Common Industry Framework for Transparency Will Increase Confidence and Control for Buyers, Raise Value of Inventory for Sellers
The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), the world’s leading program to fight criminal activity and promote brand safety in digital advertising, today announced the launch of the TAG “Certified for Transparency” Seal, a new global standard for responsible transparency practices that will give ad buyers and their partners increased visibility into the details of their digital advertising campaigns.
By offering a common transparency framework, TAG’s “Certified for Transparency” Program will establish a “shared truth” on campaign data for participants across the supply chain, increasing confidence and control for buyers and raising the value of inventory for sellers who can prove they are responsible, accountable, and transparent. A central requirement for seal recipients is participation in TAG TrustNet’s Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) framework, which creates a single trusted record for transactions through real-time reconciling and sharing advertising log files with counterparties.
Developed in collaboration with TAG’s technology partner, Fiducia, TAG TrustNet has undergone years of testing and early deployment with scores of companies from across the supply chain, including brands such as Nestlé, McDonalds, O2/Telefonica, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Santander; agency trading groups like WPP, Publicis, OMG, Havas, IPG, and Dentsu Aegis; and a broad number of technology vendors and publishers.
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“This program will serve as a global transparency utility that will revolutionize the way digital media is bought and sold,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “By establishing a ‘shared truth’ among all parties for campaign reporting, companies across the supply chain who touch an ad will be able to seamlessly integrate, access, review, and act on the same trusted campaign data. Sellers will benefit from the increased value of transparent and trusted inventory, while buyers will be able to make better informed decisions on how best to allocate resources in their campaigns.”
“Transparency and trust have forever been the backbones of sustainable business, and in the last years of programmatic advertising, the growing complexity of its ecosystem has made it harder to provide a clear picture,” said Ander Lopez Ochoa, EMEA Head of Digital, Content, Media & eCommerce Marketing for Johnson & Johnson. “Lots of attention has been put into inventory quality issues along with oddities in tech transaction fees, but not nearly enough attention on finding automated and trusted partners that would provide answers. If a supply chain actor is transparent, then they will be happy to provide quick and easy shared access to the advertiser’s log data as the only true way of certifying transparency promises. It’s the difference between believing and knowing.”
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In addition to participation in TAG TrustNet, other requirements to obtain the TAG Certified for Transparency Seal will include annual compliance training for the Certified for Transparency Seal, employing and honoring Ads.txt and App-Ads.txt (direct sellers and intermediaries), and employing and maintaining Sellers.json (intermediaries). Additional transparency requirements will be integrated into the program through feedback and reaction from the TAG Community over the coming months. Final guidelines will take effect in May 2023 and will serve as the requirements for obtaining a 2023 seal.
“The TAG Certified for Transparency Program will offer a global cross-industry seal of recognition that recipients can operationally support transparency,” said Adrian Lacey, Director of Policy and Standards at TAG. “By providing brands and the industry with a utility to support always on campaign data sharing across the supply chain, the TAG Certified for Transparency Seal will help us to work together to eliminate any dark areas where bad actors hide. We look forward to building this initiative into a new baseline for responsible advertising worldwide.”