Given that Netflix carries our film both on DVD and via the “Watch it Now” option, it’s more than a little ironic to find Netflix ads on websites that feature (illegal) free streams and download links to our film.

There are numerous instances of Netflix advertising, in various forms,  on pirate websites. Given the amount of money that Netflix spends on online advertising (by the looks of it, probably a lot) one has to ask the question “Why doesn’t Netflix do more?” Usually advertisers are adamant about where their advertising appears, yet online, Netflix seems to have no qualms about allowing their advertisements to be plastered on pirate websites across the globe. Why don’t they exert influence on the various ad service providers (ie. AdSense) to prevent this from happening?  Like it or not, Netflix IS putting money directly into the pockets of pirates via their ad dollars.

Netflix ads adorn pirate websites across the world

On July 2nd, after the NPR story aired on “All Things Considered” I received an email from Steve Swasey, VP of Corporate Communications who wrote the following:

Netflix does not tolerate piracy and we do not support pirate sites.  We are very clear with our advertising agencies and affiliate partners about this.  Sometimes ads slip through and when this happens, we react swiftly and decisively, removing the ad and not paying the site.

Funny, Netflix doesn’t offer us (content creators) who discover their ads an easy way to report the ads.  And, for the record, from my web wanderings Netflix ads seem to slip through quite a bit.  In the example below, note that Netflix appears as a “sponsored” link on a pirate site featuring several links to various streaming files of “And Then Came Lola.”  Click the Netflix “sponsored”  link, one is taken to their main splash page.

A Netflix ad that "slipped" through...

Netflix may want to examine this issue further as it seems these “free streaming” sites undermine Netflix’s own business model.  It’s more than a little ironic that Netflix pays Google who in turns pays the pirate websites.   How’s that for financing your own downfall?

Our film is obviously a mere drop in the bucket.  Here’s a website that features Netflix ads and streams to the most recent “Shrek” film.

Streams of Shrek alongside Netflix ads.

And here’s where you end up if you click either advertisement.

Netflix page

If you click one of the “streaming” links on the page, you’re taken to an online stream of our film where you can watch” And Then Came Lola” in its entirety.  Now why pay for Netflix when you can actually just watch the film for free?  Just asking…

Here's the film streaming on a site from one of the links on previous page

Netflix ad-Question- Why join Netflix when you can watch pirated movies free online?

Not one, but TWO Netflix ads on a page sporting illegal download link to LOLA

And Then Came Lola on a page featuring 2 Netflix ads (via Google AdSense)