TAG Today - June 2019

June 27, 2019

Cannes: Moving from Talk to Action on Brand Safety
TAG Supports Release of 4A’s Brand Safety Playbook
- From Tiffany Coletti Kaiser, EVP of Marketing at Digital Remedy, in EContent
- From Jeff Meglio, VP of Agency Partnerships at Sovrn, in Marketing Dive
- From “Can new solutions and greater collaboration finally beat mobile ad fraud?” in Mobile Marketer

Cannes: Moving from Talk to Action on Brand Safety

As TAG has grown into a global organization with hundreds of member companies around the world, it has become increasingly important for us to join our current and potential members at major industry events where executives gather to discuss digital advertising.

This month, TAG CEO Mike Zaneis joined many of our industry’s leaders in Cannes, France, where he took part in a panel moderated by AdExchanger Executive Editor Zach Rodgers on “Restoring Trust & Quality in Digital Advertising.

Following the panel, Mike shared the following update:

“If there’s a single topic dominating conversation at Cannes this year, it’s brand safety. As this headline from The Drum summed it up, ‘Brand Safety Initiatives Take Center Stage at Cannes.’ The change from similar discussions in the past, however, is the shift from talk to action this year as companies announced concrete steps to tackle this endemic problem.

“Two major announcements highlighted our industry’s accelerating efforts to address its complicated and interconnected brand safety challenges, including inappropriate or unsafe ad placements, negative press, poor viewability, bad user experience, and association with criminal activity like fraud, piracy, and malware.

“First, a group of the world’s largest advertisers, agencies, and platforms announced the launch of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, an initiative to improve digital safety through industry dialogue and collaboration. Many members of TAG’s Leadership Council were involved in the launch, including Dentsu Aegis Network, Facebook, Google, GroupM, NBCUniversal, Omnicom and Publicis Groupe.

“On the same day, the Brand Safety Institute opened its doors to the ad industry’s first accreditation process for the executives who manage brand safety and related issues within their companies. Founding sponsors of BSI’s program include TAG members like Adobe, Facebook, OpenX, and Oracle Data Cloud.

“Together, these initiatives - and the work being done within TAG and across the industry by TAG members - will help lay the groundwork for better training, information sharing, research, tools, and standards to help companies protect their brands and provide better experiences for their customers.”

TAG Supports Release of 4A’s Brand Safety Playbook

Late last month, the 4A’s released the organization’s first Brand Safety Playbook, produced in partnership with TAG, BSI, and the IAB Tech Lab. The Playbook is designed to help advertising agencies create cohesive guidelines for brand safety across fraud, malware, and content adjacencies. By doing so, it helps marketers gain the tools needed for safer deployment of digital advertising and enables brands and agencies to devote less time and effort to detecting, reporting, addressing, and avoiding brand safety risks.

Commenting on the release, TAG CEO Mike Zaneis said, “The 4As and the APB have demonstrated great leadership in developing this playbook. It provides clear, implementable steps for agencies to help protect their clients, such as leveraging TAG’s anti-fraud certification program. And as an industry resource, it goes much further in helping to engage and educate everyone from marketers across to publishers. I look forward to putting these words to action as we come together to advance the cause of brand safety.”

TAG’s role in supporting the development and release of the 4A’s Brand Safety Playbook was covered in Adweek, MediaPost, and Smartbrief, among other outlets.


From Tiffany Coletti Kaiser, EVP of Marketing at Digital Remedy, in EContent:

While companies have every reason to be concerned about ad fraud and the quality of the digital supply chain, those who have the right tools and resources are making strides in effectively eliminating waste and ensuring companies get more value and reach more consumers. …

Counting impressions has become obsolete and has already given way to a new set of sophisticated metrics focusing on the transparency clients demand. The lack of standards in measurement and verification is what allowed lower-quality sources to create a waste of ad spend. It's a given, we must demand certification by Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).”

From Jeff Meglio, VP of Agency Partnerships at Sovrn, in Marketing Dive:

“Measuring the success of brand safety initiatives has proved easier said than done because there's little industry-wide clarity on a universal definition. Multiple attempts to define the term include a recent white paper, Defining Brand Safety, commissioned by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) to explore differing viewpoints.

“The white paper identified some areas of consensus. The industry agrees that brand safety encompasses reputation and consumer perception of a brand, and that acting on brand safety is about risk avoidance for the brand's long-term protection, exemplified by the desire to avoid negative press. But what this description means in terms of criteria and execution is as varied as the brands it's designed to protect.

From “Can new solutions and greater collaboration finally beat mobile ad fraud? in Mobile Marketer:

TAG was created with the support of the IAB, Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies to stamp out online fraud, piracy and malware. The organization, which has doubled to more than 500 member companies in the past year, verifies that companies in the digital ad supply chain adhere to certain standards.

"A couple of years ago, there was a reticence to look too intensely at ad fraud, with worries about performance metrics declining," Mike Zaneis, president and CEO of TAG, told Mobile Marketer. "But we crossed a threshold where there was broader recognition that these behaviors weren't healthy for the industry." …

TAG got a big boost in 2016 when Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, said the company would require its digital media partners to get a TAG approval or risk losing its business. ... TAG is currently expanding its "threat exchange" platform to let a wider group of companies share information about digital ad fraud and report it to authorities such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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 for review before release.


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