Tremor CEO Responds with Open Letter to WSJ Article on Pirated Video

Written on
May 8, 2014 
Mike Daly  |

ADOTAS – Defending his company after it was singled out in a Wall Street Journal CMO Today article, Tremor Video CEO Bill Day issued an open letter to clients last night, reassuring them that about its “unwavering commitment” to prevent their ad dollars from flowing to pirated video.

The article by CMO Today’s Jack Marshall, published yesterday, focused on the apparently widespread placement of ads from big brands on websites that feature pirated video.

“Sites brimming with pirated movies and television shows are being supported, inadvertently, by major marketers that buy ad space on them,” Marshall wrote. ” Thanks to the rise of automated ad-buying technologies, more ad dollars are flowing to sites with stolen copyrighted content than ever before, ad executives say. Who should do the policing is a matter of debate in the industry.”

Marshall cited a recent study, commissioned MediaLink and conducted by the Digital Citizens Alliance, to research how much money such sites are earning. “MediaLink examined 596 sites where viewers can find pirated movies and TV shows, and estimated those sites generate a total of $227 million in advertising revenue annually,” wrote Marshall.

Tremor Video was referenced in the article as having placed ads for Claritin, on behalf of client Merck, on a site called, which allegedly has been found to stream unlicensed video produced by Home Box Office, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and Lions Gate Entertainment.

Marshall quotes Tremor COO Adam Lichstein as responding that while the company has controls in place to ensure these kinds of things don’t occur, he conceded: “The Internet is vast and wide and we can’t control everything that happens.”

In Day’s letter, issued via email, he underscored what he called Tremor’s “unwavering commitment to preventing our clients from being exposed to any type of piracy.” He added that he welcomes the opportunity to speak with any of his company’s clients to address whatever concerns they might have about the issue.

“As in many industries, there are opportunities for piracy in online advertising, regardless of the extensive efforts made to prevent this type of activity,” Day (pictured) wrote. “At Tremor Video, we are deeply committed to brand safety. We employ an evolving multi-step process that makes our clients far less susceptible to piracy than others in the industry. Thanks to the controls we have in place, this type of delivery is already negligible within our network and we remain committed to eliminating it entirely. We continue to enhance our processes to ensure that we move from 99.9% accuracy to 100%. We provide full transparency into the delivery of every campaign with the constant goal of full accountability of where every impression appears.”

Day went on to note that Tremor was “the first video advertising company to include the AdChoices icon on every single ad we run. That means every time a consumer views your ad, they know it was delivered by Tremor Video. No other company can make this claim.”

Last October, Day wrote a similar letter in response to a WSJ article about fraudulent traffic.

Mike Daly is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years of experience in publishing. He began his career in 1983 at The News of Paterson, N.J., a long-since defunct daily paper, where at age 22 he was promoted to the position of Editorial Page Editor. Since then he has served in managerial capacities with several news organizations, including Arts Weekly Inc. and North Jersey Media Group in New Jersey and Examiner Media in New York. His work has been honored on numerous occasions by the New Jersey Press Association and the Society for Professional Journalists.

Reader Comments.

Programmatic is problematic, lazy ad agencies not doing right by their clients… L A Z Y

Todays “so” generation “In big data they trust” needs to revive some old fashioned values, like knowing and caring exactly where the clients ads are seen.

Yesterdays ROS (run of station) has become today’s RIS (Run in Shit)

Posted by Bob Gordon | 10:43 am on May 8, 2014.

YouTube is over flowing with pirated video, yet brands still covet the site spending millions….

Posted by richard | 5:10 pm on May 8, 2014.

“the first video advertising company to include the AdChoices icon on every single ad we run.”

With their programmatic sales efforts, a MAJORITY of their inventory partners do not accept ad delivery in a way that allows for the AdChoices icon.

Posted by John Holmes | 9:26 pm on May 8, 2014.

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