Articles about Online Advertising

Swamp alligators crowd near muddy water pool. Photo by Shutterstock

Fancy that! Google was keen on 'draining the swamp' in 2013

Faced with a report showing Google’s advertising network allowed big brands' ad money to be spent funding criminal operations, Google welcomed initiatives to “drain the swamp” in 2013 - three and a half years ago. But guess what? The swamp’s still here. And it's feeding a different sort of creature now. Today the Wall Street …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Dec 2016

Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

Microsoft says buying LinkedIn will help to address the middle class discontent that saw Britain vote to leave the European Union and America vote to leave politics as we know it behind by electing Donald Trump. The company has expressed that sentiment in its post announcing the European Commission's approval of its …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Dec 2016

Adblock again beats publishers' Adblock-blocking attempts

Adblock Plus is celebrating, but publishers are scratching their heads, after German courts ruled blocking online advertisements is legal. All claims brought by German media cornerstone Spiegel Online against Eyeo GmbH, creators of Adblock Plus, were late last week dismissed by a court in Hamburg, Germany. Seven media houses …
Darren Pauli, 29 Nov 2016
barbie

Viacom, Mattel and pals busted for stalking kids with creepy web ads

A group of toy and children's entertainment giants have been lightly fined for letting advertisers illegally track kids online. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a group of state Attorneys General (AGs) have told Viacom, Mattel, Hasbro, and JumpStart to cough up some change for multiple violations of the Children's …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2016
Ads on Times Square. Photo by Allen G via Shutterstock editorial use only

Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry

The digital ad biz is hoping that ad-blocking has reached a plateau in the UK, after its rolling survey of users failed to detect an increase. The IAB's July poll, conducted by YouGov, found that 21.2 per cent of the sample used prophylactics, down from 21.7 per cent in February. However the IAB notes that many users don't …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2016

Adblock Plus blocks Facebook's ad-blocker buster: It's a block party!

The makers of Adblock Plus (ABP) have already found a way to defeat Facebook's anti-ad-block tools. An updated filter list for ABP will disappear web ads on Facebook's desktop site – including banners the social network said it would force people to see even if they are using ad-blocking tools. Those ads are specially crafted …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Aug 2016
Type arms of an old typewriter

Malware ads' steganography

A malicious online advertising campaign dubbed AdGholas threw malware at up to a million netizens a day, and infected thousands of Windows machines, for over a year, we're told. AdGholas picked out normal users to attack, as opposed to security researchers investigating the code in virtual machines, by studying their language …
John Leyden, 28 Jul 2016
Woman watches TV with cat, uses remote to change channel. Photo by Shutterstock

Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

The upfront market for broadcast and cable networks has taken an unexpected U-turn from last year’s dip, seeing an increase in advertising sales of $800m to $18.6bn in the most recent completion. According to research firm Media Dynamics, this 4.5 per cent increase in TV ad revenue is a blow to OTT video platforms on PCs and …
Faultline, 15 Jul 2016
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EU waves antitrust claims in Google's face, snarls 'You want some?'

EU antitrust regulators have accused Google of preventing rivals from competing in online advertising and search, deepening its existing probe into anti-competition allegations against the ad-flinger. The antitrust charges are the latest effort to clamp down on the advertising biz, following existing investigations claiming …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016
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No, I'm not surfing smut. I'm trying to score a bug bounty from P0rnhub

The world's most popular porn site PornHub has launched a somewhat restrictive security bug bounty. The site draws a eye-watering 60 million visitors a day and has been subject to breaches mainly limited to malvertising attacks which would generally not be uncovered by bug bounties. PornHub is running its bug bounty on the …
Darren Pauli, 11 May 2016
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Prince of pop trash PerezHilton pwned, visitors hit with cryptxxx

Pop trash giant PerezHilton.com has served the world's most dangerous exploit kit to some of its 500,000 daily visitors. The site is home to Hollywood and celebrity news and has been pwned before under hugely successful malvertising campaigns using the dominant Angler exploit kit. Cyphort researcher Nick Bilogorskiy says the …
Darren Pauli, 10 May 2016
Man on laptop has ethical dilemma (represted by angel and demon on either shoulder). Photo by Shutterstock

The case for ethical ad-blocking

When is ad-blocking ethical? How about when the adtech industry is behaving so unethically it destroys people’s livelihoods? Musician and music rights campaigner David Lowery last year made the incendiary suggestion that musicians should encourage their fans to block the advertising running on music-streaming sites – even …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016

Tweak Privacy Shield rules to make people happy? Nah – US govt

The US government has poured cold water on the idea of making changes to the new Privacy Shield agreement that will cover transfers of people's private data between the US and Europe, potentially putting the entire agreement at risk. Under secretary of commerce for international trade, Stefan Selig, told Reuters that the US …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2016
A view from Babbage's eye-mounted Picam

Panama Paper trail sniffed

Indonesia is sifting through the Panama Papers to see if there are any US-based tech companies it can sting for back taxes. Reuters is reporting that finance minister Bambang Brodjonegoro has nominated Yahoo!, Twitter, Google and Facebook as being of interest to the country. The companies pay corporate income tax in Indonesia …

Mal Men men hit LiveJournal with Angler exploit kit

Malwarebytes researcher Jerome Segura says malvertisers have served the world's most dangerous exploit kit - Angler - through compromised advertisements run on LiveJournal.com and news service Likes.com. The attacks are the latest in a string of brazen and successful malvertising campaigns that are smashing the web's most …
Darren Pauli, 30 Mar 2016

Gumtree serves world's worst exploit kit to scores of Aussies

Malware expert Jerome Segura says Australia's most popular classifieds site, Gumtree.com.au, was serving the world's most capable exploit kit to some of its millions of monthly visitors. The site is Australia's twelfth-most-popular website and last month attracted some 47.8 million views. Parent site eBay Australia scored 74.6 …
Darren Pauli, 29 Mar 2016
Viewmaster Old Advert

We’re not holding biz to ransom, says pay to play ad-blocking outfit

Far from killing the advertising industry, ad blockers are saving it from itself, says the company behind AdBlock Plus. Eyeo was responding to headline-grabbing remarks by Culture Minister John Whittingdale earlier this week. Whittingdale didn’t name names, but compared ad blocking software companies who whitelist advertisers …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Mar 2016

Alphabetti spaghetti: What Wall Street isn't telling you about Google

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has made the front page with its latest financials – overtaking Apple as the world’s most valuable public company. But size isn’t everything. The numbers illustrate the nature of Alphabet’s grip over digital trade – with Alphabet really controlling the price of transactions, and what value …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Feb 2016

Adblock Plus blocked from attending ad industry talkfest

Content crasher Adblock Plus says it has been uninvited from an advertising industry confab after paying a pricey entrance fee. The online advertising scrubber will have to stay home and sob after the Interactive Advertising Bureau reneged on its approval for the Annual Leadership bash in California this weekend. Adblock Plus …
Darren Pauli, 19 Jan 2016

Malvertising: How the ad model makes crime pay

Feature The exploitation of online advertising networks by malware-flingers is expected to cause up to $1bn in damages by the end of this year, but despite ongoing regulatory efforts, it is not clear to whom the liability for these enormous losses will fall. The increasingly sophistication with which online advertisers profile users …
Satya Nadella

Axed-ya Nadella swings blade through the forest of Microsoft again

In Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's latest move to dismantle the legacy of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, the software giant has announced that it's changing its financial reporting structure ... again. The last time Redmond reorganized how it reports its earnings to investors was in the summer of 2013. Ballmer would step aside …
Neil McAllister, 28 Sep 2015
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Google makes admen pay for fake YouTube views, claims research

Google has been accused of charging advertisers for YouTube clicks against adverts even when some of those ads have not actually been viewed by a human, according to a study. The paper – Understanding the detection of fake view fraud in Video Content Portals (PDF) – by a group of European researchers evaluated the performance …
Kat Hall, 24 Sep 2015
Tony Hall, BBC Director General. Pic: BBC

Grinning BBC boss blows raspberry at UK.gov, eyes up buffet

The BBC has blown a raspberry at both the Minister of Fun and the Chancellor, who want a smaller and more focused BBC, by setting out plans to embiggen itself. The media giant’s new strategy, which has a pre-election feel to it, sees the Corporation expanding furiously in all directions while threatening to close down iconic …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Sep 2015

Malware menaces poison ads as Google, Yahoo! look away

Feature Online advertising has become an increasingly potent threat to end-user security on the internet. More hackers than ever are targeting the internet's money engine, using it as a powerful attack vector to hide exploits and compromise huge numbers of victims. Malvertising, as poisoned ads are known, is as deadly as it is diverse …
Darren Pauli, 27 Aug 2015
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EU Commish demands proof of Google's evil from rivals, customers

It’s the anti-trust case that keeps on giving. The European Commission has sent out yet more questionnaires to Google's rivals to ask about the Chocolate Factory’s alleged anti-competitive behaviour. As always, the Commish refused to confirm on the record any details of the ongoing case, but a source close to the investigation …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Aug 2015

Choke on it! Brit police squeeze pirate site advertising money trail

The intercepting of advertisements served on dodgy pirate sites has begun to choke their revenue by 70 per cent, according to the City of London police, vindicating the policy of following the “money trail”, rather than an individual infringer, said the police and trade groups. Tactics include harassing the seedy ad networks …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2015
Steve Ballmer. Pic:  Aanjhan Ranganathan

Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

Analysis Less than two years into Satya Nadella's tenure as CEO of Microsoft, he's already had to report a lossmaking quarter. It's only the second time that's happened in the software giant's three decades as a public company, and the $8.44bn write-off Redmond posted earlier this week is the largest in its history. Don't blame Nadella …
Neil McAllister, 27 Jul 2015

Q. How much did Google just spend applying political pressure in the US? A. $4.6 million

Moneybags Google has topped the list of tech-giant political lobbyists again, spending $4.62m in the past three months alone in Washington DC and elbowing its way into an enormous range of issues. That's according to a declaration filed by Google that companies are legally obliged to submit to US Congress. The multimillion- …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jul 2015

Ad slingers beware! Google raises Red Screen of malware Dearth

Watch out dodgy ad slingers and news sites; Google is expanding its 'last line of defence' Chrome feature to brand all security-slacker ad networks as unsafe. The Chocolate Factory will, over coming weeks, expand its Safe Browsing feature such that it throws an ominous Red Screen™ in front of ad networks it says have poor …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jul 2015

Hey, Spotify! Why do you internet companies hate competition?

Guest opinion Last year Spotify hired a former political strategist in the Obama administration and some of Pandora’s lobbyists to protect its untenable and money-losing business model. I predict that the end goal of these efforts will leave artists and songwriters worse off. The ex-Obama hand is called Jonathan Prince. Spotify’s lobbying …
David Lowery, 15 Jul 2015

Network Solutions' 30-day refund has a catch: It'll keep up to 30%

Network Solutions has been scolded by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for misleading consumers over a "30-day money back guarantee" that wasn't quite what it seemed. The domain flogger and web hosting company has offered the "guarantee" since 2008 on its hosting deals, which range from $120 to $350 per year. But on a …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jun 2015
How silicon roundabout will look

No Silicon Roundabout U-Bend U-Turn: Build that peninsula boys

Following a period of consultation, Transport for London has published a report showing that a significant proportion of the 1,300 people who expressed an opinion thought the idea of converting London's so-called Silicon Roundabout into a U-Bend incorporating a "peninsula" was A Good Thing. Under the plan, the amount of space …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jun 2015

Want to be the hottest thing since Melrose Place? Get these Lycos patents

Dial-up era icon Lycos has finally gotten around to selling off its patents. The erstwhile search engine of the Clinton administration has embarked on a campaign to sell off its intellectual property holdings in an attempt to generate some revenue. The company has hired a consulting firm called Propeller(y) to help flog its …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2015
Google UK office logos

>Ring, ring< Hey Wall St. Yeah, it's Google. Yeah, bad news again, fellas

Google missed analysts' earnings estimates for the sixth quarter in a row on Thursday, despite the fact that its actual performance for the three months ending on March 31 was more than respectable. As usual, one has to wonder whether Wall Street isn't being just a bit over-optimistic about the online ad-slinger's prospects. …
Neil McAllister, 23 Apr 2015
Google sign outside Mountain View headquarters

Hi, Fi: Google JOWL-SLAPS mobile bigguns with $20/mo wireless service

Google has confirmed it will square up to the mobile carrier world with its own service – "Project Fi" – although for the time being this will be a limited pilot program. Fi, which was murmured about by the Wall Street Journal and others this year, is the Chocolate Factory's attempt to shake up the world of mobile data, much …
Neil McAllister, 22 Apr 2015
Racecar

Google has tested its speedy QUIC internet protocol on YOU – and the early results are in

Google says its homegrown QUIC networking protocol can speed up web browsing – enough so that it's planning to propose it to the IETF standards body to make it part of the next-generation internet. The online advertising giant has been quietly working on QUIC since 2013, after successfully having its work on the SPDY protocol …
Neil McAllister, 17 Apr 2015
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Microsoft drops Do Not Track default from Internet Explorer

Microsoft has reversed its position on the contentious Do Not Track (DNT) browser feature, saying Internet Explorer will no longer send DNT signals to websites by default. "Put simply, we are updating our approach to DNT to eliminate any misunderstanding about whether our chosen implementation will comply with the W3C standard …
Neil McAllister, 03 Apr 2015

US Senate to probe the Obama-Google love-in

The US Senate’s subcommittee on antitrust and competition will investigate why President Obama’s political appointees at the top of the FTC closed an investigation into Google. The American watchdog's own staff found sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to merit a prosecution – specifically, evidence of Google abusing its …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Apr 2015

EXPOSED: Google, Obama caught doing it once a week

Google and the White House manage to hook up more than the majority of married couples, having met up once a week for the past five years. That's the latest indicator of the powerful internet giant's worrying cosy relationship with the Obama administration, pulled from logs requested by the Wall Street Journal. The disclosure …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2015
The Child Catcher

Google hatching YouTube Kiddie Vids – report

Google is about to enter the lucrative revenue stream of advertising to children, with the Chocolate Factory set to reportedly announce a YouTube app for kids. YouTube executive Malik Ducard will unveil YouTube Kids on Monday at the entertainment industry event Kidscreen Summit, according to The Wall Street Journal. A source …
Kat Hall, 20 Feb 2015
Zombie rising from the grave

Ad agency Turn turns off Verizon's zombie cookies

Online advertising agency Turn has promised to stop using repurposed Verizon undeletable cookies to track people's online habits and sell them stuff. For the last couple of years Verizon has been injecting a "unique identifier token header" (UIDH) into HTTP requests sent by customers online. It then sells that data to …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jan 2015
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Qubole rains down analytic insights from Hadoop cloud

Comment A whole new generation of storage software application startups focussed on Big Data is growing furiously in front of our eyes. Engineers involved with Google, Facebook and other big data-using, web-scale services pioneers have seen that where Facebook, Google and others lead enterprises are going to have to follow. …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jan 2015
Zombie rising from the grave

PROOF the undead STALK Verizon users: Admen caught using 'perma-cookie'

Researchers have spotted an advertising agency using Verizon’s indestructible cookies to silently track people across the internet. Back in 2012, Verizon started injecting a "unique identifier token header" (UIDH) into each HTTP request sent through its mobile data network; these identifiers are unique to each subscriber and …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jan 2015
Mozilla Firefox Fox sitting down

Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search

Mozilla will make Yahoo! the default search engine for Firefox in the US, ending its decade-long pact with Google. The new deal affects the open-source browser on the desktop and on mobile devices. Lest we forget, Yahoo! Search is powered by ... Microsoft Bing. Terms of the new search deal were not disclosed, but the …
Neil McAllister, 20 Nov 2014

What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?

Interview David Lowery is a mathematician, musician (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), songwriter and producer. He also teaches business at the University of Georgia. "Congratulations!," Lowery wrote two years ago in a widely read post — "your generation is the first in history to rebel by unsticking it to the man and instead sticking it …
Team Register, 11 Nov 2014
Apple iPhone 6

'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'

QuoTW This was the week when IBM told a bunch of staffers that their skills weren’t up to scratch. To sort the problem out, Big Blue says it’s going to force them into mandatory training and make them give up ten per cent of their salaries for the privilege. In an email to workers, IBM said: A recent assessment revealed that some …

Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please

Rupert Murdoch's minions have written to the European Commissioner for Competition Joaquín Almunia, urging him to mete out stern punishment to Google in the ongoing search market dominance probe. The minion in question is News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson and his urgings are detailed in a letter he sent to Almunia last …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Sep 2014
Admiral Ackbar

Google to startup kids: Pssst, try our CLOUD ... the first $100K is FREE

Google is offering startups a cool $100,000 in credit if they're willing to power their apps using the Chocolate Factory's cloud services, rather than the competition's. The online advertising giant launched the new program, dubbed Google Cloud Platform for Startups, at its Google for Entrepreneurs Partner Summit in Mountain …
Neil McAllister, 12 Sep 2014
Facebook WhatsApp

Facebook, WhatsApp sit on cold steel table as Euro Commish ponders painful probe

Rivals of Facebook and WhatsApp have been asked to complete a whopping 88 multiple-choice, multi-part questions that range from the blindingly obvious – “To the best of your knowledge, do users use more than one social networking service?" – to the vague and indefinable – “Please provide any recent examples of consumers …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Sep 2014

Cryptolocker flogged on YouTube

Cryptolocker is being flogged over YouTube by vxers who have bought advertising space, researchers Vadim Kotov and Rahul Kashyap have found. The researchers made the discovery while monitoring YouTube and website banners for instances where malware writers had actually purchased space to foist their wares on unpatched web …
Darren Pauli, 20 Aug 2014