$29m lost to scam advertising – a ‘conservative’ estimate

The Circulations Audit Board has claimed that $29m is lost to scam advertising in fake publications every year – a “very conservative estimate” based on the number of complaints from advertisers.

Paul Dovas, CEO of CAB, said that the figure was probably lower than reality as many victims aren’t aware they’ve been scammed while prefer not to acknowledge it.

“We’re not talking immediately obvious scams – often the people behind them are using real business processes as a template, to appeal to business sense,” said Dovas.

Advertising jobs in fake classifieds or placing ads in magazines that don’t exist are too of the most common slip ups. CAB estimates that 150 fake publications are operating in Australia.

Though small advertisers are the most commonly duped, larger advertisers that buy through media agencies are not immune, CAB cautioned.

The CAB recommended advertisers ask more questions about their media choices before buying an ad, and only use audited publications.

A number of blogs created by victims of scam have emerged, as well as a government website designed to curb the problem.

The issue is being addressed at the CAB’s Accountability in Ad Spend conference in Sydney on July 21.


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