On February 10, the Trustworthy Accountability Group announced the launch of a new program to help advertisers keep their ads off illegal pirate websites.

For the last year, CreativeFuture has been closely following the progress of advertising industry efforts to bring greater accountability to the advertising ecosystem, including doing more to prevent the flow of advertising revenue to illegal websites that profit from the theft of creative works.

Today, at the International Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) annual leadership meeting in Phoenix, Linda Woolley, CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), announced the launch of the Brand Integrity Program Against Piracy.

According to TAG, the program will “help advertisers and their ad agencies avoid damage to their brands from ad placement on websites and other media properties that facilitate the distribution of pirated content and/or illegal dissemination of counterfeit goods.”

TAG is an initiative created by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

CreativeFuture Executive Director Ruth Vitale joined other creative community representatives, advertising and business leaders, and lawmakers in praising the new development:

The creative community supports TAG’s Brand Integrity Program Against Piracy, and we applaud advertising industry leaders for this positive step. Advertisers now have innovative tools to keep their good ads off bad sites. This program helps protect the integrity of advertisers’ brands, while rewarding the hardworking creators of movies, TV, music, books, software, and other creative works. We are hopeful this effort will be broadly embraced.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

Under the new initiative, called Brand Integrity Program Against Piracy, TAG will certify certain advertising technology companies as Digital Advertising Assurance Providers (DAAP). They will be tasked with identifying high-risk sites or “ad risk entities” and preventing marketers’ ads from appearing on them. TAG will work with a small number of independent third-party firms, including Ernst & Young and Stroz Friedberg, to validate ad tech companies for the monitoring job.

CreativeFuture has been engaged in an ongoing dialogue with leaders of the ANA, 4A’s, and the IAB. In June, more than two dozen creatives sent a letter to representatives of the advertising agencies commending their pledge to do more to prevent the flow of ad dollars to pirate sites.

In September, CreativeFuture arranged for a delegation of creative community representatives to meet with representatives of the ANA, 4A’s, and IAB, to offer support in pushing for the implementation of these best practices. The delegation included Hawk Koch, veteran movie producer, former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), and President Emeritus of the Producers Guild of America; Kathy Morgan, President of Kathy Morgan International; Dawn Prestwich, a television writer and producer known for The Killing, Carnivale, Chicago Hope, and Picket Fences; and Jean Prewitt, President and CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance.

The creative community is eager to see meaningful progress in the advertising industry’s efforts to take the profit out of piracy — and will continue to speak out and advocate for the rights of creators online until that is achieved.

In the coming months, CreativeFuture will monitor the adoption and efficacy of the TAG program.  We will be calling on our members to help. We want to encourage all advertisers to take part in this important initiative – because the more creators can show they care, the more advertisers will care.

Read more about the TAG announcement.