As a publication, Newsweek has shrunk in its scope and influence over the last decade. Many have attributed this to their hard turn to the left. Now, they have been accused of engaging in a form of fraud by inflating their web traffic.
BuzzFeed has the story:
The Publisher of Newsweek And The International Business Times Has Been Buying Traffic And Engaging In Ad Fraud
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. (A portion of money in those contracts was used to pay media outlets for advertising space, and was not kept by GMMB.)
There may come a time in the near future where Newsweek is dissolved as a brand. This scandal is just the latest blow to their credibility.