Agencies that use tag partners see fraud plunge

In what it calls a “monumental” breakthrough, the Trustworthy Accountability Group says its method can cut online ad fraud by more than 83 percent.

TAG, an association of ad-industry trade groups, worked with ad buyers at GroupM, IPG Mediabrands and Horizon Media and the metrics firms Moat, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to scrutinize 6.5 billion display and video ad impressions on TAG-certified distribution channels from July through October. They estimated the so-called invalid traffic—typically bots simulating humans to run up bills on automated ad platforms—at 97 million, or 1.48 percent.

To put that number in perspective, the industry average for invalid traffic across display and video is 12 percent, TAG says.

The results are valid, according to John Montgomery, global executive VP of brand safety at GroupM, the world’s largest buyer of advertising on behalf of marketers. “They used data that used TAG sourced inventory and then compared it to fraud levels that would have occurred had we not done so,” he says. They checked it with used verification companies accredited by the industry’s Media Rating Council.

“Not every impression across the web was measured,” Montgomery says. “But it’s a fair and representative sample.”

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