London
15 June 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Operation Creative causes 87 percent drop in infringing ad revenue


The City of London Police’s Operation Creative has led to an 87 percent drop in adverts for licensed gambling operators being displayed on illegal sites that infringe copyright.

Operation Creative, which was developed and deployed by the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), is aimed at crippling copyright infringers by removing their sources of income.

PIPCU said the operation has been a major success. Operation Creative gives gambling operators an up-to-date list of copyright infringing sites through PIPCU’s Infringing Websites List. Operators can then choose to stop advertisement placement on these infringing websites.

Last year, the Gambling Commission made responsible advert placement a licensing condition for all gambling operators in the UK. Operators must take all reasonable steps to ensure that their adverts do not appear on infringing websites.

Peter Ratcliffe, acting detective superintendent and head of PIPCU, said: “The success of a strong relationship built between PIPCU and the Gambling Commission can be seen by these figures.”

“This is a fantastic example of a joint working initiative between police and an industry regulator. We commend the 40 gambling companies who are already using the Infringing Website List and encourage others to sign up.”

He added: “We will continue to encourage all UK advertisers to become a member of the Infringing Website List to ensure they’re not inadvertently funding criminal websites”

Tim Moss, CEO of the UK Intellectual Property Office, said: “Partnership work is clearly having a major impact on IP crime across the UK. PIPCU and the Gambling Commission have cut off yet another illicit revenue stream for unscrupulous IP thieves.”

“The government and its partners will continue to fight IP crime in all its forms. Those wishing to profit from the hard work of others will not have an easy ride.”

The research showing the 87 percent drop in advertising was carried out by whiteBULLET, a data company that specialise in brand safety solutions.

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