Digital ad fraud is a major concern for marketers, but it looks like it is really starting to draw the attention of others as well. Specifically, Senators Mark Warner of Virginia and Chuck Schumer of New York (both Democrats) are preparing a letter that they will be sending to the FTC requesting that they look into online ad fraud and its impact on users and the industry as a whole.
The letter brings up common issues such as bot traffic, malware, collection of personal information for use in identity theft and more. Senator Warner even made direct comparisons between the digital ad fraud situation today and the situations that led up to the 2008 financial meltdown. While it is hard to suggest that the digital ad industry has as much of an impact on the economy as the financial industry does, the parallels are there.
Warner said, “It took the house almost burning down to recognize that there was a problem in Wall Street.” Since many people missed the warning signs of the financial crisis. He went on to talk about the ad fraud situation saying, “It took me a while to wrap my head around it. I do wonder whether some of the tech community has swept this under the rug.”
While the FTC hasn’t been entirely blind to the situation up to this point, having high profile senators like this talking about it may very well increase the level of scrutiny the industry will get from the FTC.