News Byte: Advertisers Pay for Bogus Mobile Clicks

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New cell tower, new IP address, new click
New cell tower, new IP address, new click
 

Following an investigation that proved that advertisers were paying several times for clicks in PPC programs to reach the same mobile customers, Platinum Web Marketing announced today it had halted all mobile PPC programs it places on behalf of its clients.

“The monetary cost of those duplicate clicks can add up quickly,” says agency head Anthony Carlitto. “This latest discovery has altered our approach to pay-per-click advertising, and I think it's going to be a real wake-up call to PPC advertisers everywhere.”

The agency discovered a potential glitch in anti-fraud measures used by Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Yahoo Search Marketing that makes it possible for mobile users to click on the same PPC ads several times as they change physical locations and receive new IP address assignments from different cell towers. Platinum conducted its own investigation in Las Vegas and New York, and found that users were able to repeatedly access the same PPC ad—and ring up charges to the advertiser—merely by walking a few blocks.

Platinum said it will continue to place ads for its clients on Bing, Google, and Yahoo desktop programs, but will steer clear of mobile until the problem is addressed. “Until an effective solution emerges to guard against mobile click fraud, we're not going to let our clients waste one more penny on fraudulent clicks,” Carlitto says.

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