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Trustworthy Accountability Group launches TAG Brand Safety Certified Program

David Murphy

The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a global certification program which aims to fight criminal activity and increase trust in the digital advertising industry has launched the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program. At launch, 112 companies have been certified through the program, including 31 that are certifying their global operations. The list includes Amazon Advertising, Facebook, Google, GroupM, Havas, Omnicom Media Group, Samsung Ads, Sky, Thomson Reuters, TripAdvisor, Twitter, and Walmart.

The program is designed to significantly reduce the risk of the misplacement of advertising on digital media of all types. It promotes the flow of advertising budgets to companies that set high standards and support the industry’s framework for brand safety. Its aim is to provide transparency, choice and control for buyers, enabling them to buy advertising inventory with confidence and creating a brand safety framework for sellers that increases the value of certified sellers’ inventory.

According to research conducted by TAG and the Brand Safety Institute, more than 80 per cent of consumers say they would reduce or stop buying a product they regularly buy if it advertised in a range of hypothetical situations involving extreme or dangerous content.

In order to achieve the TAG Brand Safety Certified Seal, companies must satisfy a number of criteria.  Every direct buyer, direct seller and/or intermediary must ensure that all new and updated agreements for digital advertising services adhere to the program’s Brand Safety Principles, including specific brand safety criteria, policies, and procedures, as well as takedown, monitoring, and compliance requirements. Contracts must also require the use of independently-validated Content Verification services or inclusion/exclusion lists.

In addition, every direct buyer, direct seller and/or intermediary must ensure that 100 per cent of its monetizable transactions are reviewed by one or more independently-validated Content Verification services or inclusion/exclusion lists as defined in its digital advertising agreements.

And every direct buyer, direct seller and/or intermediary must document the specific policies and procedures it has to minimize the risk of ad misplacement.

The program also sets rigorous standards for all companies offering Content Verification Services, including technical standards and disclosure requirements around the classification and blocking of ad-serving on media properties which contain content deemed inappropriate by an advertiser, as well as capabilities around the categories and types of content it can utilize in its services.

At launch, the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program includes dozens of companies that were participants in the former JICWEBS Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) Program before the TAG merger and are now compliant with the new program requirements. The TAG Brand Safety Certified Program will continue to be part of the IAB Gold Standard for UK companies.

“There is no magic bullet to ensuring brand safety, but it would be brand malpractice not to adopt these industry-consensus standards to reduce that risk,” said TAG CEO, Mike Zaneis. “With broad adoption at launch across every sector of the supply chain, the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program will help companies demonstrate their commitment to brand protection and ensure that advertising partners have taken the necessary steps to reduce the risk of unsafe ad placements. This program completes the TAG certification suite, so companies now can adopt a unified set of solutions that shows their leadership in addressing ad fraud, malvertising, and brand safety challenges.”

 

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