The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) has launched a new initiative to help ensure ads appear in safe and appropriate places online, with major companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon on board at launch.
The TAG Brand Safety Certified Program is designed to significantly reduce the risk of the misplacement of advertising on digital media of all types, so all companies can help protect brand safety and strengthen the integrity of digital advertising.
At launch, 112 companies have been certified through the program, including 31 that are certifying their global operations. Among the TAG Brand Safety Certified companies are Amazon Advertising, Facebook, Google, GroupM, Havas, Kroger, Omnicom Media Group, Samsung Ads, Sky Ltd., Thomson Reuters, TripAdvisor, Twitter, and Walmart.
The program promotes the flow of advertising budgets to companies that set high standards and support the industry’s framework for brand safety.
The program serves the entire digital advertising supply chain by providing 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.
Recent brand controversies have illustrated the potential backlash from consumers when brands do not take appropriate steps to prevent their ads from running with unsafe and inappropriate content. According to research conducted by TAG and the Brand Safety Institute, more than 80 percent of consumers say they would reduce or stop buying a product they regularly purchase if it advertised in a range of hypothetical situations involving extreme or dangerous content.
“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 Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “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.”
Among the requirements that a participating company must meet to achieve the TAG Brand Safety Certified Seal:
• 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.
• Every Direct Buyer, Direct Seller and/or Intermediary must ensure that 100% 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.
• 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 contains content deemed inappropriate by an advertiser, as well as capabilities around the categories and types of content it can utilize in its services.
The inaugural group of TAG Brand Safety Certified companies includes:
Agenda21 Digital Ltd.
ComCast / Freewheel
Conde Nast International
Crimtan Holdings Ltd
Global Radio Services Limited
Haymarket Media Group
Hearst Communications Inc.
Immediate Media Co.
Inskin Media Ltd
Integral Ad Science
John Ayling & Associates (JAA)
LADbible Group Ltd
Mail Metro Media
MIQ DIGITAL LIMITED
Omnicom Media Group
Radio Teilifis Eireann
Rockabox Media Ltd
Telegraph Media Group Limited
The Kite Factory Ltd
The Trade Desk
Thomson Reuters (Markets)
VE Global UK Limited
Vibrant Media Inc.
Ziff Davis, LLC
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.
Additional information about the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program and how companies from across the advertising ecosystem can receive the TAG Brand Safety Certified Seal can be found at https://www.tagtoday.net/.