TAG Authorizes AAM to Certify Ad Technology Companies in Fight Against Internet Piracy

Monday, November 2, 2015

Leading digital media audit firm working with Trustworthy Accountability Group on multiple fronts to address piracy, quality and brand safety


TAG authorizes AAM to certify ad tech companies in fight against online piracyARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Nov. 2, 2015) – The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) has been named an authorized independent validator in the Trustworthy Accountability Group’s (TAG) program to fight Internet piracy. AAM will audit and certify advertising technology companies that meet TAG’s standards covered in its Brand Integrity Program Against Piracy, one of only three audit firms approved to do so.

The goal of the initiative is to help advertisers and their partners avoid running ads on websites that may contain pirated content or counterfeit products. These sites often use deceptive or fraudulent practices, robbing advertisers of their digital media investments and potentially harming their brands.

[Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG)] Some advertising technology providers offer tools and services that help marketers combat these issues. Under TAG’s program, these providers can elect to have AAM independently certify that they meet TAG’s rigorous criteria and can market themselves as a Digital Advertising Assurance Provider (DAAP).

In turn, advertisers and ad agencies can elect to use only certified DAAPs as a way to help ensure the quality and safety of their digital ad campaigns. In September, for instance, GroupM, one of the world’s largest media-buying agencies, announced it will require its partners to either become or use TAG-certified providers (DAAPs) by the first quarter of 2016.

“Marketers have a responsibility to stand up to the bad players and thieves who are all too prevalent in digital advertising,” said Christina Meringolo, vice president of integrated marketing solutions for Bayer Consumer Care and AAM board chairwoman. “All of us must band together to insist that all parts of the industry—technology platforms, networks, exchanges, publishers and other suppliers—be independently audited by organizations like AAM and support the standards and guidelines being established by TAG, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Media Rating Council.”

Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG, added, “AAM is a deeply experienced and widely respected digital audit firm. They’re an important TAG partner in the fight against piracy and in helping the entire digital advertising industry build a more trusted marketplace.”

AAM Providing Broad Digital Expertise to TAG

The Alliance for Audited Media is working with the Trustworthy Accountability Group on a number of important areas.

  • Under TAG guidance, AAM drafted revisions to the Inventory Quality Guidelines, a set of standards that promote digital transparency and safety. AAM trained more than 40 companies currently participating in the program and will continue to lead training for the revised guidelines, which take effect in 2016 and detail additional standards for greater transparency in programmatic buying.
  • AAM has also drafted a new set of standards to help TAG establish transparency guidelines for websites that derive traffic from third parties, which often is of poor quality if not outright fraudulent, as recently reported by Bloomberg Business. The new Publisher Sourcing Audit Standards are expected to be released for public review in the first quarter of 2016.
  • TAG has also asked AAM to develop a training program to help TAG members establish a compliance officer role. The program will facilitate the integration of various TAG standards and guidelines across its member companies. This is viewed as an essential role and is consistent with the organizational functional areas now required under the MRC’s Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines Addendum.
  • AAM also contributes its expertise to TAG—and to the IAB, MRC and the Mobile Marketing Association—by participating in a wide range of industry working groups that establish and refine various industry standards and best practices.

“We’re honored to be working with TAG on these important initiatives,” said Tom Drouillard, AAM CEO, president and managing director. “AAM has worked with a broad range of digital clients for 20 years now. Much like TAG, we are a nonprofit industry body that represents all sides of the ecosystem. Our role is to bring independently verified trust and confidence to the advertising sales process, so it’s natural that we are closely aligned with TAG.”


About the Alliance for Audited Media

The Alliance for Audited Media is a nonprofit industry body founded by the Association of National Advertisers to ensure media transparency and trust. AAM provides independent verification and information services for thousands of leading publishers, advertisers, ad agencies and ad tech platforms to facilitate the planning, buying, selling and delivery of traditional and digital media. The organization is also one of the industry’s most experienced providers of technology certification audits to standards established by the Media Rating Council, Trustworthy Accountability Group, Interactive Advertising Bureau and Mobile Marketing Association. Visit AAM’s website to learn more.