Researchers at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab first started naming advertising networks guilty of servicing pirate sites. Now, they’re naming the biggest brands using those networks. Here’s the list of the biggest offenders (not ranked), as emailed to Digital Music News.
Amazon American Express
Saks Fifth Avenue
State Farm Insurance
Walt Disney World
Not on this list is Levi’s, which took quick-and-decisive action to remove its ads from pirate sites in January. The others seem less concerned, which could signal a calculation that bad publicity from pirate-based advertising will be limited. On top of that, the Annenberg report pointed to a strong affinity between pirate sites and the coveted, younger male demographic. “A cursory view of this list would lead one to conclude that the young adult demographic found on infringing sites seems to be very attractive to the auto, auto insurance, mobile phone and credit ratings firms,” the research group relayed.
Actually, the Annenberg team has been having discussions with a number of major brands over this very issue, though obviously, a large list aren’t taking steps. More progress is actually happening on the ad network site, including from Google. “Both Google’s various networks and Open X have significantly reduced the number of infringing sites they are placing ads on. In contrast, Yahoo’s Right Media continues to be a major provider of ads to infringing sites.”
And with that, here’s a ranked list of the biggest ad network offenders for February, according to the team.