Ben Edelman Examines Banner Farms And Other Nasty Online Practices
Harvard University Pd.D. Candidate and all around spyware expert Ben Edelman has, once again, dug deep into the shady, clandestine side of online marketing. This time, he's examined Hula Direct, which, he claims, serves pops from spyware vendors, practices "banner farming," shows and charges ads without permission and engages in automatic page reloading to increase revenue. Since Ben's a Ph.D and we're not, we'll let you examine his findings first hand here.
As a tidbit of the insanity going on here and who's involved, this bit of Ben's article lends insight. "Hula's Yield Manager relationship provided Hula with the Vonage ad shown in the example above. Hula's Global-Store sent traffic to Yield Manager which sent traffic to Traffic Marketplace, which sent traffic to aQuantive's Atlas DMT, which sent traffic to Vonage. Payments flowed in the opposite direction." Certainly the notion of "you get what you pay for" takes on a whole new meaning here. Suffice to say, there's a whole lot of scamming going on and, to be clear, advertisers like Vonage rarely know it's occurring under their noses. Ben's analysis should be required reading for anyone even remotely involved with online marketing.