The pandemic has dramatically accelerated digital business initiatives, making the digital supply chain more susceptible to fraud, but new research shows some of that fraud is effectively being blocked. 

According to the latest US fraud benchmark study from The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and The 614 Group, the invalid traffic (IVT) rate across TAG Certified channels was just 1.05 percent this year—a 90 percent improvement over the average industry rate of 10.83 percent.

To calculate the findings, The 614 Group teamed with six agency holding companies and their MRC-accredited measurement vendors to gather all impressions for campaigns that ran between January and August 2020, including desktop, mobile web, mobile in-app and connected television (CTV).

The IVT rate found in TAG’s analysis reflects a combination of both sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) and general invalid traffic (GIVT) to achieve a “blended rate.”

Upon examining 353 billion impressions that traveled through TAG Certified Channels, TAG measured an overall IVT rate of 1.05 percent, down from 1.48 percent in 2017.

Based on TAG’s calculation of multiplying the average cost per thousand (CPM) for each inventory type, advertisers spent nearly $1.6 billion on inventory that flowed through TAG Certified Channels.

For the first time, the study includes fraud analysis across CTV, where IVT is harder to combat than it is in the desktop and mobile ecosystems due to lack of measurement standards and server-side insertion. In CTV, TAG Certified Channels have just a 0.6 percent, according to the report.

To date, 148 companies worldwide have achieved the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal, which means multiple entities involved in the transaction—including media agency, buy-side platform, sell-side platform and/or publisher—have achieved the TAG Seal.

This year digital ad fraud will hit $35 billion, overtaking credit card fraud at $27 billion, according to new data from Cheq.