The Center for Democracy and Technology has released the second of its reports analyzing the role of intermediaries in distributing adware-served ads. The organization collected data on 380 ads served over a ten day period by Zango (formerly 180Solutions) and Direct Revenue applications. The report claims that of those, a whopping 55 percent involved no intermediaries. In other words, the advertisers apparently worked directly with Direct Revenue and Zango to place the ads, rather than through a chain of middle men like ad networks and traffic distributors.
It doesn’t get much better from there:
25 percent of ads involved one intermediary.
16 percent involved two intermediaries.
3 percent involved three Intermediaries.
1 percent involved four or more Intermediaries.
Five percent of the ads tracked involved only an ad-server, which the CDT believes indicates that those probably involved direct relationships with the adware firms, too.
The report found that most of the advertisers with alleged direct relationships with the adware companies were of the lower value variety. When big brand advertisers’ ads are served via adware, the report says, it usually involves multiple middle men.
There’s a lot more to the report which can be downloaded as a PDF here.