GroupM Singles Out Piracy Websites as Marketers' Next Ad-Fraud Headache

Costing advertisers $200 million a year

As the advertising industry looks to get a better handle on fraud, it's getting more specific about the types of sites that cause huge spikes in bogus traffic while also demanding more from ad-tech vendors.

Today, WPP's GroupM, which has been vocal about ongoing fraud and viewability issues, is implementing new guidelines requiring all of its media partners to receive anti-piracy certification from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).

According to a report from the Digital Citizens Alliance, $200 million in advertising is spent each year on websites that rely on pirated content—like copied news articles or e-commerce sites that sell counterfeit goods—to trick ad networks into thinking they are legitimate properties on which to run ads.

Such fraudulent sites rip off advertisers in two ways: They sell ads against copied content, or they set up botnets that infect computers with viruses that drive huge numbers of clicks on ads.



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