The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is a cross-industry accountability program that’s trying to create transparency in the business relationships and transactions that support the digital ad industry. It focuses on eliminating fraudulent digital advertising traffic; combating malware; fighting ad-supported Internet piracy to promote brand integrity; and promoting brand safety through greater transparency.
That’s a tall order in an industry rife with these issues. In fact, all of these issues are happening simultaneously. What’s clear is that all stakeholders need to work on transparency in the advertising supply chain, and they appear to be doing just that, as RTBlog noted yesterday.
In a blog post, TAG CEO Mike Zaneis writes that TAG’s transparency work includes the Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG), a set of common disclosures made predominantly by publishers and platforms about the quality of their inventory. The guidelines are designed to boost transparency by offering companies a common framework to describe the characteristics of advertising inventory before and during transactions.
Zaneis writes that each year, TAG recognizes the companies that comply with the IQG requirements, and this year more than 20 leading digital advertising companies attended the mandatory training and submitted the required documentation to do so.
A few companies took extra steps to achieve Tier 1 status, TAG’s highest level, by hiring an auditor to review their compliance, while others self-attested to the steps they had taken.
The IQG program will go a long way in the process of weeding out so-called “bad actors” in the digital advertising ecosystem.
“As an IQG-certified organization, RadiumOne is supporting the digital advertising industry in raising the bar to the highest standards of transparency and improving ad inventory quality overall,” Alex Gove, VP of corporate development, RadiumOne, told RTBlog in an email.
Reflecting on how complicated the digital advertising ecosystem has become amid issues of fraud, malware and piracy, Zaneis told RTBlog via email: “The Inventory Quality Guidelines make the ad ecosystem more transparent by offering a common framework for companies to describe their ad inventory and transact with one another.” Zaneis said he’s pleased with the progress made so far by many ad-tech companies in becoming IQG-compliant.
TAG updates the IQG regularly and released a new version of the IQG requirements last December. The main changes were beefed-up requirements that incorporated programmatic disclosures and OpenRTB Specs, as well as a new interactive training program.
To access the list of compliant companies, go here.