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Making Microsoft Advertising safer with advertiser identity verification

A hand moves in front of a digital door system that asks you to “wave to open”.

The digital economy has accelerated quickly because of COVID-19. We’ve seen a massive increase in digital transactions due to a fundamental shift in how brands cater to consumer and business needs. This trend has also encouraged bad actors to double down on their efforts in proliferating digital payment fraud and online scams. Given this shift, we’re enhancing our safety measures and introducing an advertiser identity verification programme to help protect our searchers, publishers, and advertisers from rising threats and attack vectors in a timely manner.

As part of this programme, advertisers will be required to undergo a verification process to establish their legal identity. They can use government-issued, photograph-included personal identity or business-related documents issued by appropriate regulatory authorities to complete this process.

We’ve taken steps to highly automate and simplify the procedure to ensure that advertisers can complete it quickly. Verified advertisers will help increase the safety of the advertising ecosystem. We’ll soon share verification information, such as business or individual name and operation country or region, with our end users to further enhance user trust in ads and give them more control.

The following is an example of the verified advertiser details that will be surfaced to searchers.

Snapshot of how the verified advertiser details will be displayed.

The current scope of the programme has been restricted to advertisers belonging to specific verticals or unclear business models. The programme is currently available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Poland, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Our goal is to verify all advertisers on our platform, and we’ll keep expanding the programme’s scope. We’ll also allow advertisers to self-initiate the verification process shortly.

This is one of our key investments to enhance digital advertising safety, which we hope to accomplish in partnership with our advertisers. We encourage all to complete this process to fight misleading ads and deter bad actors. We’ll continue to use our machine-learning algorithms and systems alongside the domain knowledge of our human experts to further enhance this programme.

We value your feedback and partnership, and we’ll continue striving to improve the safety of the Microsoft Advertising ecosystem.

Learn more about the advertiser identity verification programme.