TAG-certified digital channels see less than 1% ad fraud

Fraud rates declined from industry average of 8.99% to 0.53%, according to research.

Online ad fraud is dramatically reduced to less than 1% when advertisers use media channels certified by the industry’s Trustworthy Accountability Group initiative, new research claims.

TAG’s study, carried out by The 614 Group, found the use of TAG-certified distribution channels for digital advertising reduced the level of fraud by more than 94% from the broader industry average (fraud rates reduced from 8.99% to 0.53%).

Four billion ad impressions by three major ad agency holdings groups – Omnicom, WPP and Publicis Groupe – were analysed across some of Europe’s biggest markets: the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands. It is the first analysis of the effectiveness of ongoing industry anti-fraud efforts in Europe, TAG said.

The study compared invalid traffic rates in TAG-certified channels against industry norms by measuring ad impressions from January to August 2018. 

Invalid traffic rates includes "general", such as bots, spiders and other crawlers, and "sophisticated", such as hijacked devices, adware and malware.

A similar study of the US market found that ad fraud decreased by 83% for ad channels that met TAG standards. 

TAG launched its Certified Against Fraud programme in 2016 to combat invalid traffic in the digital advertising supply chain. In the UK, Jicwebs agreed to adopt the CAF programme as of last week (1 January).

Mike Zaneis, chief executive of TAG, said: "Ad fraud is a global problem and addressing it will require our industry to work together across national and regional borders.

"By continuing to adopt TAG’s rigorous anti-fraud standards, we can stop criminals who profit from ad fraud and ensure a safe and clean supply chain across the world."

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