Questions are being asked after it was revealed an illegitimate streaming service that plays pirated content was displaying legitimate ads from well-known global brands.
The service in question, TeaTV, shows pirated content from the likes of HBO and Netflix, as well as bootlegged versions of popular movies.
Its app is available for download on Android, Windows or MacOS.
But despite the fact the service is clearly illegal, TeaTV curiously still displays ads alongside its pirated content.
Additionally, a recent report from CNBC found advertisers on the platform include big brands such as Pandora, TikTok, Yahoo Mail, Kia and Amazon.
There is no suggestion these brands knowingly placed their ads on TeaTV, but as the CNBC report points out, the revelation highlights the complexities of the digital content supply chain.
And according to ad fraud investigator Dr Augustine Fuo, this also does not mean the “ad tech platforms and exchanges were aware [TeaTV] was using their code to run ads”, he said on LinkedIn.
Fuo also pointed out most of the site was not able to use the ad tech code for long, with most of the platforms cutting ties with the site in October 2019 – when the CNBC story broke.
With advertisers and the wider public seemingly now aware of the site, these revelations could spell the beginning of the end for the piracy service.
On Reddit, some users have reported the site to be down and the app unavailable for download, while others reported it to be running as normal.
The TeaTV Twitter and Facebook accounts also both appear to be down.