Anti-Fraud Certification Launches With 30+ Participants

The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) on Monday said it’s ready to implement its "Certified Against Fraud" initiative, and that more than 30 ad tech firms have signed up to participate. The initiative comes about six months after being first announced.

AppNexus, Collective, DoubleVerify, Dstillery, Index Exchange, MediaMath, Omnicom, OpenX and WhiteOps are among those on the list of participants.

TAG’s anti-fraud certification program will award "TAG Certified Against Fraud" seals to buyers, sellers and intermediaries in the digital advertising supply chain that complete rigorous anti-fraud requirements, TAG said.

Companies that apply to join the TAG registry will go through a background check and review process. Once approved, each will receive a unique ID that will identify its ads to trading partners in the supply chain.

Direct buyers such as advertisers and authorized agents must complete the registration process, have a designated TAG compliance officer and comply with the Media Rating Council's Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines. Direct sellers, which include publishers and authorized publisher agents, must comply with all steps required of buyers and then some. Intermediaries such as ad networks and indirect buyers and sellers must comply with everything direct buyers and sellers do, as well as implement TAG's payment ID protocol.

Ad-tech companies will have to pay at least $20,000 annually to receive the "Verified by Tag" seal. Companies who want more seals will have to pay more, too, TAG said.

Other anti-fraud initiatives include a payment ID protocol, which creates a record of who gets paid for every impression and is designed to prevent criminals from receiving ad dollars. Bad actors that commit fraud through tactics such as selling fake impressions on websites they've listed in ad exchanges, won't be able to get payment IDs if all goes as planned. That feature hasn't launched yet.

“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?’ As more TAG anti-fraud seals are awarded, the cracks in our industry exploited by bad actors will also be sealed against their criminal endeavors," stated Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG.

"At OpenX, we believe everyone in the value chain must take responsibility for their piece of business. If inventory passes through our exchange, we stand behind it," John Murphy, vice president of marketplace quality at OpenX, told Real-Time Daily via email.  "Third-party quality assurance is critical to the growth and success of programmatic advertising. We applaud TAG's work on their 'Certified Against Fraud' program and the development of other industry quality standards for malware, piracy, and fraud.”

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