Advertising: TAG celebrates anti-piracy successes in Europe, APAC, expands to LatAm

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After registering consistent successes against fraudulent advertising traffic in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America, the ad-industry anti-piracy organization TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group) has expanded its Project Brand Integrity (PBI) initiative against ad-supported piracy into Latin America through a partnership with the Alliance Against Audiovisual Piracy (Alianza Contra la Pirateria Audiovisual) and White Bullet Solutions.

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PBI was created in 2019 to protect brands from association with illegal stolen content by alerting advertisers or their agencies when their ads ran on pirate sites that infringe intellectual property (IP) across Europe.

TAG offers several anti-piracy best practices certification programs and partners with market researcher The 614 Group to track the success of the TAG practices.

Features of TAG’s Brand Safety Certified Standard (Source: Trustworthy Accountability Group)

Success in Europe

TAG’s 2022 report, released in March 2023, found that 86% of brands contacted by PBI in 2022 reduced their ad impressions on pirate sites in Europe when alerted that their ads were running on such sites. As a result, the average monthly ad spending by major brands on high-risk and other sites that infringe on intellectual property (IP) fell by 89% in 2022.

Success in Asia

In its most recent round of research in Asia, The 614 Group measured the rate of Invalid Traffic (IVT) in TAG Certified Channels in Asia, by analysing 183 billion ad impressions from January to December 2022 from three of the largest advertising agency holding companies across Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The number of impressions measured increased 16% from the 158 billion measured in 2021.

The 614 Group analysis found a 0.56% percent rate for invalid traffic in TAG Certified channels, where multiple entities involved in the transaction, such as the media agency, buy-side platform, sell-side platform, and/or publisher, have achieved the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal. In advertising channels that were not TAG Certified, the rate was more than 66% higher at 0.93%.

Ad fraud in China

For the first time, TAG’s Asia-Pacific Fraud Snapshot also included a special analysis of IVT in China, in partnership with a key TAG partner, the China Advertising Association (CAA)  The CAA is a national non-profit industry organization voluntarily formed by advertisers, publishers, intermediaries, as well as local advertising industry organizations.

The analysis found that China had an overall IVT rate of 5.93%, which is approximately 50% lower than the estimated global average of 11.88%, based on published IVT rates from MRC-accredited vendors, including DoubleVerify, Human, Integral Ad Science and Pixalate. The China analysis included 1.66 trillion ad impressions provided by measurement vendors in China. The impression data submitted reflects only the Chinese customers participating in these four companies’ monitoring businesses and therefore not the entire market.

What will happen in LatAm?

TAG’s PBI will help advertisers and their agencies in Latin America avoid brand risk and damage by association with illegal pirate websites:

  • White Bullet will scan the top sites that infringe Alianza’s member’s IP in Latin American markets, identifying any ads from reputable brands appearing on such sites.
  • When a brand has notable ad exposure on infringing sites, White Bullet will notify TAG and provide an evidence package, including screenshots and the advertising code.
  • TAG will privately contact the advertiser and/or its advertising agency and alert them to the ad misplacements, so they can take remedial action.
  • TAG and Alianza also will educate advertisers/agencies about effective anti-piracy tools to reduce or eliminate future risks, including those in TAG’s Brand Safety Certified Program.

Further reading

Proven Ad Industry Anti-Piracy Initiative Expands in Latin America. Press release. April 4, 2023. Trustworthy Accountability Group

TAG Turns the Tide on Ad-Supported Piracy in Europe (2023 Project Brand Integrity Report). Press release and full report. March 23, 2023. Trustworthy Accountability Group

TAG Certified Channels in Asia Pacific Maintains Below-1% Milestone & Special Section on China Included.  Press release and full report. March 15, 2023. Trustworthy Accountability Group

Why it matters

“Brands are generally unaware when their advertising is placed on piracy websites and that they are funding illegal activity, so outreach via TAG’s PBI is an effective way to raise awareness with agencies and brands helping them take steps to protect their digital ad supply chains,” said Peter Szyszko, White Bullet’s founder and CEO. “Expanding this program to Latin America with the expertise of Alianza, will benefit the local market in a positive way, supporting advertisers’ demands for more transparency, better return on ad spend and increased brand safety, whilst stopping revenues flowing to criminals .”

“No brand wants to be associated with illegal and unsafe content, and Project Brand Integrity helps provide an early warning system to alert responsible advertisers to such misplacements, so they can take appropriate action to protect their brands and their investments,” said TAG’s VP Global Engagement and Operations Nick Stringer. “We know this collaborative approach is effective and scalable, thanks to the proven track record of PBI in Europe. TAG is excited to expand PBI with our partners in Latin America, so we can take bold action to cut off the money to the criminals who profit from ad-supported piracy and continue to help advertisers increase their ad spend power.”

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