TAG Today - January 2023

In this month's newsletter:



TAG 2023 Priorities: Going on Offense Against Criminals, Supply Chain Threats, and Lack of Transparency

Over the coming year, TAG’s guiding priority is a simple one: BE BOLD.

Fighting criminal activity has been the centerpiece of TAG’s mission from the beginning. As the advertising industry has grown and evolved, the bad guys have shifted their tactics and their targets to adapt to those changes. Year in and year out, criminals have followed the money, as the digital advertising industry has grown from $7.3 billion in US revenue in 2003 to $422.5 billion in global media spend this year. 

Tackling the complex and interconnected issues of ad fraud, ad-supported piracy, and malvertising (as well as related supply chain challenges like transparency and brand safety) were the driving forces behind the creation of TAG in 2014.

Over the last nine years, TAG has helped the industry turn the tide against digital ad crime by building a worldwide network of more than 700 member companies, all working together to track threats, exchange information, establish best practices, and raise standards across the industry. That effort has created a powerful coalition of forces, established a robust battlefield communications network, and trained those forces to be the best in the world. 

Now it’s time to go on the attack.

What does taking the fight to the criminals mean for TAG’s programs?

It means working with TAG members to quickly expand the new TAG Certified for Transparency Program, so we can establish a common transparency framework for the industry in which participants across the supply chain have access to a single trusted record for campaign transactions. In addition to the broad benefits for buyers and sellers, that “shared truth” of campaign data will force bad actors out of the shadows and into the light, so they face the consequences for their actions.

It means shifting the TAG Threat Exchange into high gear. The TAG Threat Exchange has built a unique platform for TAG member companies to improve their communication, collaboration, and action on industry threats. Now helmed by a 17-year intelligence veteran and supported by a new TAG intelligence analyst, the TAG Threat Exchange will provide active support to TAG member companies on the front lines, so we can quickly identify criminal activity, block it, and help the appropriate law enforcement agencies take action against those responsible, as feasible.

It means expanding TAG’s partnerships with law enforcement agencies around the world, so we can support their ongoing efforts to investigate and prosecute the individuals and criminal syndicates who profit from ad-related crime. TAG has built long standing relationships with the US Department of Justice and US Department of Homeland Security, and last year TAG established a collaborative partnership with the UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and we plan to continue to strengthen those valuable relationships while creating new ones with other agencies.

It means doubling down on compliance across TAG’s programs to identify any gaps in program guidelines and enforcement and close them. If any TAG members are not in full compliance with TAG program requirements, TAG will educate them about their obligations and ensure they remediate those issues without delay, so the integrity of TAG’s programs and its members’ commitments is maintained.

One example of the effectiveness of this type of expanded compliance effort can be seen through the work of TAG’s Project Brand Integrity (PBI) in Europe. When TAG alerted European advertisers that their ads had run on a pirate site, the vast majority (79%) were able to reduce their ad impressions on those sites, and almost half (43%) were able to stop most/all of their ads on such sites. 

Finally, taking the fight to the criminals means setting a concrete and actionable plan for TAG programs in emerging channels such as audio and gaming, while continuing to work with TAG members and other stakeholders to address the complexities of the CTV space. As criminals continue to follow the money into those new channels, TAG plans to be there waiting for them.

While our industry should be proud of how far it has come, there remains much work to be done. In 2023, TAG will build on our industry’s success over the last nine years by working with our members to take the fight directly to the criminals who profit from fraud, malware, brand safety gaps, and lack of transparency. We look forward to our continued work together in this vital effort.




From “The Annual 2022: The Year in AdTech” in Campaign Middle East:  

Here’s a round-up of the biggest adtech announcements in the Middle East last year. …

[#2] In March, MMP World Wide became the first local marketplace in the GCC region to join the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) in a move towards tackling criminal activity and promoting brand safety in digital advertising across the market. Achieving TAG certification will help MMPWW to better combat ad fraud and malvertising, as well as minimising the risk of ad misplacement. 

From “Octave Becomes First Digital Audio Business to Achieve IAB’s Gold Standard 2.1 Certification” in podpod:

In addition to this award, Octave Audio also recently earned its brand safety certification seal under the Trustworthy Accountability Group, an association dedicated to the global cause of reducing criminal activity within the digital advertising industry. After being audited by third-party company ABC, the non-profit company concluded that Octave has complied with industry standards and practices to ensure brand safety. 

“Implementing robust brand safety measures has become a basic requirement for most marketers and agencies when selecting their digital advertising partners,” said TAG managing director in the UK and Europe, Jules Kendrick. “By achieving TAG’s Brand Safety Certified Seal, Octave is demonstrating its commitment to reducing the risk of ad misplacement and therefore protecting its clients from potential brand damage. We look forward to working with Octave to continue to raise brand safety standards across our industry.”

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