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IAB Takes Major Steps Towards Establishing a Safer, More Trustworthy Supply Chain

‘Anti-Fraud Principles’ to Reduce the Monetization of Bad Traffic, While New Anti-Malware Working Group Identifies & Addresses Criminal Activity

NEW YORK, NY (September 16, 2014) – In an effort to address recent concerns regarding the criminal proliferation of malware and the sale of inventory that is created by that fraudulent traffic, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released its “Anti-Fraud Principles,” a series of three tenets meant to root poor-quality ad traffic out of the system once and for all. The trade organization has also created a new working group to identify and combat malware attacks throughout the digital supply chain. These are critical next steps in the IAB Trustworthy Supply Chain Initiative, which was launched earlier this year to address key challenges facing the digital marketing ecosystem.

The introduction of the IAB “Anti-Fraud Principles” is an outgrowth of the work of the IAB Traffic of Good Intent Task Force, which is being expanded to encompass the whole of the advertising industry and will continue operation as the IAB Anti-Fraud Working Group. These principles serve as a solid foundation on which to identify and eliminate fraudulent traffic – and the inventory it creates – from the advertising pool:

  • Fraud Detection – Suppliers must implement technological and business practices to identify ad bots and illegitimate human activity, and prevent such traffic from being sold
  • Source Identification – Suppliers should provide assurances to buyers that inventory is from a legitimate source; one way to achieve this is by providing the specific URL of an ad placement
  • Process Transparency – Suppliers must provide details of the business and technical processes they have employed to meet the first two principles

As part of the “Anti-Fraud Principles,” IAB has developed a taxonomy that establishes common definitions around key terms in this space, such as, “Hijacked Device,” “Data-Center Traffic,” “AdWare Traffic,” “Proxy Traffic,” “Ad Tag Hijacking,” “Cookie-Stuffing,” and more. This taxonomy will assure that all parties in a transaction are using the same terms and have a shared understanding of anti-fraud efforts.

“Over the years, it has become clear that no company can fight ad fraud alone. We must come together as an industry to create an environment where illegitimate traffic is not tolerated,” said Mike Zaneis, Executive Vice President and General Council, IAB. “These principles, together with the accompanying ad fraud taxonomy, are huge first steps toward achieving this solidarity. By adhering to these guidelines, we as an industry can put a massive dent in ad fraud and take back control of the digital supply chain.”

“We thank the Traffic of Good Intent Task Force for getting us this far and look forward to executing the new Anti-Fraud Working Group’s expanded agenda,” said Scott Cunningham, Vice President of Technology and Ad Operations, IAB. “By pursuing an all-encompassing approach to this important issue, we can make a significant amount of progress in a short period of time – ensuring that marketers and all stakeholders feel confident in investing in digital advertising.”

In tandem, the trade organization is launching the IAB Anti-Malware Working Group, focused on defining a process for sharing information about malware attacks, while establishing a method for coordinating the industry in its defense against this criminal activity.

To view the IAB “Anti-Fraud Principles and Ad Fraud Taxonomy,” please visit

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. The IAB empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. The organization educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]

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