online advertisers move to Facebook

"Digital marketers, weary of online scams, will start placing more ads on Facebook rather than run the risk that their ads will be shown to robots instead of actual people." says Jeff John Roberts from Gigaom.

Scammers are continuously on the hunt of finding new ways to cheat the ad industry. "One of the latest tricks involves directing millions of bot visitors to “ghost sites” — which contain a thin scrip of “content” but few real readers — and then collecting money from marketers who pay good money to show ads to these fake visitors" explains Roberts. According to Integral Ad Science, the fraud costs reach up to $6 billion a year.   Integral executives reportedly used "special software to show how an infected laptop can, undetected by its owner, serve up a thousand ads an hour — ads that companies pay to serve, but that are seen by exactly no one." To answer why the fraud is so drastic and why advertisers are more inclined to buy from Facebook , Roberts wants to understand more about the ad exchanges where most of the fake ads come from in the first place. "These exchanges act as giant bazaars where big advertisers like Disney or Macy’s use automated programs to purchase web page real estate to show their ads. The huge reach of the exchanges is appealing to marketers who need to reach millions of people at once. In this sense, the exchanges, which take a cut of the sales, are like giant flea markets that contain merchants selling crappy and counterfeit goods; AOL recently learned this the hard way, shelling out $405 million for, a video exchange stuffed with bots and fake ads" explains Roberts.

There’s only a handful of platforms that can offer guarantees against the rip-offs and Facebook is one of them. "The Facebook exchange stands out from traditional exchanges because it’s more like a curated department store than a flea market; advertisers know where their products will appear and which customers might buy them." says Roberts.  A Facebook spokesman further commented: “A difference with Facebook is that we have logged-in users; we have good authentication. Facebook as a whole takes fidelity very seriously – and FBX is part of this,”

by Jasmin Kesmez,