting the introduction of standards, helping to combat Internet advertising crimes and improving Internet advertising brand safety. The newly released invalid traffic standard, namely T/CAAD 002-2020 "China Internet Advertising Monitoring and Verification Requirements", will provide relevant tools for enterprises in China and other countries and regions to support the compliance work of the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program…

In addition to the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program, enterprises can also participate in the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program to reduce the risk of advertising misplacement (such as advertising used to promote pirated works), and jointly combat behaviors that threaten the supply chain of the Internet advertising industry, such as malware.

Mike Zaneis, President and CEO of TAG, said: "The new invalid traffic monitoring and filtering standards reflect TAG's consistent practice of 'providing global standards for local markets', which is to always deal with ad fraud in an international manner, and the formulation of this standard also takes into account regional conditions and adapts to the Chinese market.” 

Zhang Guohua, President of the China Advertising Association, said: "The China Advertising Association has been working closely with TAG for a long time to formulate this invalid traffic monitoring and filtering standard. All companies, especially the members of the China Broadcasting Association, can participate in the TAG according to this standard traffic anti-fraud certification project. The release of the standard will help relevant departments to manage false traffic on the Internet and escort the creation of a clear network environment. We welcome and encourage companies to sign up for certification and follow the standards to provide advertisers with more authentic traffic.”


*Based on Google translation from original Chinese

One more thing...

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