Press Releases


Press Releases

Giant step forward in the fight against Online Ad Fraud

October 23, 2018

UK and US unite behind one industry standard

London & New York– 23rd October 2018. The UK is one giant step closer to tackling online ad fraud today as the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) announce the next stage in their partnership, with the adoption of the TAG ‘Certified Against Fraud’ program in the UK from 1st January 2019.  This program has seen great results in the US, including an 83% reduction in fraud in TAG certified channels.

The program will offer the significant benefit of implementing the same set of standards in the two biggest digital advertising markets, working towards our shared goal of ‘global standards for local markets’. Importantly, this will help demonstrate to government that we are a responsible industry that can effectively self-regulate. In the UK it will be mandatory for participating companies to be independently audited by a 3rd party.

It is estimated that advertising fraud accounts for between 8% and 30% of global digital ad spend annually. Juniper Research estimates that fraudulent activity could cost the global market up to $44 billion by 2022.

At-a-glance: advantages of the TAG Certified Against Fraud program in the UK:

  • Alignment behind one set of anti-fraud standards
  • A robust program demanding that companies employ specific technology and appoint an internal compliance officer
  • An extra level of rigor and transparency to increase trust in the UK’s £4.2bn marketplace as companies here must be independently audited
  • Meets our shared goal of delivering ‘Global standards for local markets’ and sets a template for a global approach on other standards. TAG is planning to merge its Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG) with JICWEBS DTSG Brand Safety Standards in 2019

Richard Foan, Executive Chairman of JICWEBS said: “Quite simply, this is a game-changer for the UK The battle against online ad fraud is global, and it’s best tackled with an aligned approach. By adopting TAG’s Certified Against Fraud’ programme, the UK market will benefit from a proven approach that has delivered impressive results in the US.”

Phil Smith, Director General, ISBA said “UK advertisers need to see a step change in the way digital ad fraud is tackled to ensure their budgets are being protected. They expect transparency in the advertising chain, and this announcement is an important step forward in achieving that.”

Mike Zaneis, President and CEO of TAG says: “In the US, companies using TAG Certified Channels have seen an 83% reduction in fraud compared to the broader industry average. The UK and US will now benefit from one standard in both markets, and we look forward to working with JICWEBS to align approaches further.”


For more information: Lucy Green,, 07817 698366


JICWEBS defines best practice and standards for online ad trading in the UK and is made up of the following trade bodies: Association of Online Publishers (AOP), Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK, ISBA – the voice of British advertisers – and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

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 US 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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