European Fraud Study: IVT Rates Held Under 1% For Half a Decade in European Channels with Tough Anti-Fraud Standards
According to the 2023 TAG European Fraud Benchmark study, invalid traffic (IVT) rates in Europe have been held under the industry's accepted benchmark of 1% for five consecutive years in TAG Certified Channels (TCC), where multiple participants have adopted TAG's rigorous anti-fraud standards. The study found the invalid traffic (IVT) rate in TCCs in Europe was 0.68% last year, and it remained in a tight range of 0.53% to 0.69% across all five years of the study.
"If you had told a major brand or agency in 2018 that you could hold their IVT rates under 1% for the next five years, they would have thought you were either a liar or a fool," said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. "Happily, the TAG model works, not only in Europe but worldwide, and study after study has shown that inventory that runs through TAG Certified Channels is able to maintain the consistent, low, and predictable IVT rates that seemed nearly unimaginable just a few years ago."
The study also showed significant progress in the industry's fight against fraud in the connected TV (CTV) space, with an 86% drop in IVT when comparing the TCC rate of 1.28% with the Non-Certified Channel (NCC) rate at 8.85%.
"As with all fast-growing media, ad fraud presents a challenge in the CTV space, but TAG continues to stay ahead of the threats by continuously reviewing and updating its anti-fraud requirements for CTV and other emerging media," said Jules Kendrick, MD, UK & Europe for TAG. "This year's study demonstrated the success of TAG's efforts in the CTV space, as IVT rates were dramatically lower in TAG Certified Channels where multiple participants had adopted TAG's high standards than in Non-Certified Channels. We look forward to building on that record of success not only in CTV but other newer areas of digital advertising like audio and gaming as well."
The study was conducted by The 614 Group and evaluated IVT rates in TCC by measuring more than 259 billion ad impressions in TCCs from January-December 2022 from three of the largest advertising agency holding companies across the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.
In addition to the quantitative results, the study also conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with senior executives from the participating agencies and other ad tech companies. From those interviews, several themes emerged:
- Advertisers in Europe are cost-conscious but willing to pay for high-quality, low-IVT impressions. Amid uncertain global economic prospects and ongoing risk of recession, agencies and their clients are increasingly cost-conscious, but they continue to value and are willing to pay a premium for high-quality, low-IVT inventory.
- European advertisers are increasingly interested in global certifications that provide validation of low IVT rates. While recognition of global certifications is lower in some European markets, regional advertisers are showing increasing interest in certifications that help them identify and purchase low IVT inventory.
- Advertisers' priorities are extending beyond low IVT to encompass safe, transparent, and responsible inventory. Holding IVT rates down is still one of the top priorities for agencies, but they also want to address related supply chain challenges like Made-for-Advertising sites; diversity issues (DEI); and privacy concerns.
"While IVT reduction remains a top priority, corporate priorities around advertising are increasingly expanding to include new consumer protection issues such as brand safety, privacy, diversity, and sustainability," said Rob Rasko, CEO of The 614 Group. "This shift is becoming increasingly evident as companies take a proactive stance not only against fraud but around other ad-related issues."
The full study can be found here. Additional information about TAG's Certified Against Fraud Program and how companies from across the advertising ecosystem can receive the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal can be found at https://www.tagtoday.net/fraud.