COVID-19 Ads: How Coronavirus is Infiltrating Publishers Sites

Publishers are facing a surge of unwelcome activity on their sites surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

Currently, publishers are grappling with misleading Coronavirus related ads infiltrating their sites and hampering their user’s experience.

The coronavirus outbreak outside of China is deepening, with around 93,000 cases confirmed globally. As authorities are still working to contain the outbreak and develop a cure, global panic buying has begun. The frenzy began last week as new cases of Covid-19 emerged, and the death toll surged past 3,000. Shelves with masks, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper immediately become bare after they are re-stocked.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread globally, the epidemic has created panic and misinformation online.

This week, GeoEdge’s security team has identified a spike in ads centered around the coronavirus novel, which create a sense of urgency, implying a limited supply of masks or guarantee a cure or prevention. As fears of coronavirus contagion spread, advertisers are capitalizing on the pandemic by exploiting fears. The outbreak has left some of the world’s biggest publishers struggling to fight low quality clickbait ads, which direct users to unexpected content, creating bad user experience.


 Screenshot from GeoEdge Security Team 


GeoEdge’s new keyword verticals not only protect against malicious activity but quality issues as well, allowing publishers and platforms to take control of their ad inventory and curtail inappropriate ads related to the outbreak. Keyword lists enable brands to block these ads pushing coronavirus conspiracies and fake cures, in real time.

Publishers can define their own keyword list, comprised of both narrow and broad terms including; COVID-19, coronavirus, masks, corona vaccine.  When any of the keywords appear in an ad or a landing page, the ad will be reported and blocked.

Keyword verticals have been integrated into the system and have proven to provide an extra layer of protection as GeoEdge monitors your ad inventory 24/7. This personalized feature ensures that only clean ads are served, and users are never exposed to security or quality threats.

GeoEdge’s cutting-edge, real-time protection lets publishers rest easy, knowing their inventory and audience are safe.

To block ads promoting false claims, conspiracy theories, and rumors about the coronavirus, contact GeoEdge and begin implementing keyword blocking now! 

Alisha is a Technology Writer and Marketing Manager at GeoEdge. Her writing focuses on current events in the AdTech ecosystem and cyberattacks served through the digital advertising supply chain. You can find Alisha on LinkedIn to discuss brand building and happenings in AdTech.

Malvertising, the practice of sprinkling malicious code into legitimate-looking ads is growing more sophisticated. GeoEdge’s holistic ad quality solution has you covered.


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