After interrogating the audit department, Laura Sharman, Head of Communications & Client Services at ABC, shares the secrets that will make your TAG audit quick and easy - helping to spread that feeling of success!
An increasing number of companies are signing up to our TAG audit process. A big reason is that a TAG Seal helps them to build a trustworthy reputation and attract customers; after all, it’s independent proof that they’re tackling fraudulent and criminal activity.
Sounds great, right? The only tricky part is the audit… unless you know these secrets to making the process as easy as possible:
- Have a project leader
Choose one single point of coordination, who’ll be responsible for collating what’s needed from multiple departments across the company. This person will have a birds-eye view of the project and can keep an eye on timelines, chase any missing documentation and ensure the request is complete. Often it will be the Compliance Officer, but it can be anyone who’s happy to take on full ownership of the project.
- Review what went before
- Be prepared
Familiarise yourself with the TAG Guidelines before your first call with our auditors. This will ensure you have context to their questions, and you can also flag up any queries you have beforehand.
- Gather your people at the start
- Break it down
- Appreciate what you have…
- …and record it!
- Be clever (and consistent) with your labelling
If the audit is a renewal of an existing TAG Seal, the type of evidence you need to submit is unlikely to vary much from year to year. So take time to review the information that you or your predecessor provided last time. A lot of the work may already be done, which is always good news!
Identify key colleagues from different departments who you’ll need to help gather documents and, importantly, ask them to attend the first audit meeting. Typically, ops and/or legal departments hold the key to important information, and involving them at the start helps make the process smoother and quicker. Be mindful of the ways in which different teams operate too and the types of documentation they might be able to help with. For example, if there are separate teams for direct and programmatic campaigns, consider having a representative from each on the call.
Split the audit information request into stages. This makes each step more digestible and helps you focus on what’s needed and when. It also helps you avoid any feeling of overwhelm at the start!
Take time to understand the processes you currently have in place. We’ve found new clients often have various brand safety and/or anti-fraud processes in operation, but our contact isn’t aware of them until later.
Once you’ve identified internal policies that relate to brand safety and/or ad fraud - or if you create new ones on our recommendation - make sure they’re documented. We’ll provide help and guidance on the best way to do this. Requirements are also laid out in the TAG guidelines.
You’ll be sharing a lot of files with us, and it helps us (and you!) if they’re all labelled in a clear and consistent way. The best way to do this is to match the document label with the numbering on the information request list we provide at the start.
The biggest reassurance and myth buster I can share is - don’t worry about being compliant at the start. Some clients imagine we take a ‘pass/fail’ approach. Our role is actually as a supportive consultant. We guide you through each stage to help you meet the standards that will result in your independent certification. And we’re pleased to say that, afterwards, clients nearly always tell us how surprisingly easy it was!
A TAG audit has so many benefits for a company – internally and externally – and is a clear demonstration that you’re playing an important role in making digital online advertising a safer place to trade. Hopefully our audit team’s insider knowledge has helped you realise the process is pretty straightforward and that it can also help you streamline your internal processes. A win for everyone!