The digital advertising industry has reached consensus on a single metric to measure its success in achieving a predictable, consistent, and low fraud rate, according to the 2023 TAG US Fraud Benchmark Study. Agency Executives Now Include 1% IVT Benchmark in Contracts.
For the third consecutive year, the study found that invalid traffic (IVT) in TAG Certified Channels (TCCs) in the United States was held under 1%, while interviews with executives from major agency holding companies validated that sub-1% level as the new de facto standard for the industry, with most agencies saying they include it as part of their client contracts.
According to the study, the IVT rate in TCCs for the first six months of 2023 was 0.82%, even lower than the 0.98% rate measured in the prior year’s study. The IVT rate in Non-Certified Channels (NCCs), where only a single entity was certified, was 46% higher at 1.19%.
Year-Over-Year summary of US Fraud Benchmark Reports
The 2023 benchmark study was conducted by The 614 Group, which also conducted interviews with executives from major agency holding companies to add additional first-hand context and information. Among the findings from those qualitative interviews:
- Agency executives confirmed that the sub-1% benchmark is used by their clients as a standard for success and included in their contracts. They also reported sharing the TAG US Fraud Benchmark Report with roughly 1,500 of their clients across major holding companies to drive engagement and assist with planning.
- Interviewees felt significant work still needs to be done by the industry around Made for Advertising (MFA) sites, particularly on definitions and measurement, to separate legitimate publishers from bad actors.
- Agencies are also focused on the opportunities and risks from the rapid integration of AI. While many noted it was too early to predict the full impact of AI, there was a consensus that more education was needed for agency execs and that the technology has a significant potential for good, as well as enabling more malicious activity.
TAG also announced that the 2024 TAG US Fraud Benchmark Report will undertake a deeper analysis of IVT rates among major Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) in the industry to provide a more holistic view of IVT both at the end point of agency purchase as well as upstream in the supply chain.
The TAG Certified Against Fraud Program was launched in 2016 to combat invalid traffic in the digital advertising supply chain. Companies that are shown to comply with the Certified Against Fraud Guidelines are awarded the Certified Against Fraud Seal, which they can use to publicly communicate their commitment to combating fraud.