This week's review of ad fraud and privacy in the digital advertising space.
Fortune 500 companies were still buying ads on the sanctioned Russian bank website
Sberbank is a state-owned Russian banking and financial services company. It is Russia’s largest financial institution, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Pixalate has identified at least six Sberbank websites (download list here). At least one of them — onlaine-sberbank.ru — is using Google Ads for monetization as of March 2, 2022.
"Google, Wells Fargo, Spectrum/Charter Communications, GoDaddy, HBO Max (promoting a Harry Potter offering), Square Online, Hotels.com and AARP with the Ad Council (encouraging retirement savings) are among the companies whose ads were still on a website owned by a U.S.-sanctioned Russian bank, Sberbank, as of March 2, according to Pixalate," reports MediaPost.
Disney+ introducing an ad-supporting subscription
Disney+ will offer subscribers a cheaper option of its services supporting advertising on the platform. "The move reflects the hot streaming ad market, the pressure on Disney to keep its streaming business growing and a broader trend among media companies to try to rebuild the traditional television ecosystem online. But a lower-priced Disney+ carries risks, including potentially speeding the decline of some of Disney’s cable networks," according to The New York Times.
NBCUniversal terminates partnership with Hulu
"NBCUniversal has terminated its partnership with Hulu, an NBCU spokesperson confirmed, with all current in-season programming—including Saturday Night Live, The Voice along with the Chicago and Law & Order franchises—now streaming exclusively to the company’s own streaming service Peacock, starting in September. Currently the shows stream on both Hulu and Peacock the day after they air on NBC," informs AdWeek.
Variety: HBO allegedly shared subscribers' data with Facebook without consent
HBO was hit by a lawsuit accusing the company that it shared subscribers' viewing history with Facebook without consent, which could be a violation of federal privacy law. "The suit alleges that HBO provides Facebook with customer lists, which allows Facebook to match customers’ viewing habits with their Facebook profiles," according to Variety.
Gannett Co. provided inaccurate information for advertisers during 9 months span
USA Today's owner, Gannett Co., "provided inaccurate information to advertisers for nine months, misrepresenting where billions of ads were placed," informs the Wall Street Journal. The error was an example of "domain spoofing" where ad inventory appeared to be on a different site than expected.
Disclaimer: The content of this page reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any proprietary data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that - opinion, not facts or guarantees.
Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”