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“Malvertising” is One of the Primary Reasons Consumers Have Ad Blockers, Two Senators Tell FTC

by | Jul 12, 2016

Two U.S. senators sent an open letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez asking about ad fraud, according to an AdAge item.

AdAge added, in part:

“The letter, sent by Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), says the landscape of advertising has changed, adding that ad fraud creates a negative economic impact on both consumers and advertisers.

“”Much like a stock, the value of an ad impression is highly contingent on measured demand,” the letter says.

“”However, the problem with relying on ad clicks or views to measure that value is that recent studies have shown this data is frequently inaccurate.”

“The letter points to nonhuman traffic, or bots, as the driving force behind ad fraud. “Fraud thrives when advertisers measure the wrong events like page views, video views — those are events that both a human and a bot can do,” Mr. (Adam) Epstein said.  (Epstein is COO of AdMarketplace.)

“According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, digital advertising revenue surged to a record-breaking $59.6 billion in 2015. At the same time, some $7.2 billion is expected to be siphoned from marketers in 2016, up nearly $1 billion, due to ad fraud.

“The senators point to malvertising as one of the primary reasons why so many consumers have adopted ad blockers, referring to the tactic in which ads are enlisted to infect people’s computers with malware. Fraudsters often target top-tier websites to deploy malvertising and in many cases, a user doesn’t even have to click an ad to have his or her computer infected.”

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