Is your advertising budget funding copyright infringment? The IWL can help you.

Adland: 

We've often spoken about advertising funding everything from piracy sites to allowing your brand to be associated with child pornography. Shoving money into online media buys has its risks, and those are in the fact that you can quickly lose control overe where your ad appears. Maybe it'll be next to the Hulk Hogan sex tape. In 2014 Project Sunblock allowed any advertiser to see where exactly a brands ads ends up online, and if the ads appeared on any of the URL's listed IBM’s database of fraudulent or illegal content sites, the ad could automatically be removed. Now the Internet Advertising Bureau have created a new list: the Infringing Website List (IWL).

The rise of programmatic advertising caused more problems for brands, who could end up on illegal websites quite easily. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), a specialist unit within the City of London Police funded by the UK Government Intellectual Property Office, has created a database of illegal websites. Together with AB UK, the IPA, ISBA and rights-holders, PIPCU established the IWL, and all sites on the list have been verified as providing copyrighted content illegally.

A brand ad on an illegal website tarnishes the brands name, makes the brand itself lose credibility, these websites may also support fraud and seed malware. Not to mention funding infringing sites damages industries that invest in intellectual property, and could directly undermine your own brand. For example if your Taylor Swift album ad appears next to a free download of Taylor Swift music.

To be granted access to the list and "Operation Creative" you must provide your details to the PIPCU, either via this link or by sending them an email to PIPCUIWL @ cityoflondon.police .uk

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Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.