CreativeFuture: New European Anti-Piracy Initiative Learns From U.S. Model


Nonprofit copyright protection group CreativeFuture is offering up praise for a new anti-piracy initiative in Europe, one geared toward stopping legitimate ads from appearing on piracy web sites.

Dubbed “Project Brand Integrity,” the anti-piracy effort in European is being launched by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a cross-industry accountability program created by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Similar to its TAG’s U.S. counterpart initiative, “Follow the Money,” the effort alerts advertisers when clients’ brands appear on web sites that feature stolen movies and TV shows, and helps brands implement safeguards to prevent it from happening again. CreativeFuture has partnered with TAG on both initiatives, and in the U.S., since the 2016 launch of “Follow the Money,” the number of ad impressions on pirate content sites has fallen by more than 90 percent.

“Now, we’re pleased to support TAG’s effort to bring this effective approach to Europe with their new initiative ‘Project Brand Integrity,’” CreativeFuture said in a press release. “TAG will be partnering with anti-piracy technology provider White Bullet to monitor when advertisements from reputable brands appear beside stolen content in Europe, and, just as CreativeFuture does in the U.S., alert the brands to the misplaced ads.”

Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG, said “Follow the Money” has helped eliminate most ads from premium brand advertisers on piracy sites in the U.S., and that “Project Brand Integrity” has the potential to do the same in Europe.

“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,” Zaneis said. “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. We are delighted to work with White Bullet to jointly enable this program, while advancing the European Commission’s important work in this area.”