To work online legally is real: results of a roundtable discussion of the advertising industry

To work online legally is real: results of a roundtable discussion of the advertising industry

31 May 2018, during Kyiv International Advertising Festival the second meeting of the advertising market organized by the Clear Sky Initiative together with the All-Ukrainian Advertising Coalition with the assistance of the Ukrainian Anti-Piracy Association (UAPA) was held. The topic of the meeting covered the results of the collaboration between rights holders and advertisers over the past year.

The moderator of the meeting, Andrey Osipov, a lawyer, an expert at the International Republican Institute, has noted that the advertising market is the one that could make alterations and change the «course of history» in the longstanding confrontation between those who create content and those who steal it.

Kateryna Fedorova, a Head of Clear Sky Initiative shared the dynamics of changes in the advertising market:
– Popular pirate sites from the top 50 list are gradually closing or suffering a decrease in their traffic, which means that they receive fewer advertising budgets.
– Fewer advertising of well-known brands is noticed on these sites.
– More and more advertisers are monitoring the results of advertising on the Internet and are trying to find ways to avoid placements on such sites, despite some technical difficulties (peculiarities of purchasing online advertising).

– Another websites that violate intellectual property rights appear.
– Ads of other brands are placed on them.
– There are technical errors, and advertisements sometimes accidentally appear on such websites.

Kateryna has concluded that Ukrainian market players are only at the beginning of the way to combat piracy and its consequences, and they shouldn’t stop, only then there will be a visible result.
To advertise online legally, Clear Sky Initiative offers the following solutions: service («blacklists»), ad monitoring organized by UAPA (warning algorithm) and Gemius Pirate Blacklists Alarm reports (online notification mechanism). publishes a monthly list of websites to which rights holders have claims.
– Every month UAPA monitors the placement of advertisements on these sites, warns brands about the cases of advertising fixation, and in cases of systematic placement publishes the results on its website.
– At the beginning of the year, the research company Gemius proposed a separate report by the websites from, and if an ad is shown to the user on the website from the list, the advertiser receives an instant email notification.

Kateryna Fedorova also introduced an updated website of service. Now everyone can not only get a list of websites to which rights holders have claims but also get acquainted with the results of the ad monitoring on these sites. Moreover, the service offers to follow the source of advertising with the help of utm-labels.
This option was positively received by advertisers and agencies, they agreed that this tool was convenient and useful.

Ihor Mykhailov, a Deputy Head of the UAPA, presented analysis of the advertising on the websites violating intellectual property rights, according to the monitoring during the period from October 2017 to May 2018.
Top-10 brands that most often appear in monitoring, and their rating by the number of fixed print-screens:

To work online legally is real: results of a roundtable discussion of the advertising industry

During this period, the number of rights holders which publicly complain against the sites has increased, although insignificantly. And it’s good that brands that receive warning letters in most cases respond positively to alerts and try to deal with it to avoid placements on websites violating intellectual property rights in future.

To speed up the actions, UAPA offered agencies to send warning letters to them, too. But for this, agencies must provide UAPA with a list of brands they are interested in at the beginning of each month.

Marta Wiercińska, a Marketing and Business Development Director at Gemius, and Grazyna Bienkowska, a Senior Project Manager at Gemius, also gave a speech during the meeting. They said that there was an analog of in Poland and it worked as well, but brands were not revealed publicly. Although Marta Wiercińska believes that this is an effective tool, and she is confident that this will give good results in Ukraine.

Colleagues from Gemius shared their statistics on Poland – the top 10 business sectors that advertise on pirate sites: leisure (41%), trade (19%), finance / insurance (17%), media / books (9% ), clothing (3%), appliances (2%), cars (1%), travel and tourism (1%), telecommunications (1%), other (7%).

Still, in Ukraine ¼ of all brands that advertise on pirate sites is from the trade category.

In April 2018, over 400 brands were noticed on pirate sites in Ukraine. For comparison, in Poland this number was 250.

In Poland, Gemius started to work with Sygnał, a local anti-piracy association, in December 2016, being ahead of Ukraine for a year. During this year, the picture of ad placements by industry has changed in Poland: in 2017, trade was also a leader (32%), and in 2018 trade (19%) lost its leadership to leisure (41%), which measures, mainly, the advertising of games and entertainment. In Ukraine, advertising of leisure category on «black» websites is 20%.

And what is even more remarkable: in Ukraine, the percentage of impressions on pirate sites in relation to all other sites is between 2 and 4%, and in Poland it is less than 1%.
Nick Stringer, a Vice President of Global Cooperation and Operations, Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), spoke about the TAG, an intersectional initiative created in 2014 by USA organizations such as IAB, ANA, and 4A’s to combat criminal activities when placing advertisements in digital.
TAG works in 4 directions.
1. Eliminating fraudulent advertising traffic;
2. Combating malware;
3. Fighting ad-supported internet piracy; and
4. Promoting brand safety through greater transparency.

A study conducted by E&Y showed that the income received by pirates from online advertising on websites that host media content illegally in the US in 2016 was estimated at $111 million. If it were not for the efforts of industry and organizations like TAG, pirate resources would have earned another $177 million. Therefore, the current efforts of the industry to combat piracy have reduced the profit of pirate sites by 48-61%.

Jocelyn Guitton, a Chairman of the Trade and Economic Sector of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, described how the protection of intellectual property rights is addressed in the EU. This takes place at the bilateral level through the creation of working groups and subcommittees. During the negotiations on interstate trade, the protection of intellectual property rights is usually included in bilateral and regional agreements, offering methods of protection and procedures that are used in the EU.
The European Commission also involves priority partner countries in discussion of the protection of intellectual property rights in working groups. Issues of intellectual property protection are included in trade agreements to monitor their implementation and discuss new legislative and other initiatives in the third countries, as well as actions that are implemented by them to reduce the number of falsifications and piracy.
In order to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights, the EU prepares a corresponding report and recently began to compile its own “List 301”: countries rated by the prevalence of piracy and the extent to which the state counteracts this. Ukraine is now on the second priority list.

Now the European Commission is working with a group of stakeholders to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The purpose of the Memorandum is to refuse from advertising on sites and in applications (for example, on mobile devices, tablets or desktops) that violate intellectual property rights on a commercial scale, thereby minimizing the financing of violators and reducing advertising profits.
MoU allows applying broader approach based on risk assessment.

TAG supports the EU Memorandum and encourages companies to participate in it. It is expected that the final version of the MoU will be proposed in Brussels in late June.

The final chord of the meeting was a roundtable with Yaroslava Antipina from IAB Ukraine, Alina Rul and Alina Emets from Razom, Alexandra Bespalova from GroupM, Marta Wiercińska and Grazyna Bienkowska from Gemius, Vladimir Iling from UAPA, and Kateryna Fedorova from Clear Sky Initiative.

“It is too early to raise the issue of absolutely legal business in Ukraine, but it is very gratifying that the number of companies for which this issue is relevant is growing both from advertisers and from major market players (ad agencies, contractors).
Razom communications supports the services of the “Clear Sky” Initiative and actively implements them for all the clients of the group. In particular, we are very pleased to work with UAPA and Clear Sky and thankful for being open and ready to help us track down sites with illegal content,” said Alina Rul, Chief Digital Buying Officer razom communications.

The discussion has shown that the projects and services offered by Clear Sky Initiative and its partners are positively perceived by market participants, they are understandable and useful. It was decided to continue cooperation.