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Get the Real Picture Ad Campaign Targets NYC Subways

Get the Real Picture ads are now appearing in New York City's subways.

June 2, 2008 - Building on the success of the anti-piracy campaign the City of New York and the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) initiated last year, MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman announced today that the campaign is continuing to New York’s subways.

Beginning this week, the City and the MPAA will run a new phase of the “Get the Real Picture” ad campaign on subway platforms to heighten consumer awareness about DVD piracy on New York subways and urge New York consumers to think twice before buying illegal movies. The new ads feature New York City’s 311 citizen service hotline giving people a local resource to report piracy. Local chapters of the entertainment guilds and unions will also pitch in by reemphasizing to their members the need to protect movies during the busy summer movie season by reporting piracy.

“The City’s efforts to combat anti-piracy have gone a long way to stamping out pirated DVDs on our city streets, and now we’re taking the campaign underground,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “New York City is home to countless iconic movies, and with the start of the summer movie season, it’s the perfect opportunity to remind New Yorkers that purchasing pirated DVDs impacts everyone negatively, whether it’s measured in lost revenue to the motion picture industry or felt in the wallets of average New Yorkers who spend their hard-earned money on poor quality—and not to mention illegal—DVDs.”

According to MPAA investigators, the last phase of the campaign and the enforcement efforts in New York helped to eliminate much piracy vending on the streets. However, some of this piracy has now moved underground. According to court documents, since the beginning of 2008, the NYPD Transit Police have arrested almost 80 people and seized 8,251 pirated DVDs – much of this action in or around New York subways.

The timing of the announcement and new ads fall during the heat of the summer movie season when many big summer blockbusters are hitting the screens. By targeting the busy subway system the City and MPAA hope to remind New Yorkers about the negative costs associated with buying illegal DVDs namely the affect on the film industry and New York’s economy.

“The ‘Get the Real Picture’ campaign has really helped to raise awareness among New York consumers about the losing proposition of buying illegal DVDs and the significant costs of piracy to the City,” said Glickman. “This next phase of the campaign and the Mayor’s commitment to helping fight piracy in New York are much needed during the summer when so many great movies are being released. We commend the City for supporting this important project.”

The anti-piracy campaign launched by Mayor Bloomberg and the MPAA last year took a three pronged approach to fighting street piracy in New York including stronger legislation, a greater enforcement effort and a consumer awareness ad campaign which ran in taxis, bus shelters, local theaters and on local broadcast television. Using the universally recognizable look and feel of the iconic MPAA ratings system, the “Get the Real Picture” campaign highlights the inferior quality of illegally videotaped movies, and features unique television spots based on Titanic, The Sixth Sense, and Happy Feet, with a corresponding series of print advertisements asking all New Yorkers to stop film piracy with the slogan “Get the Real Picture: Don’t Buy Illegal DVDs Off The Street.” The advertisements underscore the losing proposition of purchasing bootlegged DVDs with mock ratings of “RO” for Ripped-Off, “PS” for Poor Sound, “SP” for Stupid Purchase, “OV” for Obstructed View and “F” for Fake.

The City’s thriving film, television and commercial production industry employs over 100,000 New Yorkers and generates $5 billion in economic activity. According to a MPAA commissioned study released in 2007, the New York motion picture industry suffers an estimated $1.49 billion in lost output annually resulting in 22,986 fewer jobs and $903 million in lost earnings as a consequence of global and local piracy of motion pictures. The MPAA study found that $637 million in total annual retail sales in New York are lost due to global and local piracy, resulting in a loss of $50 million in state and city sales taxes. Often taped with camcorders in movie theaters, the MPAA estimates that in 2006, New York City theaters were the origin of 43% of camcorder-source pirated DVDs tracked in the United States, and 20% of pirated movies seized globally. The “Get the Real Picture” campaign helped change that.
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