The British Video Association has launched an attack on video piracy
with a tough film alerting the public to the hazards of buying cheap
films at markets and car-boot sales.
The 60-second film, written and directed by John O’Donnell, features a
spiky exchange between a market stallholder and a disgruntled customer.
The customer tries to return a copy of Trainspotting, the recent British
film, which he had bought from the market a few days earlier. He
complains that the film has appalling sound and that the picture is
unwatchable. The stallholder gives him short shrift. Through a mouthful
of hamburger, he tells the customer sarcastically: ‘Yeah, there’s no
trains in it either. I suppose that’s my fault as well.’
He refuses to give the man a refund because he has no receipt. The film
ends with a voiceover warning: ‘Take care. Most pirate videos are
unwatchable. And there’s no comeback. If you buy a pirate, you’re sunk.’
The ad will run nationally in cinemas this autumn and possibly on BSkyB.
It will also precede movies on legal videotapes sold from the end of
The BVA claims that many pirate videos are recorded in the back of
cinemas using a camcorder and that video piracy cost the industry pounds
250 million in lost sales last year.
The new ad replaces last year’s BVA anti-piracy commercial, which
established the link between organised crime, such as drug trafficking,
and video piracy.
Lavinia Carey, director general of the BVA, said: ‘The commercial we ran
last year was aimed at a different audience - at parents who might buy
cheap children’s videos. The new ad is aimed at the youth market - at
people who wouldn’t be moved by the fact that they are helping to fund
drug rackets, but more by the thought that the film might be