We pulled logs for AppNexus and it’s pretty clear that we shut down this particular scheme long ago. While it was sophisticated in some ways, it wasn’t very hard to stop. I’m incredibly frustrated that we continue to fire off huge numbers like $1 BILLION (/giphy Dr. Evil)… and then when you actually run the numbers, the impact is dramatically less. I am looking forward to seeing Google’s assessment of the impact on them, but I can share that on AppNexus in the past week we spent less than $500 on the IP addresses that WhiteOps reported — less than 0.1% of video spend. That’s not really worth calling the FBI over, and certainly not worth all of the hype we’re seeing.
I would love it if some big buyers who get log-level data would publish numbers on how much traffic they bought by source. This is where you’d get the FBI involved, and/or shame various companies into cleaning up their act. And would be great to actually see some financial impact if there are bad actors here.
The real casualty is that marketers will see this and say that digital advertising is fraught with fraud, and spend money on other channels or on Facebook. So publishers are going to get screwed indirectly and over the long term, and in the short term WhiteOps has gotten a ton of free press for what amounts to yelling FIRE in a half-empty theater.