July 30, 2020

TAG Today - July 2020


TAG Creates Global Certification Giant through JICWEBS Merger

TAG’s longstanding goal of establishing a unified and consistent worldwide set of standards for digital advertising companies took a huge leap forward this week with the announcement that it would merge with UK-based JICWEBS. Mike Zaneis will continue to serve as CEO, while JICWEBS’s Jules Kendrick with take the new role of Managing Director of UK and Europe of TAG.

“Historically, the global certification process has been complicated, duplicative, and expensive, with competing organizations, inconsistent requirements, and unnecessary costs,” said Zaneis. “This merger will ensure that companies around the world and across the supply chain can focus their efforts on a single trusted set of self-regulatory standards that address fraud, malware, piracy, and brand protection. From Manhattan to Manchester, Madrid to Macao, and Mumbai to Melbourne, every company in digital advertising can meet its worldwide obligations through a single set of compliance standards.”

“By bringing TAG and JICWEBS together, we are making it easier for every company in the supply chain to adopt the high standards necessary to protect themselves and their customers across the globe,” said Kendrick. “Rather than wading through an acronym soup of regional alternatives with differing standards, costs, and compliance requirements, companies can make sure they comply with one set of industry-wide certifications.”

JICWEBS and TAG announced a formal partnership in March 2017. Since then, the two organizations have aligned their programs to strengthen standards, avoid duplicative effort, and extend their reach. As part of that initial alignment, JICWEBS merged its anti-fraud efforts into the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program and encouraged its members to adopt the TAG Certified Against Malware and Certified Against Piracy Programs.

Going forward, the combined organization will also harmonize the JICWEBS Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) with TAG’s Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG) Program into a global brand safety certification program.

The merger will be completed in early September 2020. As part of the merger, the four UK-based trade bodies – the Association for Online Publishing (AOP), the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK), the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), and ISBA – the voice of British advertisers – will join TAG’s governing body, the TAG Leadership Council.

A Who’s Who of association leaders from across the industry praised the news:

Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO, 4A’s: “While the industry formation of TAG in 2016 focused on the digital supply chain in the U.S., there was a need to address fraud, malware, and piracy at a global level. The merger of TAG with JICWEBS provides an important global standard that will be recognized by the advertising industry around the world. "

Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers: “This merger marks a major step in the consolidation of industry standards designed to combat digital fraud and promote brand safety, and it couldn’t come at a better time. We now have an expanded and fortified source the global marketing industry can turn to in its ongoing quest to ensure a safe, transparent and trustworthy media environment for its brand messaging.”

Richard Reeves, Managing Director, Association for Online Publishing: “The merger of JICWEBS and TAG provides a significant step forward in the alignment of common standards. The merger will help address the complexities associated with multiple market advertising activities, given the vast inconsistencies between different, indigenous standards - which is important for our member publisher brands who create original content consumed across many regions. This is much needed and an example of how collaboration is critical to upholding and aligning standards, demonstrating how we can not only simplify the process but also ensure the consistent high standards we should expect in our industry. We very much welcome the move.”

Randall Rothenberg, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau: “Bringing together TAG and JICWEBS will support streamlining industry compliance across the globe. This will benefit brands, publishers, and the tech companies by creating more consistency and clarity in the best practices and technical standards they should adopt to improve trust and transparency in advertising.”

Jon Mew, CEO, IAB UK: “Consolidating JICWEBS and TAG into one body reflects our global, interconnected industry and is a significant step towards collectively tackling issues such as brand safety at a global level, making it easier for players in the digital ad supply chain to seamlessly implement standards across regions. This is great news for transparency, accountability and standardisation within digital advertising.” 

Belinda Beeftink, Research Director, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising: “The IPA welcomes the merger of JICWEBS and TAG, which will provide companies around the world with one set of standards ensuring that the standards set are of the highest order. We look forward to working with the TAG Leadership Council to promote industry wide adoption.”

Phil Smith, Director General, ISBA: "ISBA is delighted to back the coming together of JICWEBS and TAG to raise the bar for international standards in digital self-regulation. We look forward to working together on the TAG Leadership Council to drive industry-wide adoption."

There will be a Community Briefing for TAG members to discuss the merger and the new TAG Brand Safety Certification on Wednesday, August 5th at 10am. To take part in the briefing, please register here.

TAG and Protected Media Help Industry Slay “Hydra” Ad Fraud Scheme

From Business Insider:

“A new ad-fraud scheme dubbed Hydra has been creating fake app traffic that's going unseen by humans, and it's estimated to have cost advertisers more than $100 million.

“The operation was noticed a year ago by Asaf Greiner, the CEO of Protected Media, an Israeli network-security firm. He said Hydra, as he called it, is more sophisticated than ad-fraud operations of the past because it mimics mobile phones to create fake traffic. …

Greiner brought his findings to the attention of Google and other companies, as well as the Trustworthy Accountability Group, an industry body that fights fraud, malware, piracy, and a lack of transparency in digital advertising.

TAG was created by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and Association for National Advertisers (ANA). Its leadership council consists of ad platforms, agencies, and advertisers including Facebook, Google, GroupM, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and NBCUniversal. …

Meanwhile, TAG launched "Operation Slay Hydra" to share information about Hydra with digital-ad sellers so they could protect themselves and share information about how Hydra is evolving. …

"Hydra is a really accurate name because the impressions are being sold through many networks and being diluted — there are a lot of heads to slay," Rachel Nyswander Thomas, the chief operating officer of TAG, said. "What's newer is the degree to which it's focusing on in-app inventory and that it's hiding itself in newer ways." …

TAG is also trying to create permanent sharing groups to get advertising companies more comfortable trading information to help such attacks from spreading, Thomas said.

"It's going to take time to build a culture of threat sharing," she said. "We are brand new to this as an industry. But people are starting to have a great awareness that it's not just about playing whack-a-mole yourself."

Full story here: https://www.businessinsider.com/business-insiders-biggest-advertising-and-media-stories-for-july-27-2020-7



in the news-01

TAG in the News

From an oped by Rico Chan, co-head APAC, Verizon Media, in Campaign Asia:

Verizon Media’s DSP partners continue to see success in our working relationships that are built on trust and transparency. Our commitment and efforts to protect our partners from digital ad fraud received the Certified Against Fraud Seal from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a testament of the standards we uphold in the industry.

From the Federal Trade Commission’s report to Congress on “Social Media Bots and Deceptive Advertising”:

In December 2019, Congress directed the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) to report to the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations on “Social Media Bots and Deceptive Advertising.” The Committee stated that the report should describe “the growing social media bot market as well as the use of social media bots in online advertising,” including “a discussion of how their use might constitute a deceptive practice.” The Commission submits this report in response to that Congressional direction. …

The online advertising industry has also taken steps to curb bot and influencer fraud, given the substantial harm it causes to legitimate advertisers. (Citation: See, e.g., Trustworthy Accountability Group, Principles for Fighting Influencer Fraud, Jan. 9, 2019, available at https://www.tagtoday.net/news/principles-fighting-influencer-fraud)



TAG ShieldA 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.

 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