TAG + The 614 Group Establish Global Ad Fraud Benchmarks

TAG + The 614 Group Establish Global Ad Fraud Benchmarks

Measuring the reduction of ad fraud in TAG Certified Channels


In the Spring of 2017, Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) executives and their Leadership Council decided an industry ad fraud benchmark would help to measure the effectiveness of their program. This benchmark would support the membership of TAG’s mission to grow awareness that companies who are certified can provide a safe place within the online advertising ecosystem and establish TAG as a policing vehicle to reduce ad fraud in the global advertising supply chain.

But could a market research piece that establishes a broad industry benchmark be completed in four months?

It wasn’t enough to believe that marketers who advertise exclusively in TAG Certified Channels would see a significant reduction in ad fraud. It was time to prove that working with good actors had a value.

Mike Zaneis, CEO, Trustworthy Accountability Group


TAG determined that The 614 Group was the best partner to establish this benchmark because of their deep understanding of the issues and their strong relationships with the industry stakeholders necessary to undertake this project in a short timeline.

This unique blend of skills enabled us to design a meaningful study and to analyze the data we collected, turning the valuable insights we uncovered into a story about how TAG Certified Channels nearly eliminate the presence of ad fraud.

“I turned to the team at The 614 Group because we knew that could get this done, on time with the necessary precision, they have a unique blend of skills that made them the obvious choice for this initiative. Their deep industry knowledge, relationships with executives at the major holding companies and ad operations expertise gave them the edge when comparing their offering to other market research firms,” said Zaneis.

Beginning with the end-goal in mind, The 614 Group designed an assessment to examine two key areas: 

  • The levels of invalid traffic (IVT) found in TAG Certified Channels* which required explaining the value of the program to the stakeholders, working with the technology companies to properly acquire the data and finally aggregating this data into a single usage source of truth.
  • The specific actions that media agencies take when they are informed of the presence of fraud in their campaigns. This effort required establishing a level of trust with the partners to agree to discuss some of their private practices and worked with The 614 Group to help reveal the relevant information while keeping the confidential items discrete.

*TAG Certified Channels are channels in which multiple entities involved in the transaction, such as the media agency, buy-side platform, sell-side platform and/or publisher, had achieved the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal.


Over a two-month period of time, we collected almost 100 billion impressions which were measured by a leading third-party measurement provider. It was determined that TAG Certified Channels were indeed effective in reducing ad fraud. The benchmark established has proven to be a valued asset to both our client, TAG, and the marketplace at large.

Since the first paper was released, the TAG fraud reduction rate has become an industry benchmark used countless times by advertising executives in presentations and comparisons.

The TAG Certified Against Fraud Program has more than doubled from 50 to more than 115, and the pipeline of future participants remains full, with a total of 232 companies having applied to receive the seal.

Learn more about the effectiveness of the TAG Certified Against Fraud program and the extent of ad fraud in our 2018 U.S. study or 2019 European benchmarks study.

Going forward, any presentations that I do to educate the market on ad fraud and how to reduce it will include the latest benchmarks set by TAG and The 614 Group.

Joe Barone, Managing Partner, Brand Safety Americas, GroupM

By establishing an industry benchmark that confirms the value of their work in the market, TAG has furthered their credibility and proved that TAG Certified Channels do in fact lower ad fraud for marketers who are looking to run cleaner campaigns.

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