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Ad agencies, brands endorse Tag to combat $2.4 bn lost to pirate sites each year

MUMBAI: The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an advertising industry initiative to fight criminal activity in the digital advertising supply chain, has announced that leading Interpublic and Omnicom agencies, as well as Google, GoDaddy and Bayer Consumer Health have joined the dozens of other agencies and major advertisers taking Tag’s Anti-Piracy Pledge to require their ad partners to take aggressive steps to help fight the $2.4 billion lost to pirate sites each year.

Following last year’s endorsement by Publicis and WPP companies, including WPP’s GroupM, all four of the largest ad agency holding companies have now committed to TAG’s Anti-Piracy Pledge. New Interpublic and Omnicom companies announcing their support for the TAG anti-piracy pledge include Accuen, Annalect, Hearts & Science, IPG Mediabrands, Magna Global, OMD Worldwide, PHD, and Resolution Media, as well as independent agency True North.

“Only by working together as an industry can we tackle endemic problems like piracy, and today the world’s largest advertising agencies showed their leadership by standing shoulder-to-shoulder and saying ‘no more’ to the pirates. I am proud of the work being done across our industry by major brands, agencies, ad tech companies, and publishers to turn off the money flowing to pirate sites, and we look forward to continuing to grow TAG’s Certified Against Piracy Programme,” said Tag CEO Mike Zaneis.

By signing the Tag Anti-Piracy Pledge, companies commit to take “commercially reasonable steps to minimise the inadvertent placement of digital advertising on websites or other media properties.”

Companies agree to fulfill that pledge in a manner consistent with TAG’s Certified Against Piracy Programme which may include, among other things, directly hiring a TAG-Validated company that provides anti-piracy services, using ad placement services that have been certified by TAG, or by doing business exclusively with ad agencies that carry the TAG “Certified Against Piracy” Seal.

The co-chairs of the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus, Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, and Congressman Adam Schiff, jointly released the following statement on TAG’s announcement:

“The pledge today by some of America’s leading brands and advertising agencies to take aggressive steps to keep advertising from appearing on illegal sites, including those dedicated to the theft of creative works, is a major milestone. For years, the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus has worked with advertisers, ad agencies, and ad networks to take concrete steps to keep legitimate online advertising from appearing on sites dedicated to piracy and other illegal activities. It’s clear that the TAG pledge is gaining steam and that more and more advertisers and agencies are taking steps to ensure they are not unwittingly subsidizing online theft.”

Tag also announced that 11 companies have earned the Tag “Certified Against Piracy” Seal, which signals to the industry that their anti-piracy services meet stringent requirements of keeping ads off of sites that contain illicit content. These participants include seven companies approved by independent auditors and four companies that underwent a self-attestation process. T

he TAG-Validated providers of anti-piracy services include comScore, DoubleVerify, Incopro, Integral Ad Science, sovrn, Veri-Site, and whiteBULLET, while the self-attested providers included PubMatic, Rocket Fuel, Rubicon Project and SpotX.