CFPB appears to have made big buys of fraudulent online ads – from Newsweek parent company

CFPB appears to have made big buys of fraudulent online ads – from Newsweek parent company
Obama nominates Richard Cordray to head new CFPB, championed by Elizabeth Warren, in 2011. (Image: White House (Obama), Lawrence Jackson)

[Ed. – In what is probably a weird coincidence, the founder and co-owner of the parent company, Newsweek Media Group — previously IBT (IBTimes) — apparently owe big chunks of money to the IRS and a high-risk small business lender, Kings Cash Group LLC, which would be regulated by the CFPB.  Newsweek Media Group’s headquarters was raided by the Manhattan DA two weeks ago; the company has reportedly been under federal investigation for the last 17 months.  It’s not clear how many of these facts are connected to each other.  The questionable ad buys from the CFPB began in “early 2017”; i.e., under former Obama-appointed director Richard Cordray.  Whole lotta off-the-wall meltdown going on out there.]

The publisher of Newsweek and the International Business Times has been engaging in fraudulent online traffic practices that helped it secure a major ad buy from a US government agency, according to a new report released today by independent ad fraud researchers.

IBTimes.com, the publisher’s US business site, last year won a significant portion of a large video and display advertising campaign for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency. Social Puncher, a consulting firm that investigates online ad fraud, alleges in its report that the ads were displayed to an audience on IBTimes.com that includes a significant amount of “cheap junk traffic with a share of bots.”

The CFPB’s ad budget was the subject of criticism from Republican lawmakers after the Daily Caller reported last year that it had awarded more than $40 million in contracts to a single ad agency, GMMB, which is one of the top Democratic media strategists. …

Neither the CFPB or GMMB are accused of taking part in, or having knowledge of, ad fraud on IBTimes.com.

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