TAG Today - March 2018

March 30, 2018


 TAG Announces 2018 Seal Recertifications

Last week, TAG announced the 2018 seal recertifications for its Certified Against Fraud, Certified Against Piracy, Certified Against Malware, and Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG) Programs, news covered in MediaPost.

Highlighting the accelerating industry adoption of TAG’s seal programs, 37 companies were recertified for 62 different seals across those four programs. (In total, 80 companies have earned 115 seals across TAG’s four programs, but the other companies received their initial seals during Q4 of 2017, so they did not require recertification for 2018.)

TAG’s 2018 Seal Recipients receiving recertification included:

  • Adtelligent
  • Amobee
  • AppNexus
  • comScore
  • Conversant Media
  • dataxu
  • DoubleVerify
  • Forensiq
  • Goodway Group
  • Google
  • WPP’s GroupM
  • GumGum
  • Horizon Media
  • Index Exchange
  • Integral Ad Science
  • IPG Mediabrands
  • LKQD
  • LoopMe
  • Receptiv
  • Moat
  • Omnicom Group
  • OpenX
  • Publishers Clearing House
  • ProData Media
  • Publicis Groupe
  • RhythmOne
  • Rubicon Project
  • Sociomantic Labs
  • Sovrn
  • SpotX
  • Telaria
  • The Media Trust
  • Unruly
  • Viant
  • White Ops
  • WhiteBULLET
  • Ziff Davis

“Effective certification programs set a high bar for compliance and then raise that bar each year, so participating companies must continuously improve their standards and maintain best practices,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “By achieving the rigorous recertification requirements, TAG members are demonstrating that they have taken the necessary steps to protect the supply chain and ensure the brand safety of their partners. TAG congratulates all of the 2018 TAG seal recipients for their leadership and dedication to building a safer and more transparent advertising ecosystem.”

Notably, as TAG continues its international expansion, the large majority of seal recipients (78 percent) have chosen to certify their global operations. This is the first year that companies have had the opportunity to include markets outside of North America. This development means TAG is truly a global program, capable of delivering trust and transparency for advertisers wherever they purchase digital advertising.

TAG Opens EU Office, Hires Key Exec to Support Global Expansion

Earlier this month at the London Brand Safety Summit, TAG announced the opening of its first non-US office and the hiring of an experienced EU policy executive to support its rapidly expanding global presence. More than 130 non-US companies based in 27 countries have now applied for TAG Registration and the TAG ID.

Nick Stringer was former Director of Regulatory Affairs at the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) and former Chair of the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA), and he will serve as TAG’s Vice President of Global Member Engagement and Operations. Nick will run the new TAG office based in London, UK.

“Piracy, fraud, malware, and lack of transparency are global challenges, and they require global engagement to address them,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “To stop the criminals who steal our money and damage our supply chain, we must set high standards for all companies in our industry, regardless of where they are based or operate, and then enforce those standards worldwide. Working with Nick and our new EU office, TAG will be able to help EU-based and global companies better understand and more easily join TAG’s efforts.”

Coverage of the announcement included MediaPost, MarTech Series, WARC, AList Daily, ExchangeWire, Mobile Marketing Watch, and MarTech Today.


From “Ads.txt Adoption Continues Its Steady Growth” in eMarketer:

Adoption of ads.txt was slow at first, but it has really taken off over the past five months. In September 2017, just 8.5% of the top 5,000 websites worldwide selling programmatic ads had adopted ads.txt, according to Pixalate, which used Alexa rankings to score the popularity of websites. But by the end of February 2018, more than half of these sites were using ads.txt. …

The push for ads.txt has advocates across the entire supply chain. Some ad buyers have demanded that publishers adopt ads.txt if they want to be included on campaigns. … Industry groups like Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) have also made ads.txt a part of their accreditation process.

From “Inside UK Law Enforcement’s Plan to Police Brand Safety” in The Drum:

Detective Steve Salway, head of anti-piracy operations, fraud and cybercrime disruption at the City of London police has detailed how headlines around ad misplacement have ultimately assisted the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in its mission to remove the funding from sites that host pirated content.

“The brand safety crisis [becoming a big story] was fantastic for us to be honest, it did a lot of work for us. We were already trying to push this issue with advertisers,” he said, speaking at the Brand Safety Summit on Thursday (15 March). “The message we’ve been pushing [to brands] for a long time is that if their ads appear on copyright infringing sites, then they could be appearing on something more serious like extremist content.”…

PIPCU is trying to "apply the pressure" on brands through education and Salway said the Trustworthy Accountability Group's (Tag) benchmark study helped the police glean just how much ad revenue is linked to infringing content, and ramp up the ante.

From Tim Cadogan, CEO of OpenX, on

To CEO Tim Cadogan, the industry as a whole can succeed as well by adopting recent policies to address widespread quality issues. “We think that the challenge now has a clear answer. Which is adopt the existing quality standards and run with them,” Cadogan says in this interview with Beet.TV while attending RampUp 2018, the annual LiveRamp event.

He’s referring to the ads.txt initiative of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and standards promulgated by the Trustworthy Accountability Group. “If a buyer buys based on TAG, buys based on ads.txt as P&G is doing, they solve eighty to ninety percent of the quality problems and they can trust the supply through which they’re buying,” says Cadogan.

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.

One More Thing: BPA Ads Congratulate TAG Seal Recipients:

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