In recent years the phrase ‘follow the money’ has been increasingly associated with anti-piracy efforts: the theory being that if you squeeze ad revenues and user payments for these sites, they’ll struggle.

It seems to be working.

The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) claims that its efforts have caused a 64% decrease in the last year in “advertising from the UK’s top ad spending companies on copyright infringing websites”.

PIPCU’s efforts have included a round of meetings in January with brands, advertising agencies and ad networks in the UK who’d been found to be running campaigns appearing on piracy sites. The IFPI, BPI and PRS for Music were involved in those meetings from the music industry.

“Operation Creative is about taking away the revenue that these criminals use to undermine one of the most important industries to the UK economy,” said DCI Pete Ratcliffe from PIPCU in a statement.

“In the coming year we will be stepping up our work in this area and these results not only show the great work of my team but also the great cooperation shown by brands and advertising agencies we work with.”

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