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BizReport : Advertising archives : May 07, 2015

Report highlights extent of continuing practice of ad injection

Despite a decade spent trying to eradicate the scam, ad injection is still alive and kicking and affecting millions of users every day, according to a new report from Google in conjunction with the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Barbara.

by Helen Leggatt

The practice of ad injection, where unwanted ads are inserted into Internet users' browsing experiences, has yet to be stamped out. Google has revealed it continues to be a "significant problem on the web" with 5.5% of unique IPs, accounting for millions of users, accessing Google sites that included some form of injected ads.

Furthermore, Google found more than 50,000 browser extensions and 34,000 software applications that hijacked browsers to inject ads.

Advertisers often get caught up in the web of deceit, and have no idea that the ad network with which they have contracted is serving traffic through untoward ad injection.

"Ad injectors' businesses are built on a tangled web of different players in the online advertising economy," said Google. "This complexity has made it difficult for the industry to understand this issue and help fix it."

The report, 'Ad Injection at Scale: Assessing Deceptive Advertisement Modifications', also reveals that complaints about ad injection represent the largest source of Chrome user complaints.

"Considering the tangle of different businesses involved - knowingly, or unknowingly - in the ad injector ecosystem, progress will only be made if we raise our standards, together. We strongly encourage all members of the ads ecosystem to review their policies and practices so we can make real improvement on this issue."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ad injection, advertising, Google, research, scam

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