Consumers associate a brand's advertising with the context in which those advertisements are displayed. Because the adjacency of an advertisement to specific types of content can cause significant damage to a brand's consumer reputation and revenue, it is imperative that advertisers have a way to ensure that their ads are not misplaced on digital media properties that contain illegal, objectionable, or even simply irrelevant content.

80 percent of consumers said they would reduce or stop buying a product they regularly purchase if it advertised in a range of hypothetical situations involving extreme or dangerous content.
Consumer Perceptions Around Brand Safe Advertising

Brand Safety Certified

The mission of the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program is to significantly reduce the risk of the misplacement of advertising on digital media of all types, thereby upholding brand safety and protecting the integrity of digital advertising.

The TAG Brand Safety Certified Program promotes the flow of advertising budgets to participants in digital advertising upholding an industry regulated framework for brand safety. The program serves the entire digital advertising supply chain by providing transparency, choice and control for buyers – enabling them to buy advertising inventory with confidence and creating a brand safety framework for sellers that increases the value of certified sellers' inventory.

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Current Brand Safety Certified Guidelines (pdf)


Summary Brand Safety Certified Video


Brand Safety Working Group


To enable companies to promote a brand-safe environment, the TAG Brand Safety Working Group maintains the Brand Safety Certified Guidelines, which promote the flow of advertising budgets to participants in digital advertising upholding an industry-regulated framework for brand safety and anti-piracy.

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Brand Safety Tools

Keyword Exclusion List Toolset

Keyword exclusion lists are a core component of most brand safety strategies, but they are also one of the most problematic for publishers. Too often, such exclusion lists encompass not only effective and targeted terms, but also keywords that are overly broad, irrelevant, or outdated. In addition, once added to a list, keywords are rarely removed, even if the term is no longer effective or related to the advertiser’s brand safety strategy.  

Keywords are only as effective as the process by which they are selected, reviewed, and updated, yet the digital advertising industry has lacked a standard playbook of best practices for the use of keyword exclusion lists or a practical toolset to manage those efforts.

As part of the Be Bold for Publishers initiative, TAG is introducing the new Keyword Exclusion List Toolset. The industry-collaborated toolset comprises 3 elements:

1. Always Block Keyword List.
2. Keyword Maintenance Tool.
3. Best Practices Guide. 

Used together, the toolset:

Simplifies and standardizes the approach to maintaining an effective keyword list. 

Expands the range of brand-suitable content, increases user engagement, and reduces unnecessary blocking that reduced ad revenue in the past.

Creates a baseline of best practices for all participating companies, thus raising standards and increasing efficiencies across the supply chain. 

For more information about the toolset, click below.

Toolset - Info

Download a copy of the Best Practices guide below. 

Best Practices Guide

To access the tool, log into the Member Portal or email us at info@tagtoday.net.

Pirate Mobile App List

Mobile piracy – or the placement of legitimate ads on mobile sites and apps with infringing content – is an endemic problem needs to be addressed in order to minimize ad-supported piracy revenue flowing to criminals. While app stores are often successful at removing intellectual property-infringing apps, those apps may be downloaded thousands – or even millions – of times before they are removed. Those apps may continue to operate at scale and generate revenue through advertisements, thereby exacerbating the piracy problem.

The Pirate Mobile App List (PMAL) provides brands with a list of mobile apps that were removed from App Stores for infringing on protected intellectual property rights, but may still be active on user's devices and seeking ad spend to monetize pirated content. Through PMAL, TAG empowers brands and their partners to stem the flow of ad revenue to mobile apps with pirated content.

PMAL is part of the Brand Safety Certified program, or TAG members may purchase it separately.

Learn More About TAG Membership

Pirate Domain Exclusion List

In 2024, TAG launched “Project Brand Integrity 2.0” (PBI 2.0), a significant expansion of TAG’s proven anti-piracy initiative to defund the criminals who profit from stolen content while protecting advertisers from unintentional exposure to unsafe websites.

As part of that evolution, TAG has created the Pirate Domain Exclusion List (PDEL) - a comprehensive pre-bid exclusion list that automates, expands and accelerates PBI’s process of ad misplacement on pirate sites

PDEL provides ad tech companies the intelligence required to block ad spend on pirate sites - stopping criminals from monetizing pirate sites in the first place. The PDEL includes real-time intelligence regarding pirate domain threats from TAG’s AdSec Threat Exchange, as well as from dozens of sources of open-source intelligence (OSINT), ensuring brands can be confident that their media investments aren’t spent on IP-infringing sites.  

For more information about the Pirate Domain Exclusion List, or to access the tool, please contact us at info@tagtoday.net.

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Follow the Money Initiative

In partnership with Creative Future, TAG leads Follow the Money, an ongoing effort to reduce the appearances of legitimate advertisements on pirate websites across the U.S. market. As a direct result of this collaboration, brand advertisements no longer appear in the U.S. on pirate sites at volume; representing a 90% decrease in just two years.

Project Brand Integrity (PBI) continues and expands that work to the European markets, helping to protect European brands from association with illegal stolen content by alerting advertisers or their agencies to ads running on pirate sites. Through a partnership between TAG and White Bullet, PBI is able to monitor and document ads on infringing sites, and share information about those ad misplacements with the advertiser or its agency.

By working with advertising agencies to revise their digital media practices, this program has had a significant impact far beyond just those brands contacted, affecting both the advertising ecosystem as a whole and the profitability of ad-supported infringing sites.

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TAG TrustNetTAG_TrustNet_FullColor_Digital-01

TAG TrustNet applies distributed ledger technology (DLT) to real-world challenges faced by the TAG Community – and the digital advertising industry as a whole. Powered by technology partner Fiducia, TAG TrustNet builds trust and transparency across the supply chain by establishing a common “truth” on metrics that will improve the efficiency of reporting for all stakeholders, including the verification of TAG certification status for inventory, and strengthening the industry’s fight against ad fraud and other brand safety concerns.

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Research & Insights

BrandSafety Research-min

Having brand safety parameters and following the industry guidelines to uphold brand safety continually helps advertisers maintain consumer trust and brand integrity in the digital landscape. TAG's brand safety research and whitepapers arms brands, marketers and the adtech community: 

1. key trend on brand safety factors that affect consumer purchases.
2. progress on the fight in demonetising IP-infringing sites.
3. industry best practices to optimise brand safety efforts where possible. 

TAG Research