The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an advertising industry initiative to fight criminal activity in the digital advertising supply chain, has released its second annual analysis of ad fraud in Europe, showing extremely low fraud rates in TAG Certified Channels as an increasing number of European companies adopt TAG’s anti-fraud standards.
Conducted by The 614 Group, the study found a 94 per cent reduction in digital advertising fraud when advertisers used TAG Certified distribution channels as compared to industry norms. Driving those gains across Europe’s ad industry, the number of companies achieving the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal in Europe has more than tripled over the last two years.
“Past studies have shown that using TAG Certified distribution channels can reduce fraud rates to very low, predictable, and manageable levels, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, which is why we are so delighted by the broad adoption of TAG’s anti-fraud standards across Europe,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “In the last two years, the digital advertising supply chain in Europe has been forged into an interlocking barrier of TAG certifications against fraud, leaving criminals few gaps to exploit or holes in which to hide.”
The 614 Group study compared invalid traffic (IVT) rates in TAG Certified Channels against industry norms by measuring more than 43 billion ad impressions from January-December 2019 from three of the largest advertising agency holding companies across the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. The results found a dramatic reduction in fraud rates across European markets – to just 0.53 per cent – when using TAG Certified Channels, as opposed to industry norms of 9.2 per cent.
“We are excited about this industrywide research in supporting a cleaner ecosystem, and we have worked with our agencies to solidify a global practice that protects our agencies and clients from bad actors,” declared Yale Cohen, EVP, Digital Investment and Standards, Publicis Media Exchange (PMX). “Publicis was the first holding company to work with TAG on its Platinum Status seal, and continues to work with partners to learn and improve.”
“This study helps our clients benchmark and contextualise the reduction in Invalid Traffic (IVT) or ad fraud, when Omnicom Media Group works with companies that have adopted TAG’s rigorous standards to protect themselves, their partners, and the supply chain,” added Saiful Ahmed, Director, Ad Technology at Omnicom Media Group. “We welcome being part of this study, as it provides valuable research data regarding the state and non-stop fight against ad fraud in Europe today.”
In January 2019, TAG released its first benchmarking study of fraud rates in major European markets conducted by The 614 Group. The study examined the effectiveness of the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program in Europe, and it found a comparable reduction in fraud across TAG Certified Channels to this year’s study with an overall reduction of fraud rates in TAG Certified Channels by 94 per cent to 0.53 per cent.
“This benchmark is quickly emerging as Europe’s most important before-and-after metric for gauging the effectiveness of anti-fraud efforts across the supply chain,” said Rob Rasko, CEO of The 614 Group. “We are delighted at the broad awareness and adoption of this metric by industry leaders, and we are grateful for the support and participation of some of the largest agency holding companies for helping us develop it. Moving forward, this benchmark will play a critical role in helping our industry push ad fraud further into obscurity, so all buyers of advertising can ensure they are reaching real customers across every channel.”
Helping drive European adoption of its anti-fraud programme, TAG and the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) have completed the process of aligning both programmes behind TAG’s anti-fraud standards over the last year. Further raising the bar, new requirements for the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program require all companies certifying in 2020 for Europe to undergo independent validation of their programme compliance.
|Study||2019 European TAG Report|
|Countries Included||UK, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands|
|Inventory Type||Display desktop, display mobile, in-app display, mobile web video, desktop video, mobile in-app video, mobile web|
|Types of Fraud Examined||General Invalid Traffic (GIVT), Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)|
|SIVT + GIVT Rate (TAG Channels Only)||0.53 per cent|
|Overall Fraud Rate (Blended Benchmark)||9.2 per cent|
|Reduction in Fraud||94 per cent|
|Agency Holding Companies Involved in Study||GroupM
Omnicom Media Group