May 28, 2021

TAG Today - May 2021


TAG/BSI Survey Finds UK Consumers Would Boycott Favorite Brands Over Ads Near COVID Conspiracies

According to a new survey conducted jointly by TAG and the Brand Safety Institute (BSI), more than 85% of UK consumers would reduce or stop purchasing a product they regularly buy if they discovered an ad for it had run next to COVID-19 conspiracy theories or misinformation. In addition, most UK consumers said they would curtail purchases from a favorite brand that advertised near hate speech (89%), malware (92%), illegal content (89%), or terrorist recruiting materials (93%).

A significant majority of respondents (89%) said that hate speech had increased online over the last year, and four in five consumers said they were more aware of brand safety issues than 12 months ago. An overwhelming majority of respondents (91%) said that it was important for advertisers to make sure their ads are not placed near dangerous, offensive, or inappropriate content. 



“The past year has brought forth the four horsemen of toxic content into the advertising ecosystem: death, lies, political poison, and hate speech,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “As brand safety threats quickly evolve, UK consumers are looking to advertising industry leaders to identify and address those types of unsafe and inappropriate content in real time. TAG’s Brand Safety Certification sets a rigorous global standard for brand safety across all supply chain participants, while providing the flexibility to adapt to new and emerging challenges.”

Happily, 86% of UK consumers said they would feel more positive about a company that required its ad partners to be independently certified for high brand safety standards. They also believed the industry as a whole should be working together to improve brand safety, with responsibility divided roughly equally across all of the major players in the industry, including advertisers (52%), agencies (56%), technology providers (47%), and publishers (54%). 

“The tragic and momentous events of the last year have elevated not only the importance of high brand safety standards, but the need to focus on consumer expectations, not conventional wisdom,” said Jules Kendrick, TAG MD of UK and Europe. “This research shows that consumers believe that brand safety should be a top-tier priority and a shared responsibility across the industry, which is why TAG has built a global cross-industry certification program to support those efforts.”

Coverage of the survey included The Drum (including an editorial), AdExchanger, Advanced Television, Mediatel, AIThority, and Brand News (Italy). The full results of the 2021 TAG/BSI UK Brand Safety Survey can be found here.

Watch: TAG’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Vanessa Goff-Yu, with Appetite Creative on The Power of Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned Media.



From “How Cybercriminals Are Stealing Your Ad Dollars” in Bloomberg Law:

The advertising industry has been combating ad fraud for several years. In 2015, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) developed the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) to fight criminal activity like ad fraud.

Federal authorities also have ad fraud on their radar. In 2018, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down two global botnets, Methbot and 3ve, after uncovering tens of millions of dollars in losses from digital advertising fraud perpetrated by eight individuals overseas.

Methbot involved spoofing over 250,000 URLs to falsely represent legitimate sites, driving 200 million to 400 million video ad impressions daily; 3ve was even more sophisticated fabricating inventory to drive 3 billion to 12 billion ad impressions daily. Also, 3ve used bots and malware to take over user devices to perpetrate the massive theft.

From “Blockchain im Digital Advertising – Viele Ideen, keine Revolution [Lots of Ideas, No Revolution]” in ADZINE (Germany):

Die Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) hat im Herbst vergangenen Jahres ein zwölfmonatiges branchenübergreifendes Pilotprogramm abgeschlossen, mit dem die Machbarkeit und die potenziellen Vorteile der Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) bewertet werden sollten, um das Vertrauen und die Transparenz in digitale Werbung zu erhöhen. Die Blockchain ist der bekannteste Anwendungsfall einer solchen dezentralen Datenbank (distributed ledger). Teilnehmer des Projektes waren zahlreiche große Marken (u.a. Nestle, Telefonica) sowie Agenturen wie GroupM, Havas, IPG, Mindshare, OMD und Zenith sowie mehr als 15 bekannte Adtech-Anbieter und Verlage in nahezu allen Segmenten der Media-Lieferkette. Es wurden Datenfeeds erfasst, die sich über DSPs, SSPs, Content Verification Tools und Publisher erstrecken. Im Rahmen des Pilotprojektes analysierte man 112 Millionen Impressionen im Wert von 1,4 Mio. GBP in 127 Kampagnen. 

TAG zufolge konnte demonstriert werden, dass die Lieferkette transparent abbildbar ist. Mit der eingesetzten Blockchain-Technologie konnten die Daten auf Impression-Log-Ebene zu einem gemeinsamen Format harmonisiert werden. Auch die Unveränderlichkeit, Sicherheit und der Schutz der Daten waren demnach gewährleistet.

Anhand einer Reihe von Metriken, die zwischen mehreren Anbietern abgeglichen wurden (z.B. Messbarkeit, Sichtbarkeit, Markensicherheit etc.), konnten die Teilnehmer ihre Kampagnen validieren, was zur Optimierung der Lieferketten beitrug. Auch wurde erfolgreich getestet, wie intelligente Verträge Geschäftsprozesse zwischen Anzeigenkäufern und -verkäufern automatisieren können. „Unser Pilot zeigte vielversprechende Möglichkeiten für eine DLT-Plattform, einschließlich des Potenzials, eine 'Shared Truth' zu erreichen, bei der dieselben Daten in der gesamten Lieferkette als valide und genau anerkannt werden“, kommentierte TAG-Europa-Chef Jules Kendrick.

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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.


Topics: Blog