Fighting ad fraud: Study finds inventory on TAG Certified channels had 83% lower fraud rates

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A new study from The 614 Group has analyzed the impact of the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG)’s efforts on addressing fraud in the digital advertising supply chain.

The top-line takeaway from the study is that when TAG Certified distribution channels were used, the level of fraud was lower by more than 83 percent compared to the industry average.  The study looked at more than 6.5 billion display and video impressions in campaigns run through TAG Certified channels by three major media agencies: GroupM, IPG/Mediabrands and Horizon Media.

“This study validates TAG’s approach and sets a clear path for marketers that want to protect their brands and ad spend from fraud,” said Mike Zaneis, President and CEO of TAG. “Fraud thrives in the dark crevices of the supply chain, so we knew that we had to get the legitimate participants in the supply chain to adopt the same high standards for this effort to be successful. When the industry links its arms and stands together, there is no place left for the criminals to hide.”

Overall, the levels of Invalid Traffic (IVT) in digital advertising averaged 8.83 percent for display inventory in North America, and 12.03 percent when video inventory was included. In TAG Certified Channels, however, the IVT rate fell to 1.48 percent across video and display inventory, 83 percent lower than the industry average.

“The 614 Group have been leaders in promoting brand safety best practices and supporting the creation of standards and guidelines. Fraud has proven to be one of the most intractable issues in this area over the years,” said Rob Rasko, managing partner of The 614 Group. “We are pleased to release this groundbreaking research on the impact of TAG’s efforts to address the IVT challenge, and we believe the quantitative data combined with the timely firsthand analysis from the agency leaders who deal with fraud on a daily basis offer compelling insights on the impact of the TAG program.”

TAG launched in 2015, formed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The group says more than 170 companies are participating in the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program, and 49 of those have received the Certified Against Fraud Seal.


About The Author

Ginny Marvin
As Third Door Media's paid media reporter, Ginny Marvin writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies and can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.