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World's biggest ad agency keelhauls 2000 'pirate' sites

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Advertising giant GroupM will stop buying advertising space on more than 2,000 global sites said to offer pirated or unlicensed content.

The blacklist, assembled with help from key entertainment clients, includes The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents, but also features legitimate download sites such as BitTorrent Inc and business file-sharing tools such as YouSendIt.

"We are serious about combating piracy and protecting our clients' intellectual property as forcefully as we possibly can," GroupM Interaction Global CEO Rob Norman said.

The exclusion zone will be updated on a continuing basis and a link to the list will be included in all contracts and insertion orders.

The policy is designed to actively oppose online piracy in all its forms and to protect the copyright-protected, intellectual property of all content-producing companies, the company said.

GroupM is the world's biggest advertising agency, with $3.5bn in annual online billings on behalf of clients such as IBM, Universal, Paramount and AT&T.

GroupM daughter companies include Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare. The company is in turn part of the WPP group. ®

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