The UK Government, through its innovation agency, Innovate UK, has awarded a six-figure grant to TAG TrustNet to turbo boost their efforts to make the digital advertising market more accountable, responsible and efficient.
TAG TrustNet is a first-of-its-kind initiative that uses blockchain technology, specifically Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) developed by Fiducia, to reconcile billions of advertising impressions in near real-time to improve transparency, accountability and efficiency.
Innovate UK is the national innovation agency that provides direct financial support and business advice to companies to de-risk their innovation journey, encourage private investment in innovation, and ultimately drive economic growth.
In awarding the grant, Innovate UK commented that TAG TrustNet represented one of the most advanced DLT innovation programmes across the UK economy and that it provides an exemplar for other sectors to learn from and follow.
A compelling reason for awarding this grant to TAG TrustNet was that this project originates in the UK but is of global importance, as evidenced by the appointment of TAG TrustNet by the US-based Association of National Advertisers (ANA) as the technical partner to its recently launched programmatic advertising study.
Innovate UK, Tom Fiddian, Head of AI and Data Economy Programmes: “The UK advertising sector is leading the way in demonstrating how a co-ordinated industry-led approach using block-chain technology can clean up supply chain issues and drive digital innovation. By lending the weight of Government support to this initiative we expect to accelerate widespread adoption in the UK, create a use case for other sectors to learn from, and facilitate export opportunities for the project.”
IPA, Paul Bainsfair, Director General: “As the professional body for the UK ad agency business, we have strongly backed this initiative from its conception. From increasing trust and transparency in digital advertising, to improving the buying and planning of programmatic media, to reducing operational costs, the benefits to the global industry are enormous. We are therefore delighted to have facilitated the conversations that have resulted in recognition from UK Government of the value of this initiative and look forward to the developments that this financial backing will enable.”
TAG, Mike Zaneis, CEO: “Receiving support from the UK Government is a huge milestone and achievement for TAG TrustNet. As digital crimes become more sophisticated and complex, the ongoing work done within the TAG Community and initiatives like TAG TrustNet become more important than ever. The support we’ve received from the IPA has demonstrate the industry’s need to continue to work more collaboratively in maintaining a safer and accountable digital advertising ecosystem.”
Fiducia, Tim Brown, CEO: “We are extremely grateful to the UK Government and Innovate UK, together with the IPA, for their support to TAG TrustNet and Fiducia, as a cross-industry initiative using our DLT platform as an innovative always-on solution to address the digital advertising trust and transparency problems.”
Notes to editors:
The US Programmatic market is set to surpass $100 billion this year.
Background to the initiative
The TAG TrustNet initiative started in the UK in 2018 when Fiducia approached the UK trade associations to validate the use of DLT in the digital advertising industry. This led to a two-year pilot with major brands (Unilever, Nestlé, Johnson & Johnson, O2/Telefonica, Virgin, McDonalds, Santander), six large agency holding groups, adtech vendors, and publishers. After its successful completion and an industry consultation, the global advertising standards organisation, Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) – founded by the ANA, the 4A’s and the IAB and that merged with its UK counterpart (JICWEBS) – decided in mid-2021 to launch TAG TrustNet as a global initiative, in line with its mission “to stop criminal activity and increase trust and transparency in digital advertising”. In the UK, TAG TrustNet received – from inception – the continued support of the IPA and its members to build a transparent, more responsible and sustainable industry. It is in this context, that discussions were engaged with public authorities, including the DCMS, the CMA, the CMU and the Creative Industries Council (CIC), on which the IPA represents the advertising sector. This led to the introduction to Innovate UK.
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