Business Week cover story paints the wrong picture

Written by kathy on Sunday, 15 of October 2006 at 1:02 pm

I wrote the following on the blog about the Click Fraud cover story in a recent issue of Business Week:

I think the article explained click fraud pretty well but did so only after painting all online advertising as fraudulent. The cover itself, if one were walking by a newsstand, gives the impression that online advertising is somehow deceitful and not trustworthy.

As the director of Internet operations for a small daily newspaper in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I was especially annoyed by the unsourced statement on page 49 and repeated in the sidebar on page 56 that “There is concern that some media companies commit impression fraud by overstating the number of visitors to their sites.” Concern from whom? This so-called concern as never been brought to my attention or to the attention of any of my colleagues.

I’d like to know who is concerned.

I think it’s irresponsible for Business Week to parade click fraud, a very real problem on SOME Web sites, as the poster child for all online advertising. Your cover design was intended to spark fear in the market and your unnamed sources only served to fuel that fire without any evidence.

Please name the source of the concerned so that we, in the responsible online media realm, can address those concerns.

I’m disappointed that neither of the authors nor the editor decided to respond. I guess that’s answers my question about who is concerned about traditional media’s online media traffic stats — no one is.

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