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Ad fraud has been one of the arrows shot at digital display and video advertising, while for the most part streaming audio and podcast ads haven’t had the same headaches. In a move to inoculate itself from any problems in the year ahead, Pandora and its programmatic audio advertising division AdsWizz have just completed a certification program designed to fight ad fraud.

The TAG Certified Against Fraud Program was launched in May 2016, and its seal has become a baseline expectation for fraud prevention. The program reassures buyers that media providers are following anti-fraud best practices to combat fraudulent and invalid traffic. After more than a year’s work of effort, AdsWizz has just been awarded the TAG “Certified Against Fraud” seal covering all Pandora inventory. But while the seal only covers ads sold on that platform, AdsWizz says it will help lay the foundation for driving transparency and addressing fraud prevention for the digital audio advertising industry more broadly.

“We are very pleased to recognize Pandora and AdWizz for their aggressive efforts to combat fraud across the digital advertising supply chain,” said TAG CEO Mike Zaneis in a statement. “By achieving the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal, Pandora and AdWizz have made clear that they are taking rigorous steps to fight invalid traffic and protect the investments of their advertising partners. We look forward to continuing to work with them to further raise the industry’s bar on fraud prevention.” 

One reason the certification process took so long is it involved a number of complicated steps. In order to secure the seal, both AdsWizz and Pandora needed to comply with the Media Rating Council’s IVT Detection and Filtration Guidelines and implement domain threat filtration, which includes a monthly process of identifying suspicious referral domains and removing traffic they refer from ad reporting. They also needed to install suspicious IP filtration, which involves ingesting a list of suspicious IPs identified by TAG and supplementing with a list of IPs Pandora has identified on a monthly basis. And they need to adopt TAG’s Payment ID protocol, which will be used on any Open RTB transaction in which they are an intermediary to enable greater transparency. 

The certification lasts for one year, and Pandora has already said it intends to renew it in 2021.