Saturday, December 9, 2023
Lawyers Run The WorldTAG Points the Finger: Juniper's Allegedly "Flawed" Research

TAG Points the Finger: Juniper’s Allegedly “Flawed” Research


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We’ve seen many things: rogue ads, accidental viral campaigns, and the occasional hard-rock hamster video (don’t ask). But every now and then, something comes along that truly makes us sit up – and not always for the right reasons. Enter Juniper Research and their recent ad fraud report.

Research 101: Always share your methodology. It’s the bedrock that assures us that you didn’t just pluck numbers from thin air during a daydream. Given that ad fraud is sneakier than a cat burglar in socks, a robust methodology isn’t just good to have—it’s vital.

Yet, Juniper’s report, according to Michael S. Zaneis, the CEO of Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) with its bold numbers and grand claims, has all the clarity of mud. While they might as well have said, “Trust us, we’re Juniper,” the industry would love a bit more to go on than a name drop.

Ad standards are to digital advertising what grammar is to language. Without them, we’re left with incoherent babble. The Media Rating Council tried to save us from such chaos with their well-established definitions of ad fraud. But it seems Juniper, in their maverick spirit, decided to play linguistic gymnastics, bending definitions to their whim.

 They created a mix-and-match collage of terms, making one wonder: Did they use a dartboard to choose definitions?

Plus, invoking Google’s Video Partners program as the poster child of ad fraud is like accusing a fish of forgetting to ride a bicycle – it doesn’t match up with any known definitions, including Juniper’s own!

Now, to the soap opera-worthy twist in our tale: Juniper’s eyebrow-raising promotion of Fraud Blocker. It’s akin to writing a critique about soft drinks and then singing the praises of an obscure soda brand out of the blue.

Was there a secret handshake we missed? Juniper’s silent treatment on its ties with Fraud Blocker makes the gossip mills churn. Rumors are they were paid for this advertisement, or have some sort of investment in Fraud Blocker. What’s up?

The Peanut Gallery Weighs In Against TAG

Dr. Augustine Fou, ever the provocateur, wears a smirk as he points out the irony of the situation. “It’s amusing,” he begins, “to see TAG, with their own quirky methodologies, going after Juniper with such gusto.” He implies that TAG’s own certification might be less of a badge of honor and more of an “everyone gets a trophy” kind of award. “It’s like watching a pot call a kettle black, but in this case, both might just have a few smudges,” he adds, barely concealing his glee.

Shailin Dhar, CEO and co-founder of Method Media Intelligence, doesn’t hold back either. He leans forward, eyes sharp, “TAG’s intentions might’ve been golden, but the road to ad chaos is paved with self-declarations and unchecked badges.” He points out the gaping hole in TAG’s approach, questioning the efficacy of a system that, in his words, “lets anyone slap on a ‘Good Guy’ badge after a pinky promise.” For Dhar, the problem isn’t just Juniper’s report, but an industry that sometimes mistakes self-certification for rigorous vetting.

As the digital ad world spins on, the Juniper saga reminds us that while we all love a good plot twist, when it comes to research, we’d rather stick to the straight and narrow. 

So here’s hoping for clearer methodologies, consistent definitions, and fewer surprise endorsements in our reports. And maybe, just maybe, more hamster videos.

Pesach Lattin
Pesach Lattin
Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pesach Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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