Today, WPP’s GroupM, the leading global media investment management company, announced that it will require all of its media partners to receive anti-piracy certification from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) by Q1 2016. TAG is a voluntary initiative which helps prevent ad placement on websites which facilitate the distribution of pirated content and/or the illegal dissemination of counterfeit goods. (Read more about TAG in this blog.)
Certification entails that TAG has approved an advertising agency’s ability to identify at risk websites, prevent advertisements on such websites, disrupt fraudulent or deceptive transactions, and eliminate payments to such websites that facilitate access to illegal content and/or counterfeit goods. John Montgomery, Chairman of GroupM Connect in North America and Co-Chair of TAG Anti-piracy Working Group made the following statement in a press release:
We’re in the business of giving the world’s most valuable brands marketing advantage with smart media strategies. This inherently means we’re vigilant for clients’ brand safety. Our work with TAG in the development and now full adoption of anti-piracy guidelines is a major leap forward. With IAB, 4As, and ANA, we’ve worked years to make the digital ecoSystem more trustworthy. Fighting pirates of copyrighted content required every ounce of our tenacity and ingenuity, but with the advent of TAG’s Brand Integrity Program Against Piracy, we have powerful new tools and safeguards.
TAG and other voluntary initiatives, such as WheretoWatch.com, Rightscorp, and CreativeFuture, have emerged to aid consumers in finding legal content and raising awareness about websites, enterprises, and advertisers that violate intellectual property rights.
Diminishing ad-supported piracy is important to help ensure that content providers, artists, innovators, and marketers can earn a return on their creative works - incentivizing more innovation, investment, and economic growth.
FSF scholars applaud the work of TAG and support this decision by GroupM!