How P&G, AT&T And 4 Other Major Companies Were Duped Into Running Ads On X-Rated Sites

A tongue-in-cheek “calendar” is being passed around at a major auditor of online video advertising. The months depict pinups of ads from major companies like Procter & Gamble, Unilever and AT&T running on sites with explicit sex and violence.

A source leaked a copy to Business Insider.

Our source took pains to point out that the six companies whose ads ran on the X-rated sites — including Unilever’s Dove and Axe, Reckitt Benckiser’s Finish, P&G’s Gillette, AT&T, Netflix and Kellogg’s Special K — are not at fault for running the ads. Rather, the misplacements happen because of shady ad networks and ad servers who fail to check the quality of the media inventory they are serving to advertisers, or the origin of clicks being driven by ad campaign dollars. Clients can lose up to $488,000 a month paying for fraudulent ad clicks.

The calendar, from online video auditor Telemetry, is arranged so that each month shows a different company or brand’s ad running on a truly horrendous website.

We’ve redacted these images for obvious reasons.

This is a typical but mild example of how bad click fraud can be.

As you can see, it can get much worse.

Telemetry

Telemetry

It also happens on Spanish-language sites…

Adtech fraud doesn’t discriminate: Ads are misplaced on both gay and straight sites.

Most advertisers have rules against their ads running next to content that shows violence or other distressing material.

There are also taste guidelines that prevent this sort of thing.

Adtech fraud happens when shady ad networks serve an ad on what appears to be legit, mainstream ad space…

But the ad that appears is actually being served on a porn site that sits “behind” the user’s browser in a non-visible window…

The traffic is then encrypted so that clicks on the ad appear to have come from the mainstream site and not the hidden site where it actually ran.

In the end, the advertiser is presented with a bill for all the clicks that were generated.

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