New research shows that copyright theft cost the film and television industry $912m (£460m) in 2006. Losses to the DVD retail sector were equivalent to 14% of the sector's total value and cinema losses equivalent to 13.5%.
The leading drive behind this new $6m (£3m) campaign is a Television advert featuring a guy with his girlfriend in a pub who is humiliated and referred to as a 'Knock Off Nigel' for purchasing counterfeit goods.
With almost one in three people now viewing or acquiring illegal content, this new marketing campaign aims to create a social stigma around buying 'knock off' DVDs and downloading illegal content and marks a shift away from the Trust's previous approach which linked piracy with organised crime.
Liz Bales, director general of the Industry Trust, said: 'The campaign is a bold new approach to tackling copyright theft. We know that lecturing and hectoring people can make them switch off so we hope to engage and involve them instead. The Knock-off Nigel concept uses humour to get a very serious message across in a lighthearted way.'
Matt Brown, executive vice president, international, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment agrees 'We need to motivate the public to not be part of a shabby business. Every year 15% of our retail business is being lost to piracy. It is important to get knock off Nigel into people's everyday vernacular.'
The campaign advert will be shown in UK theatres in the summer to coincide with the release of several major Studio sequels, including Shrek, Pirates Of The Carribean and Harry Potter, before being rolled out on television and finally in pubs.