March 5, 2020



Second Annual European Study by The 614 Group Finds 94 Percent Less Fraud in TAG Certified Channels vs. Industry Average


Washington, DC & London, UK – March 5, 2020 – The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an advertising industry initiative to fight criminal activity in the digital advertising supply chain, today released its second annual analysis of ad fraud in Europe, showing extremely low fraud rates in TAG Certified Channels as an increasing number of European companies adopt TAG’s anti-fraud standards.

Conducted by The 614 Group, the study found a 94 percent reduction in digital advertising fraud when advertisers used TAG Certified distribution channels as compared to industry norms. Driving those gains across Europe’s ad industry, the number of companies achieving the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal in Europe has more than tripled over the last two years.

“Past studies have shown that using TAG Certified distribution channels can reduce fraud rates to very low, predictable, and manageable levels, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, which is why we are so delighted by the broad adoption of TAG’s anti-fraud standards across Europe,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “In the last two years, the digital advertising supply chain in Europe has been forged into an interlocking barrier of TAG certifications against fraud, leaving criminals few gaps to exploit or holes in which to hide.”

The 614 Group study compared invalid traffic (IVT) rates in TAG Certified Channels against industry norms by measuring more than 43 billion ad impressions from January-December 2019 from three of the largest advertising agency holding companies across the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. The results found a dramatic reduction in fraud rates across European markets - to just 0.53 percent - when using TAG Certified Channels, as opposed to industry norms of 9.2 percent.



2019 European TAG Report

Countries Included

UK, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands

Inventory Type

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

Types of Fraud Examined

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

SIVT + GIVT Rate (TAG Channels Only)

0.53 percent

Overall Fraud Rate (Blended Benchmark)

9.2 percent

Reduction in Fraud

94 percent

Agency Holding Companies Involved in Study


Omnicom Media Group

Publicis Groupe


“We are excited about this industrywide research in supporting a cleaner ecosystem, and we have worked with our agencies to solidify a global practice that protects our agencies and clients from bad actors,” said Yale Cohen, EVP, Digital Investment and Standards, Publicis Media Exchange (PMX). “Publicis was the first holding company to work with TAG on its Platinum Status seal, and continues to work with partners to learn and improve.”

“This study helps our clients benchmark and contextualise the reduction in Invalid Traffic (IVT) or ad fraud, when Omnicom Media Group works with companies that have adopted TAG's rigorous standards to protect themselves, their partners, and the supply chain,” Saiful Ahmed, Director, Ad Technology at Omnicom Media Group. “We welcome being part of this study, as it provides valuable research data regarding the state and non-stop fight against ad fraud in Europe today.”

In January 2019, TAG released its first benchmarking study of fraud rates in major European markets conducted by The 614 Group. The study examined the effectiveness of the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program in Europe, and it found a comparable reduction in fraud across TAG Certified Channels to this year’s study with an overall reduction of fraud rates in TAG Certified Channels by 94 percent to 0.53 percent.

“This benchmark is quickly emerging as Europe's most important before-and-after metric for gauging the effectiveness of anti-fraud efforts across the supply chain,” said Rob Rasko, CEO of The 614 Group. “We are delighted at the broad awareness and adoption of this metric by industry leaders, and we are grateful for the support and participation of some of the largest agency holding companies for helping us develop it. Moving forward, this benchmark will play a critical role in helping our industry push ad fraud further into obscurity, so all buyers of advertising can ensure they are reaching real customers across every channel."

Helping drive European adoption of its anti-fraud program, TAG and the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) have completed the process of aligning both programs behind TAG’s anti-fraud standards over the last year. Further raising the bar, new requirements for the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program require all companies certifying in 2020 for Europe to undergo independent validation of their program compliance.

The full 2020 study 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


This is the second European annual TAG Fraud Benchmark Study conducted by The 614 Group, and continues to follow the methodology established in 2018.

The 614 Group partnered with three leading agency holding companies - GroupM, Omnicom Media Group, and Publicis Groupe - along with their MRC-accredited measurement vendors, to collect and aggregate all impressions for campaigns that were executed from January 2019 to December 2019 in five European countries (Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK). These impressions included display media and video ads in desktop, mobile web and in-app environments. The analysis did not use sampling of any kind, as 100% of all TAG Certified Against Fraud impressions given to The 614 Group were included in the analysis. Upon receipt, all data was aggregated within a secure database in order to create the proper reporting.

In conducting the study, The 614 Group used the categorization of the ad impressions by the agencies’ measurement vendors, including DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science (IAS) and Moat by Oracle Data Cloud (Moat). 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, the analysis blended fraud rates from several MRC-accredited measurement vendors. These rates were delivered directly to TAG, including Moat’s IVT Report for H1 2019 and DoubleVerify IVT Reporting from September through December 2019. Additionally, fraud rates were combined with the publicly available ANA/White Op’s 2019 Bot Baseline Report and the 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 leading industry 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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