Levi’s Is Now Pulling Its Ads from Pirate Sites…

Because shaming works, especially when it involves image-sensitive brands. And especially when your image includes something like this.

levismusic

According to recent comments issued to the LA Times, Levi’s is now taking decisive action to remove its ads from all pirate sites.  This is a direct fallout from a USC Annenberg research initiative on major advertising on pirate hubs, one that produced its first finding last week.  And, is now directly confronting brands like Levi’s with its findings.

Gareth Hornberger, senior manager of global digital marketing for Levi’s.

Hovering in the background here are outspoken industry players Chris Castle and David Lowery, both of whom are shaming major advertisers and corporations for aligning themselves with pirate sites (intentionally or otherwise). Indeed, Lowery is taking this to the streets with The Trichordist, a blog that has already drawn considerable attention to intellectual property concerns.

Actually, there’s another situation in which Levi’s is also responding quickly to public shaming.  In response to a pair of reports from Greenpeace that pegged Levi’s as an environmental offender, the multi-billion dollar company started taking action — even though it means a less competitive product.  “By July 2016, we will stop producing products with perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) – chemicals that have unique properties to make materials breathable, waterproof, and stain resistant,” blogged supply chain executive David Love.

levis_eco

In the situation surrounding online advertising, Levi’s is also making a move that will likely reduce its traffic and potentially, sales.  Because pirates may be stealing music, but they also buy things — especially stuff that can’t be swapped.

15 Responses

  1. observer
    observer

    David Lowery’s name and shame scheme is brilliant and could be a game changer. He spells out the details in the second half of his latest post at the Trichordist.

    http://thetrichordist.com/2013/01/07/reading-between-the-lines-google-tells-the-truth-on-ad-supported-piracy-now-let-markets-do-their-work/

    We can effectively destroy the value of the advertising space on pirate sites if we name and shame the major brands who advertise on them. Brands like Levi’s have no loyalty to Google and if they realize these pirate ads make them look bad, they can and will take their ad money elsewhere within a matter of days. There are no shortage of other places to advertise.

    Reply
    • Casey
      Casey

      And there are no shortage of advertisers. You can stop the major brands from advertising, but there are thousands of advertisers that simply don’t care. We have all seen those “you won a million dollars” ads. There are enough companies out there selling scam products and whatever to keep the pirate websites well fed for years to come.

      Reply
        • observer
          observer

          No doubt there are enough scam ads from obscure companies to fund the operation of pirate sites, but we don’t actually need to defund the pirate sites completely. All we need to do is reduce the incentives for piracy enough that we can align political power on our side. Stopping major brands from advertising on pirate sites may be enough to tilt the balance in our favor.

          Google is not going to spend mountains of cash lobbying for piracy if the income coming from pirate sites is reduced to a trickle. The costs to them and other advertisers will begin to outweigh the gains. And if the pro-piracy lobbying money is dried up, anti-piracy legislation is likely to pass in short order.

          How much Google ad money on pirate sites is coming from major brands and how much is coming from scam ads that are invulnerable to bad PR? That’s an important question, perhaps Paul can do some investigative reporting and give us an educated guess.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Google is not going to spend mountains of cash lobbying for piracy if the income coming from pirate sites is reduced to a trickle. The costs […] will begin to outweigh the gains.”

            Add the expenses of handling a rapidly increasing number of take-down notices every day, and piracy could suddenly turn into a very bad business model for Google.

      • Versus
        Versus

        Actually, the scam advertisers should be allowed to advertise on the pirate sites, as the pirates deserve some karma in getting scammed.

        In fact, the next phase should be to put up scam ads that fleece people of money, which then gets distributed to rights holders.

        – V

        Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “We can effectively destroy the value of the advertising space on pirate sites if we name and shame the major brands who advertise on them.”

      Indeed! Awesome initiative!

      Reply
  2. Visitor
    Visitor

    Another blast in the Freehadist face. Soon we will rid the World of the Freehadist Menace, and Art and Artists shall rule supreme Again.

    Reply

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