Project Brand Integrity is a new initiative launching today which aims to protect European brands from association with illegal stolen content by alerting advertisers or their agencies to ads running on pirate sites in Europe.

Run by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an advertising industry initiative to fight criminal activity in the digital advertising supply chain, in partnership with digital advertising assurance provider White Bullet, the program hopes to replicate the success of a similar effort which has been operating in the US since 2016.

That has reduced the number of impressions on pirate content sites by more than 90% over two years, and it has eliminated all ads from premium brand advertisers on those sites.

“If you are a brand advertiser, the skull-and-crossbones isn’t just a pirate movie trope. It accurately reflects the toxic danger of associating your brand with stolen content and criminal activities on pirate sites,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG.

“Project Brand Integrity will serve as an early warning system for advertisers and their agencies, so we can alert them when their ads have run near stolen content and help them implement effective safeguards to prevent it from happening again.”

The launch comes a month after TAG published the first analysis of the effectiveness of ongoing industry anti-fraud efforts in Europe. A H2 2018 study compared invalid traffic (IVT) rates in TAG Certified Channels against industry norms by measuring approximately four billion ad impressions from January-August 2018 from three major advertising agency holding companies across the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and The Netherlands.

The results found a dramatic reduction in fraud rates across European markets from an industry average of 8.99 percent to just 0.53 percent when using TAG Certified Channels.

A comparable US study during H2 2017 returned equally impressive figures, as fraud rates fell from an industry average of 8.83% to 1.48%. Last year Zeiss told the London Brand Safety Summit that TAG’s research points to “a 600% cleaner campaign”. (For more, read WARC’s report: Brand safety: the only way is up.)

As well alerting advertisers and/or their advertising agencies to ad misplacements so they can take remedial action, TAG will also educate advertisers/agencies about effective anti-piracy tools to reduce or eliminate future risk and will work with law enforcement partners to raise awareness of the program and support brands and their agencies in their compliance efforts.

Additionally, a new white paper outlines best practices for companies and case studies on organizations that are effectively addressing the issue.

Sourced from TAG; additional content by WARC staff