July 3, 2008 / 8:37 AM / 11 years ago

New ad campaign targets downloaders

LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - A grubby man in the pub named Nigel who buys counterfeit DVDs is being replaced by a sheepish young office worker named Nigel who downloads movies and music illegally at his desk in a new ad campaign against piracy.

The campaign, to be launched Monday by the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness and backed by such studios as Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., aims to focus on illegal downloading over the next few months.

The ad uses a humorous song about “Knock-off Nigel,” a character who is berated by singing colleagues for stealing food from the office fridge, pinching cash from office whip-rounds and downloading movies illegally from his laptop.

The Trust is spending 1.6 million pounds on the media campaign over the next 12 months, with the ads scheduled to run across media here including spots on Channel 4, Five, Sky, Virgin Media and ITV.

Said Industry Trust director general Liz Bales: “Illegal downloading is the fastest growing threat to the U.K. entertainment industry.”

Bales said the shift in focus from dodgy DVDs to illegal downloads reflects that threat.

The Trust was set up in 2004 to tackle film and TV copyright theft in the U.K. and is backed by 22 members spanning film and television distributors, theatres, DVD retailers and home entertainment rental companies.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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