2022 Project Brand Integrity Report 

PBI Front Cover

Ad-supported piracy is an ongoing challenge for the digital advertising industry. According to an August 2021 report from the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) and White Bullet, digital advertising funds US$1.34bn worth of pirated content globally. That number would be considerably higher had the digital advertising industry not been working proactively and collaboratively to fight ad-supported piracy over recent years.  

The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is at the forefront of this challenge, working closely with companies right across the global digital advertising industry to reduce and prevent ad-supported piracy. Along with specific company efforts, its anti-piracy standard helped to drastically reduce ad-supported piracy in the US.

While TAG’s anti-piracy standards set the bar for the entire digital advertising industry to prevent ad-supported piracy, operators of pirate websites still sometimes manage to procure advertisements on their undesirable media properties – often through fraudulent means.  To assist advertisers in such situations, TAG established Project Brand Integrity (PBI) in February 2019 as a partnership with UK anti-piracy and brand safety specialist, White Bullet.  PBI seeks to protect brands from unwanted association with digital content theft by alerting advertisers or their agencies to ads running on high-risk websites and those that infringe intellectual property in Europe. 

In this first annual report,  key findings and future actions include:

  • Following contact and engagement between the advertiser and TAG, the average monthly advertising spend on websites that infringe intellectual property from 84 brands has decreased by 66%.
  • To date, 79% of the brands approached by TAG as part of PBI (84 out of 106) have reduced their ad impressions on websites that infringe intellectual property; nearly half of these have done so by 99%.

TAG has set a course of action for 2022 with the aim of increasing the efficacy of PBI. This includes the establishment of a robust process to engage with advertisers that have – to date – been unresponsive. Repeat offenders will be mentioned in future reports as well as be referred to the European Commission for recommendation to be included in its Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List.


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