IAB bares teeth in fight against ad fraud

Dive Brief:

  • The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced all 463 of its General Member publisher and technology companies must register with the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) to fight ad fraud, according to a joint news release made available to Marketing Dive.
  • IAB members have until June 1, 2018, to get TAG Registration, which verifies them as legitimate participants in the digital advertising industry, to remain eligible for continued membership in the group. 
  • "The digital ad industry's open supply chain is the source of our innovation and the source of our risks," said IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg in a statement. "Making TAG Registration a requirement for IAB members will make our supply chain safer, while still allowing innovative media and advertising solutions to flourish."

Dive Insight:

TAG was launched two years ago as a partnership between the IAB, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and Association for National Advertisers (ANA) with the goal of combating fraud, malware, piracy and lack of transparency. While these issues are long-standing in the digital advertising space, recent events, including the news that a single Russian bot farm called Methbot was siphoning off millions of advertising dollars via fraud, have brought them again to the front of the conversation. 

Marketers like Procter & Gamble's demands for a cleaner digital media supply chain are also driving industry change. Demanding all IAB members to meet TAG's requirements  as a condition of their membership might ensure a greater measure of transparency across the board. 

"TAG administers our industry’s health code," Rothenberg said in the release. "No one should be exempt from our industry’s health code."

Since the IAB is requiring its membership undergo the TAG Registration process, it said it has negotiated free registration for smaller members and discounts of 12.5% to 25% for its larger members.

TAG recently announced that more than 200 companies from 20 countries have applied for TAG Registration, with that number about to increase significantly with the IAB news. 

Brands are also supporting TAG, with P&G, Johnson & Johnson and Charter Communications announcing they will soon begin requiring publishers that advertise with them to join TAG's "Certified Against Fraud" program.

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