February 12, 2019
  • New platform aims to tackle ad-supported piracy in Europe
  • Audiovisual and sports sectors welcome this important initiative

12 February 2019 ––An advertising industry body that promotes the development of a safe and lawful internet in which digital advertising can thrive has launched a new initiative to combat ad-supported piracy in Europe. Project Brand Integrity is the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG)’s new programme, designed to alert marketers and their agencies when their digital adverts appear significantly on websites that feature unauthorized content.

Piracy is a significant and destructive issue in digital advertising. Pirate websites collect advertising revenue by offering unauthorized content. This harms content creators and brands, whose reputations suffer when their adverts appear on those sites. Adverts on pirate websites can also lead consumers to mistakenly believe that the sites’ offerings are legitimate or endorsed by well-known brands.

The TAG programme will directly alert marketers and agencies when adverts are placed on copyright infringing websites. TAG will also offer valuable information about how to minimise damaging ad misplacement and provide advertisers or the agency with information on tools available to lessen the chances of the materials being placed on copyright infringing sites in the future.

Project Brand Integrity will use White Bullet, a recognised expert in IP risk protection, to scan the top ad-supported copyright infringing sites serving European markets, identifying which reputable brands are appearing on such sites.

“Piracy is now a highly dynamic ecosystem, relying heavily on advertising revenue and continuing to damage the creative industries.  We are delighted to be working with TAG on this new programme. It is an essential tool to raise awareness amongst brands and ad agencies so they can take steps to reduce placement of advertising on IP infringing websites, so tackling the revenue of piracy and protecting the brands” said Peter Szyszko CEO of White Bullet the intellectual property data analytics company collaborating on the project.

In the United States, TAG’s efforts working alongside CreativeFuture have achieved an 85% sustained reduction in the amount of premium advertising featured on copyright infringing websites, stopping massive amounts of money from going into the pockets of pirate site operators. And companies have been uniformly grateful to be informed of this brand safety problem.

By minimising piracy and fighting harmful criminal activity across the digital supply chain, the ad industry can help build trust, ensure safety of consumers and protect brand reputations.

Grégoire Polad, Director General of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe said: “ACT and its members are fully committed to the fight against online piracy and, for this reason, we welcome the launch of Project Brand Integrity in Europe. This new initiative to combat ad-supported piracy is a step in the right direction to foster a safe and legal internet in the European Union”.

Stan McCoy, President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa for the Motion Picture Association said: ‘Tackling piracy requires all of us in the creative industries to work together in order to ensure a responsible and safe online environment. The launch of Project Brand Integrity is an important step forward in the ongoing efforts to tackle copyright infringing content. TAG and its supporting members deserve praise for its hard work in making Project Brand Integrity a reality.’

Mark Lichtenhein, Chairman of the Sports Rights Owners Coalition (SROC) added: “SROC members welcome TAG’s Project Brand Integrity initiative to address the issues at their source and deprive these IP-infringing websites of the oxygen that sustains them. With digital piracy becoming an ever-increasing threat to all concerned, this project will be an important step forward for sports rights owners and other creative industries around the world.

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For further information contact:

Sabine Henssler


Phone: +32 2 778 2701