December 20, 2016

Huge Video Ad Fraud Uncovered

I know, I know...I'm supposed to be on vacation. But this is just too delicious to let go.
For years fools like me have been warning advertisers and marketers about the absurd amount of crime and fraud in online advertising. And, of course, because marketers are smarter than everyone else, none of the warnings have any effect.
Well, maybe they'll wake up now.

Introducing Methbot -- “the largest and most profitable ad fraud operation to strike digital advertising to date” says, WhiteOps, a provider of online fraud protection software.
According to the Pivotal Research Group, Methbot is responsible for...
- 200-300 million fraudulent video impressions a day
- $3-$5 million in criminal revenue a day
- More than $1 billion in annual revenue a year from fraudulent online video advertising
When you realize that total US income from online video advertising will only be $7 billion this year, you can see how enormous this fraud is. Pivotal says, "the scale of this single fraud is stunning."
And nobody knows how many other bots are out there.
According to Pivotal, here's how Methbot works...
" is focused on programmatic video inventory and because of the way it has fabricated both demand and supply of inventory. Among other details, Methbot produces counterfeit premium publisher sites and generates fraudulent ad calls that appear to originate from US-based internet providers including Verizon, Comcast and Spectrum. Methbot then generates revenue from programmatic sources of demand seeking premium video inventory."
If you understand any of that, please drop me a post card.
So let's recap:

- The Association of National Advertisers says kickbacks and other corrupt activities among agencies is pervasive."

- The New York Times reports that about half of all online ads paid for are not viewable.

- The Guardian reports that 60-70% of online ad budgets are being scraped off by ad tech middlemen.

- Over 1/2 billion people have ad blockers installed on their online devices.

- The World Federation of Advertisers says that within 8 years online ad fraud could be the second largest source of criminal revenue in the world (after drug trafficking.)

- We know that online ad fraud is completely out of control and no one knows how large it is.

- We have just learned about the biggest online video ad fraud ever uncovered.
Yup, sounds like online advertising is just the thing for today's busy marketing moron.

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