Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc. has settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers during a marketing campaign for the video game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, by failing to adequately disclose that it paid online “influencers” to post positive gameplay videos on YouTube and social media.
Under a proposed FTC order, Warner Bros. is barred from failing to make such disclosures in the future and cannot misrepresent that sponsored content, including gameplay videos, are the objective, independent opinions of video game enthusiasts or influencers.
“Consumers have the right to know if reviewers are providing their own opinions or paid sales [...]
You would think it is 2014 again reading the headline, but it is true. Warner Brothers paid two YouTube personalities to make videos about their Xbox One games. They paid as much as $30,000 for these videos. Unfortunately, the videos never disclosed that there was compensation involved, which goes against FTC regulations.
The game being promoted in this case was, Middle earth: Shadow of Mordor.” The FTC is not issuing a financial penalty in this case, which is a little surprising given that there is really no excuse for a major company like this to not be aware of the regulations for this type of marketing content. Instead, the FTC is essentially giving them a slap on the [...]
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 [...]
Ad fraud is a major issue, and one of the biggest ways the bad actors in the industry commit this type of fraud is by using malware. In most cases, however, it is a third party criminal who uses the malware to make money. The cyber security company Check Point, however, just reported that they found an ad firm in China that is essentially cutting out the middle man. Yingmob is a mid-sized ad firm that has been caught actually distributing malware to boost clicks to their own ads.
Yingmob is based in Beijing and is a subsidiary of MIG Unmobi Technology Inc. They offer mobile focused, easy to use ads in all the standard formats just like dozens of other ad companies around [...]