Attack of the Zombie Web Sites, owned by 301 Network, Monkey Frog, Market 57, Orange Box, Arceneaux, Becks, AdSupply, Focus Marketing, Lepton Labs, Willis, Corson, VivaGlam, RecipeGreen, Van Derham | BuzzFeed

Attack of the Zombie Websites; Craig Silverman; In BuzzFeed; 2017-10-17.
Teaser: <snip>actual reporting, by an actual reporter</snip> how seemingly-credible players in the ad supply chain can play an active role in — and profit from — fraud.

Accused

Whereas the article buries the lede way way down under the fold…
  • 301network Media, allied “dbas”; Matt Arceneaux, Andrew Becks.
    Monkey Frog Media, Market 57, Orange Box Media
  • AdSupply, allied “dbas”; Eric Willis, Chris Corson.
    Focus Marketing, Lepton Labs
  • KVD Brand Inc.; Katarina Van Derham.

Original Sources

  • Social Puncher, an research boutique, operated as SadBotTrue.com.
  • Pixelate, opined; claims independent discovery.
  • Protected Media, opined, as commissioned, from BuzzFeed.
  • Integral Ad Sciences (IAS), opined, as commissioned, from BuzzFeed..

Mentions

  • “self-driven”
  • “session hijacking”
  • “friend or foe” system
  • “ad hell”
  • <quote>It was the digital equivalent of skimming from a casino.</quote>
  • “Clawbacks”
  • “In-human traffic,” “non-human traffic”
    because nobody in the trade wants to say “robot.”

Claimed

The Offenses
  • “Approximately” 40 websites.
  • “Over” 100 brands [what's a brand?]
  • “roughly” 50 brands “appeared multiple times.” [what does that mean?]
The Tease
  • <quote>the CEO of an ad platform and digital marketing agency is an owner of 12 websites that earned revenue from the fraudulent views, and his company provided the ad platform used by sites in the scheme.</quote>
  • <quote>That company is owned by a model and online entrepreneur who played Bob Saget’s girlfriend on the HBO show Entourage.</quote>
  • <quote><snip/>a former employee of a large ad network who runs a group of eight sites that were part of the fraud, and who consults for a company with another eight sites in it.</quote>
  • <quote>A site in the scheme is owned by the cofounder of one of the 20 largest ad networks in the United States</quote>.

Participants

  • 301network, a marketplace (“an ad platform”) and allied “dbas”;
    Matt Arceneaux, Andrew Becks.
  • AdSupply, various “dbas”;
    Eric Willis, Chris Corson.
  • KVD Brand Inc.;
    Katarina Van Derham.
Perpetrators
  • Matt Arceneaux, CEO, partner, 301 Digital Media.
  • Andrew Becks, COO, partner, 301 Digital Media
  • Eric Willis, vice president, OMG LLC
    is a man,
    ex-staff AdSupply,
    LinkedIn.
  • Chris Corson, founder of AdSupply,
    is part owner of an [unnamed] LLC that operates Hollywire.com
  • Katarina Van Derham,
    • is a publisher,
      is an online publisher,
    • lives in Los Angeles,
    • has performed as a model
    • has fame,
      has fame from playing Bob Saget’s girlfriend on the HBO show Entourage.
    • owns KVD Brand Inc.
301 Digital Media
  • 301network.com
  • a marketing agency
  • Nashville, TN
  • LinkedIn page [existed]
    clients:

    • Scripps
    • Pfizer
  • gold-level sponsor, Digital Marketing Conference, New York, 2017-11.

Damaged

  • Integral Ad Sciences (IAS) → $20 million in 2017.
  • Pixelate → $2 million per year.”
    Which is it?

The Validation

Re-checking the work of the Social Puncher staff
  • Integral Ad Science (IaS)

Exemplars

Businesses
  • Ford
  • Hershey’s
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • MGM Resorts International
  • Proctor & Gamble (P&G)
  • Unilever
Brands
  • Charmin
  • Olay
  • Oral-B
  • Orgullosa
    [is that really a brand? yes. Spanish, translation proud
    <quote>Orgullosa is for women who don't settle for walking the same path, but instead make a new one every day.</quote> <quote ref="presser">P&G’s Orgullosa Launches the Nueva Latina Campaign to Celebrate and Showcase the Unique Experience of the Bicultural, Modern Latina </quote>]
  • Secret

Who

  • Matt Arceneaux, CEO, 301 Digital Media
    listed as a perpetrator.

Quoted

For color, background & verisimilitude…
  • Amin Bandeali, the CTO of Pixalate
  • Shailin Dhar, (now) founder, Method Media Intelligence.
    Method Media Intelligence is a research boutique
  • Mary Hynes, director of corporate communication, MGM International
  • Kristin Lemkau, chief marketing officer, JPMorgan Chase.
  • Jalal Nasir, CEO, Pixalate.
  • Maria Pousa, chief marketing officer, Integral Ad Sciences (IAS).
  • Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, Proctor & Gamble (P&G)
    honorific: the consumer products giant
  • Vlad Shevtsov, director of investigations, Social Puncher
  • David Taylor, CEO, Proctor & Gamble (P&G).
  • Mike Zaneis, CEO, Trustworthy Accountability Group

Supply

The location of the fraud
  • BeautyTips.online
    well, there’s your problem… the TLD online just feels sketchy, doesn’t it?
  • BridalTune.com
  • GossipFamily.com
  • HealthyBackyard.com
  • MensTrait.com
  • MomTaxi.com
  • RecipeGreen.com
    • uses automated [robot] content generation scheme
      “100% Fully Automated Videos – You won’t have to worry about new content. Comes with a custom plugin with your own license,” via blurb at Flippa,
    • 2016-12, purchased by Katarina Van Derham, for $59 in an auction
    • 2017-01 → 2017-08, was “showered” with traffic, then none.
  • RightParent.com
  • StyleFashionista.com
  • UpcomingBeauty.com
  • VivaGlamMagazine.com
    • branded Viva Glam,
    • operated by Katarina Van Derham since 2012,
    • not purchased from Pakistan or elsewhere.

Scenario

  • Monkey Frog Media LLC.
    • is a shell company [a holding company]
    • exposed for fraud “at seven sites”, by Pixelate [WHEN?]
    • Owned by Matt Arceneaux
    • d.b.a. Happy Planet Media
    • Has five more web sites
      whose domains are registered as being owned by 301 Digital Media, which is [owned?] by Matt Arceneaux
    • earlier [WHEN?] Matt Arcenaux’s home address for registration.
    • since 2015; as evidenced by 2015-12-11, Matt Arceneaux signs a contract as the “manager” of Monkey Frog Media.
  • Market 57 LLC
    • which had five sites
    • Same asddress as 301 Media
    • failing
    • ViralNewsJunkie.com, uses 301 Media’s Amazon affiliate code
    • earlier [WHEN?] Matt Arcenaux’s home address for registration.
  • Orange Box Media LLC
    • owns five sites
    • filing
    • uses Matt Arcenaux’s home address.
    • Observed by the Social Puncher staff: at circa 2017-09-08T12:00 EDT, all sites were unavailable simultaneously
  • Something about Facebook.
    Facebook is bad.
  • AppNexus was trading 301 Network Media’s media.
  • Online Media Group LLC (OMG LLC)
    • A shell company [a holding company]
    • owns seven sites
    • ran session hijacking code
    • Eric Willis, vice president, OMG LLC
      is a man.
  • AdSupply, seemed clean, maybe;
    but:

    • domains@adsupply.com.
    • Chris Corson, cofounder, executive vice president, AdSupply.
    • Chris Corson, is part owner of an LLC that operates Hollywire.com, a site that contained [the] session hijacking code.
    • Hollywire.com
      • is longstanding
      • produces some original content
      • has a YouTube channel, “close to” 2 million subscribers.
    • Focus Marketing. LLC,
      Chris Corson is the part owner.
    • Lepton Labs LLC,
      • purveyors of AllDaySlim, a weight-loss elixr.
    • Chris Corson is the part owner.
  • KVD Brand Inc.
    • eight sites
    • performed in the session hijacking scheme.
    • owned by Katarina Van Derham
    • bought the sites & their business from “someone in Pakistan.”
    • RecipeGreen.com
      • uses automated [robot] content generation scheme
        “100% Fully Automated Videos – You won’t have to worry about new content. Comes with a custom plugin with your own license,” via blurb at Flippa,
      • 2016-12, purchased by Katarina Van Derham, for $59 in an auction
      • 2017-01 → 2017-08, was “showered” with traffic, then none.

Referenced

Hosted at archive.is

  • Something, of 301network.com
  • Something, maybe an article, from StyleFashionista.com.
  • Something, maybe a “website,” of Focus Marketing. LLC
  • Something, maybe a “website,” of OMG LLC (Online Media Group, LLC)
  • Something, maybe a “product page,” for AllDaySlim, a weight-loss elixr.

Hosted at web.archive.org

  • Media Kit of www.301digitalmedia.com, as archived circa 2015-02-17T06:33:42.

Hosted at tnbear.tn.gov

Hosted on dropbox.com

Hosted on documentcloud.org

Previously filled.

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