TAG launches ad industry's first global Brand Safety Certification program

Written by
May 13, 2024

We are pleased to share The Trustworthy Accountability Group’s (TAG) press release, announcing the launch of the Industry’s first global Brand Safety Certification Program. As a TAG certified company, we are proud to be part of this world-leading initiative to drive brand safety standards within our industry.

Washington, DC – September 10, 2020 – The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), the world's leading program to fight criminal activity and protect brand safety in digital advertising, today announced the launch of the TAG Brand Safety Certified Program, the ad industry's largest and broadest global brand safety certification program. 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, Venatus Media and Walmart.

"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."

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. 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.

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.

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/.

About the Trustworthy Accountability Group

The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is the leading global certification program fighting criminal activity and increasing trust in the digital advertising industry. TAG advances its mission of eliminating fraudulent traffic, facilitating the sharing of threat intelligence, and promoting brand safety by connecting industry leaders, analyzing threats, and sharing best practices worldwide. The 600+ member TAG community include the world's largest and most influential brands, agencies, publishers, and ad tech providers. TAG is the first and only Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) for the digital advertising industry. This U.S. Department of Homeland Security designation means TAG is the primary forum for sharing threat intelligence in our industry.

For more information on TAG, please visit tagtoday.net.