Cleaning Up Online Advertising: TAG’s “Verified by TAG” program & comScore’s pre-bid technology solution, Bid Ratings



Trustworthy Accountability Group, an anti ad-fraud player, has announced a new “Verified by TAG” program that will charge digital ad sellers such as publishers, ad exchanges, and agencies $10,000 annually for participation.

Those who sign up for the service will have their promos tagged with a unique code to distinguish the subsequent consumer impressions from the ads that ultimately go unseen via fraudulent bot networks.

TAG also says it will release a feature called Payment ID, which will create a record of which publishers get compensated for ad impressions. Such a record will aim to allow buy-side players to see if they were charged for an impression by an honest seller or a fraudster. According to an eZanga report, advertisers spend over $6 billion a year on fraudulent ad impressions generated by networks of ad bots.

Jim Spanfeller, CEO of Spanfeller Media Group, former CEO of, and Chairman Emeritus of IAB, says, “I am very much in favor of this initiative. By making bot behavior unprofitable we take away the motivation to do it. As this gains momentum we will see a drastic reduction in the available inventory in third party exchanges and such.”

Google, AOL, AppNexus, Index Exchange, WPP, Omnicom, Publicis and Rubicon Project “will implement both programs and encourage their partners to do so as well,” a TAG rep said in an email to Ad Week.

TAG chief Mike Zaneis (pictured top left) asserts, “these programs will serve as the cornerstone of TAG’s anti-fraud efforts by providing transparency across the digital ad ecosystem.”

comScore, Inc., a media measurement and analytics company, announced that its pre-bid technology solution, Bid Ratings™, is now live in eight leading programmatic buying platforms, including AppNexus, Centro, Netmining, RhythmOne, TubeMogul and Turn.

comScore Bid Ratings allows media buyers to surface quality programmatic inventory by bidding only on inventory that meets their campaign requirements. The solution is available in several global markets, such as Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.

comScore Bid Ratings is the first solution out of the company’s Industry Trust Initiative, a corporate program that seeks to bring trust and transparency to programmatic. Through Bid Ratings, media buyers can purchase inventory that is based on key comScore attributes, such as viewability, invalid traffic (IVT), brand safety, contextual categories, page content and site rank.

These attributes leverage existing comScore data assets and methods, including those that power comScore Media Metrix®, Video Metrix® Rankings and validated Campaign Essentials™ (vCE®). The solution also incorporates pre-bid attributes from Proximic, a company acquired by comScore in mid-2015.

“In order for programmatic to reach its true potential, the market needs trusted and independent metrics,” said Anne Hunter, senior vice president, comScore (pictured left). “Buyers want to know that there is consistent quality across the inventory they are buying, ensuring their money is not being wasted. By collaborating with these initial leading DSPs to bring Bid Ratings to buyers, we’re putting independent metrics in the places buyers need them, paving the way for a more transparent and trusted programmatic environment.”



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