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Newsweek Media Group accused of advertising fraud

A sign bearing the Newsweek logo
Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Newsweek Media Group, the publisher of Newsweek and the International Business Times, has allegedly been purchasing low-quality online traffic, a fraudulent move that helped the media company meet the requirements of a major ad buy from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with IBT, BuzzFeed reports, citing a new report released on Thursday by Social Puncher, an ad fraud watchdog.

What (allegedly) happened: Social Puncher's report claims that IBT supplemented a drop in organic search traffic to its website with paid traffic that used redirected traffic from pop-up or pop-under ads from pirate streaming sites. The vast majority of the ads for the CFPB were served this way, making it likely that real people never saw them — or immediately clicked away — while still allowing IBT to meet the buy's traffic requirements.