An Android ad-fraud scandal, and the ANA takes on ‘the end of advertising’ | Advertising

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Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of , marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for “Ad Age” under “Skills” in the Alexa app.

What people are talking about today: A major BuzzFeed News investigation has revealed the existence of what it calls “a sophisticated ad-fraud scheme involving more than 125 apps and websites, some of which were targeted at kids.” Basically, various unrelated apps were acquired by “a network of front and shell companies in Cyprus, Malta, British Virgin Islands, Croatia, Bulgaria and elsewhere.” Through a sort of centralized command, the network would then “capture the behavior of the app’s human users and program a vast network of bots to mimic it.”


BuzzFeed cites “a person involved in the scheme” who “estimates it has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from brands whose ads were shown to bots instead of actual humans.”

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