Staff Reporters
Jun 8, 2023

Ad industry pledges to uphold brand safety standards in SEA

The ad industry in Southeast Asia is coming together to address complicated and fast-changing challenges like ad fraud and brand safety

Ad industry pledges to uphold brand safety standards in SEA

22 digital advertising businesses in Southeast Asia have come together to advocate for the adoption of rigorous industry standards aimed at reducing advertising-related criminal activity and enhancing brand safety in the region.  

These companies have already implemented the standards set by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) across their operations in Southeast Asia, citing research that demonstrates the positive impact of these standards on protecting consumers and the digital advertising ecosystem from fraudulent activities and inappropriate ad placements. 

They are Adform, Amazon Advertising, IPG Mediabrands, Initiative, Innity, Kinesso, Magna, Magnite, Matterkind, MediaMath, Meta, Microsoft Advertising, Omnicom Media Group (OMG), OpenX, Publicis Media, PubMatic, Reprise, Quantcast, Spotify, Teads, and UM. 

These ad businesses have pledged to support TAG and its global efforts to address criminal activity and to ensure brand safety in digital advertising, promote TAG standards to achieve this goal in SEA, as well as improve the return of investment (ROI) for brand advertisers. The Group further aims to encourage the wider industry in SEA to participate, comply with the standards, and to contribute to the industry's pursuit of increased trust and transparency in digital advertising. 

According to the 2023 Asia Pacific Fraud Snapshot by TAG, there is sustained industry success in holding invalid traffic (IVT) under the industry target of 1% in TAG certified channels, where multiple supply chain participants have adopted high anti-fraud standards.   

There is 0.56% rate for IVT in TAG certified channels, where multiple entities involved in the transaction, such as the media agency, buy-side platform, sell-side platform, and/or publisher, have achieved the TAG Certified Against Fraud seal. In non-certified channels, the rate was more than 66% higher at 0.93%.  

Dominic Barnard, the head of programmatic for Asia Pacific at GroupM Nexus said being a certified global partner of TAG aligns with the agency’s ambitions to increase verification standards and transparency to our clients and the wider industry.  

“The TAG programmes provide a strong framework to ensure best practices are in place which improve our programmatic supply and maintain the integrity of the digital advertising ecosystem,” said Bernard. 

“Engaging with these programmes globally and regionally helps maximize marketers’ investment in digital and further reduces opportunities for fraud and inventory misrepresentation in the media supply chain.” 

Noting that brand safety and ad fraud are amongst the top five inhibitors to digital advertising adoption,  Sonal Patel, managing director for APAC at Quantcast, added: “Adhering to set standards is one way to improve trust within the advertising industry, which will in turn contribute to better experiences for consumers.” 

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