Digital advertising thoughts from the minds at MediaNet

The fight with online ad fraud continues (source: WSJ) and we arm ourselves with the knowledge on Brand Safety to ensure we work with the right partners.  Nowadays, it is imperative to thoroughly inspect ad supply and ask the right questions to ensure our ecosystem remains clean.

During a visit to a new website, however, we were unfortunate enough to have first-hand experience with an ad injector bot called “SaleitCoupon”.  It installs itself onto your computer across all your browsers under various names.  When you load a website, all the standard advertising is replaced by new ad units (much lower quality, with disruptive animations/visuals), and also injected additional ad units which affected the layout of actual websites being viewed.  In addition, all sorts of keyword links were added throughout text content.  A single click within a webpage (even in a blank sidebar area) causes several additional web pages to open at a time. Feeling completely helpless, the only solution was to close all browser windows and refrain from internet access.

Unfortunately, a regular virus-scan does not detect a single issue!  Luckily for us, SaleItCoupon is a known malware bot and these removal instructions helped take care of the problem. We were surprised to see that it took the form of various program files and extensions in different folders on the computer.  This is major advertising and click fraud, and it has happened to us!   We recommend you to be careful, too, as this can happen to anyone.