The Antitrust group of the US Department of Justice is heading up an investigation that is focusing on possible price fixing concerning video production and post-production practices of companies in the advertising industry. The investigation, which already has Publicis, Interpublic, and Omnicom on its possible offender list, is adding the world’s largest media agency, WPP, to its list.
As the spotlight is being put on anti-competitive behavior, ad fraud will likely be a common headline in the upcoming year as advertising practices of top ad techs come under scrutiny.
WPP wrote in response to the investigation, “WPP confirms that, similarly to Interpublic, Omnicom and Publicis, three of its subsidiaries have received subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division concerning the Division’s ongoing investigation of video production and post-production practices in the advertising industry. WPP and its subsidiaries are fully cooperating with the enquiries.”
The advertising industry is aware of increasing amounts of ad fraud, and believes that the amount of fraudulent advertising on ad networks may reach as high as 11%. If ad fraud continues at this rate, within 10 years it could more than a $50 billion black economy, second only to the drug trade.