Ad Industry Launches Certification Program to Fight Fraud

The Trustworthy Accountability Group, a coalition of advertising groups supportive of transparency efforts in advertising, has launched a new certification program to battle what's considered rampant fraud in the digital ad industry.

The ad industry’s transparency coalition is going to get some extra teeth.

The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a collaboration between advertising associations that hopes to build more accountability in the digital advertising industry, is launching a new certification program to highlight companies in the ad industry that are meeting stringent antifraud requirements.

The group’s strategy, which comes complete with a “Certified Against Fraud” seal, is designed for ad buyers and sellers, along with the intermediaries that distribute those ads, to avoid working with bad actors.

“Participants in the digital ad supply chain can now ask a simple question to tell if their partners have taken the necessary steps to fight ad fraud: ‘Are you TAG Certified Against Fraud?'” TAG CEO Mike Zaneis noted in a news release.

Three roles in the industry will be held to different requirements as part of the certification process:

Ad buyers, either directly or indirectly through agents, will be required to go through a registration process and have a TAG compliance officer. The buyers will be required to comply with the Media Rating Council’s Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines.

Publishers and publisher agents will be held to the same standards listed above, as well as additional criteria for filtering and disclosing publisher sourcing.

Ad networks and similar intermediaries will be held to the same standards as buyers and filtering standards as publishers, in addition to TAG’s Payment ID protocol.

The initiative already has earned commitments from influential companies since its launch last month. Among the more than 30 organizations that have agreed to participate in the program are Google, AppNexus, News Corp., Yahoo, Zemanta, and Publicis Worldwide.

Ad groups that are part of TAG—including the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)—welcomed the strategy.

“We strongly encourage all of our members to become TAG ‘Certified Against Fraud’ and request their ad partners to do so as well,” ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice said in the news release. “By working together, we can ensure that our marketing resources support our business goals, not criminals and fraudsters.”

Those interested in applying for the seal can learn how to sign up at the TAG website.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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