November 14, 2019



According to 614 Group Analysis, Fraud Rates in TAG Certified Channels Dropped from 1.68% to 1.41%, as Industry Adopted Higher Standards


Washington, DC – November 14, 2019 – The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an advertising industry initiative to fight criminal activity in the digital advertising supply chain, today released the results of its 2019 Benchmark Fraud Study. The results show the continued success in reducing fraud within TAG Certified distribution channels at a time when many more participants in the digital advertising supply chain have adopted TAG’s rigorous anti-fraud standards and are choosing to buy through TAG Certified Channels.

Based on more than 200 billion ad impressions from six of the largest ad agency holding companies, the study found that invalid traffic (IVT) rates in TAG Certified channels fell to 1.41 percent from 1.68 percent in the same prior year period, a 16 percent improvement. The 2019 fraud rate in TAG Certified channels was 88 percent lower than a blended benchmark of IVT rates from MRC accredited anti-fraud vendors.

“When you win enough battles, you begin to turn the tide of the war,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “We have now held fraud rates in TAG Certified Channels under two percent for three years in a row, and we also have dramatically improved the year-over-year fraud rates within those TAG Certified Channels, as more companies joined TAG’s Certified Against Fraud Program and adopted its tough anti-fraud standards. We may never eliminate all fraud from the digital advertising ecosystem, but this data should give advertisers peace of mind that fraud will not have a significant impact on them if they use TAG Certified Channels.”


 Inventory Type

 Desktop display, desktop video, mobile web display, mobile web video, in-app display, in-
 app video

 Types of Fraud Examined

 General Invalid Traffic (GIVT), Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)

 Volume of Impressions Examined

 201 billion

 Channels Only)

 1.41 percent

 Overall Fraud Rate
 (Blended Benchmark)

 11.41 percent

 Reduction in Fraud

 88 percent

 Study Duration

 January - August 2019

 Data Examined

 Campaigns executed by six major advertising agency holding companies: Dentsu Aegis
 Network, Omnicom Media Group (Annalect), WPP (GroupM), Horizon Media, Interpublic
 Group (Kinesso), and Publicis Groupe


Thus far, 137 companies around the world have achieved the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal to date, an increase of 26 percent over the 109 who had earned the seal a year ago.

TAG launched its Certified Against Fraud Program to combat invalid traffic in the digital advertising supply chain. Companies that are shown to comply with the Certified Against Fraud Guidelines are awarded the Certified Against Fraud Seal, which they can use to publicly communicate their commitment to combatting fraud. 

TAG first commissioned The 614 Group to conduct a benchmarking study of the US market to examine the effectiveness of the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program in December 2017. While the 2017 study only measured GIVT (not SIVT) across desktop and mobile advertising, the 2018 study offered an apples-to-apples comparison to this year’s results by measuring both SIVT and GIVT at scale across desktop, mobile, and in-app advertising.

As an additional element to the report, The 614 Group also interviewed executives with the participating agencies: Dentsu Aegis Network, Horizon Media, Interpublic Group (Kinesso), Omnicom Media Group (Annalect), Publicis Groupe, and WPP (GroupM) to learn more about their companies’ perspectives on the complicated fight against fraud.

The full study and report can be found here. Additional information about TAG’s Certified Against Fraud Program and how companies from across the advertising ecosystem can received the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal can be found at


The 614 Group partnered with six agency holding companies and their MRC-accredited measurement vendors to collect and aggregate all impressions for campaigns that were executed during the period of January 2019 through August 2019. These campaigns included display media and video ads in desktop, mobile web and in-app environments. The study did not use sampling of any kind: 100% of all impressions given to The 614 Group were included in the measurement.

In conducting the study, The 614 Group relied on measurement of data on inventory characteristics conducted by measurement vendors including Moat by Oracle Data Cloud (Moat), Integral Ad Science (IAS), and White Ops. These three anti-fraud measurement vendors are all TAG Certified Against Fraud and hold accreditations from the Media Rating Council (MRC) that include IVT measurement (for both SIVT and GIVT).

In order to determine an industry fraud average, we blended fraud rates from several MRC-accredited measurement vendors. These rates were obtained directly from Moat’s Fraud Report for H1 2019, the ANA/ White Op’s 2019 Bot Baseline Report, and IAS, Media Quality Report for H1 2019.

About the Trustworthy Accountability Group

The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is the leading global certification program fighting criminal activity and increasing trust in the digital advertising industry. Created by the industry’s top trade organizations, TAG’s mission is to eliminate fraudulent traffic, combat malware, prevent Internet piracy, and promote greater transparency in digital advertising. TAG advances those initiatives by bringing companies across the digital advertising supply chain together to set the highest standards. TAG is the first and only registered Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) for the digital advertising industry. For more information on TAG, please visit

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