Interactive Advertising Industry Expert Catches Major Video Site Defrauding Advertisers; Major Video Networks Caught in Web

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In a report issued Tuesday, interactive advertising expert and advertising fraud fighter, Pace Lattin, revealed that a major source of video advertising was using dubious means to show advertisements to users. In a ten page analysis of the traffic patterns, he shows that the company TopTvBytes.com has been “stealing” revenue from video advertising networks by “popping” the videos on other websites without being requested. This method is highly condemned by the interactive advertising industry and video advertising networks, none which allow this promotional technique. In theory, this type of scheme could generate millions of dollars of advertising views, defrauding advertisers and hurting the industry as a whole.

In a ten page analysis of the traffic patterns, he shows that the company TopTvBytes.com has been “stealing” revenue from video advertising networks by “popping” the videos on other websites without being requested.

In a report issued Tuesday, interactive advertising expert and advertising fraud fighter, Pace Lattin, revealed that a major source of video advertising was using dubious means to show advertisements to users. In a ten page analysis of the traffic patterns, he shows that the company TopTvBytes.com has been “stealing” revenue from video advertising networks by “popping” the videos on other websites without being requested. This method is highly condemned by the interactive advertising industry and video advertising networks, none which allow this promotional technique. In theory, this type of scheme could generate millions of dollars of advertising views, defrauding advertisers and hurting the industry as a whole.

“I became aware of this technique while browsing some website as was being inundated with pop-ups from TopTvBytes.com automatically playing loud video advertisements,” says Lattin. “I researched the company and found that there were hundreds of complaints from consumers saying they were having the same experience, sometimes with adware.” What turned originally into an article on his blog, IndustryPace.com turned into a full investigation when some of the advertising networks involved asked him to dig further. He looked over the traffic patterns of this specific site, compared to competitors and noted that the traffic patterns were significantly differently than other video sites. In his report he shows that on average 90% of all visitors would come to the site, spend less than a minute, view one page, confirming the hundreds of accounts that the site was being promoted by pops.

“When I approached video advertising networks about this, they all said they did not allow this,” according to Lattin. “However, the owners in the original investigative piece told me that they did in fact sometimes use this technique but the advertising networks knew about it. Something didn’t seem right.” During his investigation, one CEO, Tod Sacerdoti of BrightRoll, said “The bad actors are limited to a very high volume, small group of video publishers and video ad networks,” said Sacerdoti, “Everyone knows who they are, and they know who these bad actors are.” Sacerdoti indentified this specific site as a bad actor and that the only reason some networks would work with them was that they were ignoring the facts, or didn’t care because of the enormous revenue.

Mr. Lattin’s report on his findings can be accessed at:
http://industrypace.com/frontpage/2010/9/3/large-video-site-promotes-video-advertising-via-pop-ups-defr.html

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Pace Lattin

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