Distribution channels signed up to the TAG Certified programme in the US show a dramatic fall in ad fraud, a new study shows.

The Trustworthy Accountability Group’s 2020 US fraud benchmark study, conducted by The 614 Group, shows a 90% reduction in fraud among TAG Certified distribution channels. Researchers found an IVT (invalid traffic) rate of only 1.05% across TAG Certified channels, which compares with an average within the industry of 10.83%.

Set up in 2016 to combat criminal activity in the digital advertising supply chain, and promote brand safety, TAG boasts it is the first and only Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) for the digital advertising industry.

The 2020 report is the first to include fraudulent traffic across the connected television sector, and it found TAG certification gave similar rates of protection against fraud, with just 0.6% IVT in that channel. During the four years in which studies have been carried out, IVT rates in TAG Certified channels have fallen from 1.48% in 2017 to a record low of 1.05% this year.

"Criminals usually profit during times of disruption and turmoil, but the commitment of TAG members to aggressive anti-fraud standards has helped us continue to drive strong progress this year against fraud," said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG.

"As advertising budgets were reduced, measurable business results have become even more critical, so, we're pleased that this research demonstrates how use of TAG Certified Channels can have a positive impact on the bottom line. We may never eliminate fraud completely, but our industry's continued collaborative efforts will keep fraud rates predictable, manageable, and low."

Companies in the TAG scheme qualify for the Certified Against Fraud Seal after they have demonstrated they have complied with a number of anti-fraud guidelines. The 600-plus member TAG community includes some of the world's most influential brands, agencies, publishers, and ad tech providers. Up to now, 148 companies around the world have achieved the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal.

Along with statistical data, the study also includes interviews with a number of leading executives, including those from Dentsu Aegis Carat USA, Horizon Media, Interpublic’s Kinesso, Publicis Media Exchange, WPP’s GroupM, and Viacom’s CBS Digital. These interviews were aimed at learning more about best practices and ongoing challenges in fighting ad fraud.

Sourced from the Trustworthy Accountability Group