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Industry Groups Urge Marketers to Take Affirmative Steps to Address Online Piracy and Counterfeiting

New York, NY; May 3, 2012 ---The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) have released a Statement of Best Practices that encourages all marketers to take affirmative steps to address the serious problems of online piracy and counterfeiting. It was released today at a meeting of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Conference in Washington, DC.

The Statement specifically advises marketers to include language in their media placement contracts and insertion orders to prevent ads from appearing on ‘rogue sites’ dedicated to infringement of intellectual property rights of others. In addition to the ANA and 4As, the Statement is supported by a key industry partner, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). 

Bob Liodice, ANA’s President and CEO, stated: “Marketers must have confidence that their ads are not unintentionally providing financial support or otherwise legitimizing ‘rogue’ Internet websites whose primary purpose is to steal the intellectual property of America’s innovators and creators.”  Liodice noted that “ads for iconic and trusted brands can lend inadvertent legitimacy to the illicit business models and can mislead consumers into believing that these ‘rogue’ websites are offering authentic products and complying with the law.” 

Addressing online piracy and counterfeiting has been a strong priority for both the White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) and the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus.  They have urged ANA, the 4A’s, IAB and other industry groups to play an active role in this fight.  The Best Practices Statement supports this critical need by encouraging all marketers to take affirmative steps to avoid placement of their ads on ‘rogue’ websites.    

“The deceptive practices of these ‘rogue’ websites are unfair both to consumers and the companies that invest vast resources to establish brand integrity,” said 4A’s President-CEO Nancy Hill.  “Combating online piracy and counterfeiting is a key priority for the entire business community and we look forward to continuing to work with the White House, Congress and all of our industry partners on this important issue.”

Randall Rothenberg, IAB President and CEO, stated: “Protecting the availability of quality, original content is vital to the health of the Internet.  IAB remains committed to combating online piracy and through our Quality Assurance Guidelines program we will continue to develop a more secure digital supply chain.  We appreciate the initiative by ANA and the 4A’s and look forward to working with our marketer and agency partners to find effective business solutions that can choke off revenue from these criminals.” 

Liodice concluded: “We strongly urge all marketers to discuss this matter with their ad agencies and media buyers to stress your company’s commitment to combating online piracy and counterfeiting.  The entire Internet ecosystem must come together to address this problem.”

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ANA Press Contact:  Lesley Neadel; lneadel@cooperkatz.com; (917) 595-3034

4A’s Press Contact:  Portia Badham; pbadham@aaaa.org; (212) 850-0720

IAB Press Contact: Laura Goldberg; laura.goldberg@iab.net; (212) 609-3725

About the ANA

Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration and advocacy.  ANA’s membership includes 450 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising.  The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote and protect all advertisers and marketers.  For more information, visit http://www.ana.net/

About the 4A’s

The 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) is the national trade association of the advertising agency business and provides leadership, advocacy and guidance to the industry.  The management-oriented association founded in 1917 helps its members build their businesses and acts as the industry’s spokesperson with government, media and the public sector.  Its membership comprises virtually all of the large, multinational agencies and hundreds of small and mid-sized agencies across the country.  More than 1,200 member agency offices served by the 4A’s employ 65,000 people, offer a wide range of marketing communications services, and place 80 percent of all national advertising.  For more information, visit http://www.aaaa.org/

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86 percent of online advertising in the United States.  On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members share of total marketing spend.  The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising.  Working with its member companies, the IAV evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising.  Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, DC.  For more information, visit http://www.iab.net/

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