The anti-fraud movement took a great step forward last week. A new verb has been established, “TAG’ed”. This badge on websites verified by TAG is now the good housekeeping seal of approval for the digital advertising ecosystem. It is, however, just the beginning. The Media Rating Council (MRC) over the summer released standards for filtering invalid traffic (IVT). Major players are now pooling their resources and sharing lists of domains and IP addresses to filter out known bad actors from the ecosystem. This gets rid of the low hanging fruit, the less sophisticated digital ad fraudsters.
The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) registration announcement builds on the work from MRC and the Anti-Fraud Working Group under TAG. This is an important step forward for the digital advertising ecosystem and will indeed provide the groundwork for enabling programmatic advertising to scale and reach the full promise of digital advertising. Next on TAG’s ambitious agenda is establishing a Payment ID for participants in the digital advertising ecosystem to provide payment transparency.
The next hurdle for the online advertising industry is to develop forensic standards for identifying digital ad fraud. One might look to the payment industry for clues on what’s next. In the payment card industry, PCI compliance is a higher standard than current anti-fraud standards for the online advertising industry. However, credit card fraud is easier to identify because if someone makes an unauthorized credit card purchase online, the card owner or credit issuer is likely to see the charge and refuse payment.
Clearly more work lies ahead, but Trustworthy Accountability Group has made a great step forward toward establishing the groundwork for a safer online advertising ecosystem.
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