Digital ads that met the standards set by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) witnessed 88% less fraud and invalid traffic in the first eight months of 2019, according to an annual update from the advertising industry safety body.

TAG commissioned The 614 Group, a digital advertising consultancy, to conduct a benchmarking study based on 201 billion ad impressions served by six major agency holding companies between January and August.

They involved campaigns executed by Dentsu Aegis Network, GroupM, Horizon Media, Interpublic Group’s Kinesso, Omnicom’s Annalect and Publicis Groupe.

Both General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) and Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT) were examined and the research covered desktop display, desktop video, mobile web display, mobile web video, in-app display and in-app video.

All the impressions were delivered via TAG-certified channels, in which multiple companies involved in the transactions had been awarded TAG's Certified Against Fraud Seal.

To date, 137 companies around the world have achieved TAG's Certified Against Fraud Seal, an increase of 26% over the 109 who earned the seal a year ago.

The 614 Group research found the overall fraud rate hit 11.41% over the study period, but this dropped to 1.41% of ads that used channels certified by TAG – a 16% improvement on the 1.68% recorded last year. The result equated to an 88% decline when compared with the wider industry average.

Commenting on the findings, TAG CEO Mike Zaneis suggested that the industry was now beginning to “turn the tide of the war” against ad fraud.

“We have now held fraud rates in TAG-certified channels under two percent for three years in a row, and we also have dramatically improved the year-over-year fraud rates within those TAG-certified channels, as more companies joined TAG’s Certified Against Fraud Program and adopted its tough anti-fraud standards,” he said.

“We may never eliminate all fraud from the digital advertising ecosystem, but this data should give advertisers peace of mind that fraud will not have a significant impact on them if they use TAG-certified channels,” he added.

For more about TAG’s Certified Against Fraud Program and what advertisers can gain from its suite of anti-fraud tools, click here or read WARC’s in-depth report: TAG’s tips for tackling ad fraud.

Sourced from TAG; additional content by WARC staff