Members from across the US creative community have commended advertisers for their recent pledge to do more to prevent the flow of ad dollars to pirate sites.
In April 2014, lawmakers on Capitol Hill first wrote to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), urging more action on the problem of ad-supported piracy.
On June 19, the advertisers responded, detailing steps currently under way, prompting an open letter addressed to representatives of the three major advertising associations, from the creative industry, led by CreativeFuture Executive Director Ruth Vitale.
CreativeFuture is a broad-based coalition of more than 250 film and television companies and organisations – including independent production and financing companies, unions, guilds, talent agencies, management companies, and business groups – as well as leading members of the creative community.
Vitale and co-signatories thanked the ad industry representatives for the progress they had made in addressing the exploitative practices used by some in the online advertising marketplace, including the diversion of advertising to websites engaged in piracy.
“Your pledge to act to reduce digital piracy is commendable. In your June 19 letter to the Co-Chairs of the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus, you highlighted the ‘Core Criteria for Effective Digital Advertising Assurance’ that you are developing, as well as the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s recently announced ‘Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain Initiative’. We believe these are the kinds of industry-led voluntary actions that can most effectively take the profit out of piracy,” they said.
“Together, we are working to encourage and support meaningful actions, like those you have proposed, that will encourage a safe and secure Internet on which the value of creative content is preserved,” they continued.
“As you have recognised, associating with piracy threatens your business and the value of the brands you serve. Pirate sites also severely undermine creative industries and the overall creative economy. As you know, usage of illegal pirate sites continues to grow. These sites exploit brands and the entire online advertising ecosystem – often generating millions of dollars in profits for organisations dedicated to digital theft,” they advised.
“We appreciate past efforts by the advertising industry to reduce piracy, but also agree with you that more needs to be done. Legitimate advertisers often find themselves unwittingly supporting these sites with their ad dollars. Piracy jeopardises the rights of all creative individuals, puts jobs at risk, and undermines innovative online distribution services,” they warned.
“We especially applaud your cross-industry effort to incorporate technical tools that are now available to help advertisers prevent ads from appearing on for-profit pirate sites and stem the flow of ad revenue to pirate site operators. As you suggest, standardising industry best practices – coupled with this technology – will allow companies to vastly improve their existing efforts,” they said.
“We believe these actions can help promote a vibrant commercial marketplace for online creative content. They are also a model for the type of voluntary action and increased cooperation that is needed among the major players in the internet ecosystem. We appreciate your leadership in improving the advertising supply chain – and we stand available to help in any way,” they confirmed.
“We offer our support and urge you to begin implementing your initiative as soon as practicable,” they concluded.