October 29, 2021

TAG Today - October 2021


TAG “State of the Fight” Brings Industry Leaders Together to Discuss Progress and Plans

Last week, TAG held its sixth annual “State of the Fight” briefing to update the community on the organization’s accomplishments over the last year, next steps for the future, and emerging challenges on the horizon. 

For the first time, TAG opened the stage at the event to leaders at member companies who are on the front lines of these issues, so participants could get their first-hand perspectives on the industry’s efforts around fraud, malware, and brand safety.

Panels led by Team TAG members included:

  • Learnings from TAG TrustNet and steps for interested companies to sign up - with Sukh Atwal from Johnson & Johnson, and Phil Hayman, Fiducia.
  • Advice on how to best manage and reduce CTV fraud - with Rob Hazan from Index Exchange and Curtis Light from Google,
  • Best practices to strengthen and protect brand safety - with Tom Burns from Publicis Media and Abe Farraj from NBCUniversal,
  • Rapid reaction to new threats through TAG’s threat intelligence sharing - with Brian Buttray from Magnite and Pat Ciavollela from The Media Trust,
  • Challenges on the cutting edge of brand safety for gaming and programmatic audio - with Tegan Hull of Anzu and Brendan Kelly of SXM Media, and
  • Important information about TAG 2022 recertification - with Chris Hallenbeck from OpenX, Alexis Sandler from PMX, and Charlie Strout from FreeWheel.

Across the day’s panels and presentations, several themes emerged. First, TAG has built an extraordinary track record over the last six years by bringing the digital advertising industry together to tackle some of its most important and complicated challenges. 

Through those efforts, TAG has successfully reduced criminal activity in the supply chain to low, predictable, and sustainable levels. Thanks to the contributions of TAG members from the Leadership Council down to Working Groups, TAG has not only been able to evolve and adapt its standards not only to stay relevant as the industry changes but also to identify new channels and areas where TAG can help to reduce criminal activity and increase brand safety. 

As an industry, we have learned to “shift left” by moving the process closer to the customer and being more customer-centric, so we can achieve more efficient and effective resolutions to problems. Despite those learnings, some of our biggest shifts still lie ahead, and TAG is prepared to leverage the incredible cross-industry collaboration of the past six years to address those future challenges… together. 

2022 Recertification: Getting Your House in Order 

At State of the Fight, Team TAG and panel participants also briefed participants on details around the 2022 recertification process, including the schedule of key dates/milestones and notable updates to the standards for each program. 

For the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program, those updates included a January 1st effective date for detection and removal of Invalid Traffic (IVT) on 100% of monetizable transactions, the requirement to implement a TAG-recognized “Follow the Money” solution, and obligations for direct sellers and intermediaries to implement/honor Ads.txt and App-Ads.txt files.

For the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program, the new standards include all the requirements from the former TAG Certified Against Piracy Program, a commitment to ensure that new and updated digital advertising agreements adhere to the brand safety and anti-piracy requirements of the program. This includes new requirements around the monitoring and detection of ad misplacement and obligations for direct buyers and intermediaries to employ pirate mobile app filtering.

For the TAG Certified Against Malware Program, the updated standards streamline and clarify the requirements for the program for all participants. They also make it easier for responsible companies to take part in the program by removing non-essential  requirements, such as the obligation for direct buyers and sellers to employ malware detection services, if those services are already provided by an intermediary partner.



Team TAG also updated participants on a wide range of improvements to the TAG member portal, including an enhanced dashboard allowing members to manage their memberships and certifications, engage through working groups, and access a TAG training hub.

TAG on the Dais: Ad-Funded Piracy and UK Policy Forum

TAG VP Global Engagement and Operations Nick Stringer spoke at a Whitebullet-sponsored event, “Ad-funded Piracy: The big, the bad and the bright red button,” on a panel with Matt Price of Sky Betting and Gaming, Abe Farraj of NBCUniversal, Miles Rees of IPO, and Peter Szyszko of Whitebullet. 

One of the key successes that Nick reported from TAG’s Project Brand Integrity in Europe was the 82% of brands who took action to remove ads supporting pirate sites after being notified by TAG that there could be a problem. 

In addition, TAG’s MD UK and Europe Jules Kendrick spoke at the UK’s Westminster eForum Policy Conference about TAG, its mission within the digital advertising ecosystem, and the importance of self-regulation within the industry. The conference brought together members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in the digital advertising area of public policy, and key partners within the supply chain. 

TAG Partners Launch Brand Safety Week in November in NYC 

Two of TAG’s close partners in strengthening brand safety, The 614 Group (which runs the Brand Safety Summit Series) and the Brand Safety Institute (BSI), have announced an annual "Brand Safety Week" designed to focus industry attention and foster dialogue around brand safety, brand suitability, and brand sustainability.

The inaugural Brand Safety Week will take place in New York City in the first week of November and annually during the same week going forward, with a robust lineup of speakers, along with panel discussions and educational sessions designed to address top issues, trends, and solutions in brand safety. The agenda for the week will include two full days of content, in addition to other informal meetings, activities, and social opportunities among participants:

  • A kickoff day of education-focused sessions, workshops, and forums on Wednesday, November 3, conducted by leading brand safety experts in the industry. Participation in these events will qualify for CLE credits toward accreditation in the Brand Safety Institute's Certification Program.
  • The centerpiece Brand Safety Summit on Thursday, November 4, at which C-suite industry leaders from brands, agencies, platforms, publishers, and tech pioneers will keynote, debate on panels, and provide their insider insights around this complicated and fast-changing topic.

TAG will lead two sessions during the week: A Wednesday presentation by CEO Mike Zaneis on the value of brand-safe buying, and a Thursday presentation by COO Rachel Nyswander Thomas at which TAG will release the results of its 2021 US Fraud Benchmark report.

For more information or to register for the Brand Safety Summit in NYC during Brand Safety Week, visit https://brandsafetysummit.com/nyc.

TAG Fraud Research Nominated for AdExchanger Award

Earlier this month, TAG and its longtime research partners at The 614 Group were nominated for a prestigious AdExchanger Award for “Best Use of Data by an Agency” for its 2020 North American fraud benchmark study. TAG would like to extend its appreciation for the nomination and its congratulations to all of the winners. 


From “Bringing Clarity to Three Common Ad Fraud Misconceptions” in the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) Blog:

You might think that with the latest technology and solutions available to detect fraud that it’s not as big of an issue as it once was. Think again. Ad fraud is still plaguing the digital display ecosystem and infiltrating new channels such as connected TV. It’s important that marketers remain vigilant by understanding the risks and the solutions available to mitigate them. …

The Trustworthy Accountability Group brings together organizations from across the supply chain to set standards that promote greater transparency in digital advertising. TAG’s Certified Against Fraud program recognizes companies that meet the group’s guidelines and best practices for combating invalid traffic. These industry solutions provide marketers with visibility into the supply chain and should be integrated into every marketer’s buying process.

Let's make 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