‘Nine Acts of Piracy’ – A Typology of Pop Up Ads

Material: variable

Dimensions: 1560mm x 960mm

Year: 2018

A screenshot typology of pop up advertising experienced whilst illegally streaming nine newly released movies on nine Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing sites.

Every time a web page is requested from a server, a millisecond auction occurs to deliver digital advertising to the browser page that is loading. Academics and researchers have revealed that the ad tech industry tracks and surveils all users of internet browsers to generate behavioural profiles in order to deliver targetted advertising.

How do the machines of the ad tech industry see us as users? Do the machines of the ad tech industry believe all viewers of illegally streamed popular movies are obsessed with fantasy role play games, hardcore pornography and the world’s most expensive yachts?

Alongside common adverts for anti-virus software, immigration services and niche fashion brands, world reknowned brands are also often advertised to viewers of illegal content from which the ad tech industry generates vast profits. Is the generation of these vast profits illegal like the content that is being viewed? Or are the activities of the ad tech industry perfectly lawful due to no independant oversight and little to no regulation from governments?

The ad tech industry professes to be able to provide accurate metrics for their corporate clients in relation to the delivery of digital advertising campaigns online. If their analytic systems and metrics are to be believed, surely this means they must be accountable if profitting from illegal online activity.