Digital advertising brand safety programme The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) has revealed that the number of certification seals held by companies rose by 87 per cent over the same points in 2020, as companies worldwide required their supply chain partners to comply with TAG’s Certified Against Fraud, Certified Against Piracy, Certified Against Malware, and Brand Safety Certified programmes. Companies also increasingly looked to third-party auditors to verify their compliance, with independent validations rising 243 per cent in the last year.
At the conclusion of the 2021 recertification process, 224 companies had undertaken the rigorous evaluations necessary to achieve a total of 308 TAG seals, a 79 per cent jump over the 125 companies that recertified 165 seals in 2020. Of the recertified seals, well over half – 59 per cent – were awarded via an independent validation process rather than self-certification, an increase from 34 per cent a year ago.
“In a year of wrenching dislocation and rising criminal activity, the world’s leading digital advertising companies looked to TAG standards for stability, continuity, and protection, and they demanded their supply chain partners set the same high bar,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “This was a tipping point year in which the TAG seals became prerequisites for doing business in nearly every global market and sector of the industry. We plan to build on this year’s momentum by raising our standards and expanding our global reach even further to block bad actors and build a brand safe ecosystem for all advertisers.”
In addition to the individual seal awards, a record 12 companies achieved TAG Platinum status, in which they have successfully earned all four of TAG’s certification seals – a 50 per cent increase in Platinum companies from 2020. Those companies are ebay, Google, Index Exchange, Iponweb, Kroger, OpenX, Publicis Media, RhythmOne, SpotX, Sovrn, Unruly, and xandr.
“The remarkable success of TAG’s certification programs rests on the active participation of hundreds of member companies, who have worked with TAG to strengthen and adapt our standards each year while taking the rigorous steps needed to turn those standards into practice across the industry,” advised Todd Miller, Director of Compliance at TAG. “We are delighted at the increasing ubiquity of TAG’s programmes, but even more heartened by the worldwide evidence of the effectiveness of such programmes, including a greater than 90 per cent fraud reduction in TAG Certified Channels in every market studied.”
As TAG has become recognised as the leading global standards programme around criminal activity and brand safety, an increasing number of companies have opted to certify their global operations. In 2021, 40 per cent of companies achieved such global certifications – up from 32 per cent in the prior year.