For what he no doubt thought was a quick hit, John Prescott has come under fire for advocating online fraud:
For those less technically competent:
“Parties may wish to harm a competitor who advertises in the same market by clicking on their ads. The perpetrators do not profit directly but force the advertiser to pay for irrelevant clicks, thus weakening or eliminating a source of competition. As with vandalism, there is an array of motives for wishing to cause harm to either an advertiser or a publisher, even by people who have nothing to gain financially. Motives include political and personal vendettas. These cases are often the hardest to deal with, since it is difficult to track down the culprit.”
In his ever tactful and smooth style, Prezza has put his foot in it and publicly attempted to organise a conspiracy to commit fraud, making it much easer to “track down the culprit”. Better flee on the Prescott Express…
UPDATE: Channel Four News have lifted/weighed in. CCHQ web guru Rishi Saha told them “if a senior figure in a business sent an email to all his staff saying “click on our competitors advertisements”, that would be a serious issue. This is the former Deputy Prime Minister doing this!” Google are apparently “aware of Mr Prescott’s tweet“.
UPDATE: David Prescott is now spinning that it was “nowt to do with us guv.” He says his dad only “re-tweeted” the idea. Intriguing, doesn’t look like a retweet. Also if you care to look at the stats on who has used the link you can see Prescott was the first, and created it.
Caught red-handed in a dirty clicks campaign.