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.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (3)     File: Bad, Online     Jun-12-06  
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Excellent article. Thanks for the referral.

...and no cleavage. Who'da thunk it? ;)

Posted by: stevie the k on June 12, 2006 03:15 PM

Excellent article. Thanks for the referral.

...and no cleavage. Who'da thunk it? ;)

Posted by: stevie the k on June 12, 2006 03:15 PM

Dear Editor,

I am posting this similar response to many sites online. I feel very sorry for Hula and want to voice my disgust in the untruths that are being spread about Hula Direct, somone needs to say something positive about this company. They have been in the business while and donít seem to be out to hurt anyone, despite a couple peoples opinion.

In my opinion, the article from Mr. Edelman is based on one man's opinion and seems to be telling half the story.

I can't speak for all advertisers, but I had positive results, and dealing with Hula Direct was a positive experience. They have always been honest and upfront with me.

You guys are suggesting that Hula has all sorts of sites that refresh ads. I only know of three sits that they own that refresh ads,,, and According to the guys over there they also have a successful network that has nothing to do with these sites. A company can own many sites, donít lump them all into one basket.

Did you know that they had already shut down the group dealing with the Inqwire type site even before Mr. Edelman's article.

Hula Direct is a reputable company that has been unfairly trashed, and it is just not fair. In addition, I noticed that you and others wrote articles about Hula Direct and without even getting comments from them direct. These guys pay their bills and do what they say.

Finally, if I was Hula, I would consider trying to clear its name, this is just another example of how NOT to trust everything you read.

I wish you would present the entire store before slamming a good company.

Shame on you.

Posted by: Concerned on June 29, 2006 06:23 AM

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