Following MediaGuido’s exclusive story this morning, the Guardian have admitted to using the services of the company which paid people to read their website. In a statement they claim they did not realise the service involved traffic whoring and have promised to stop:
“The Guardian is currently in a testing phase with a company called Vertical Searchworks who offer promotion of video content through a large network of US-based sites. We were not aware of our content being promoted through online reward sites, such as Swagbucks, as part of this testing phase. We would never knowingly promote our content through these sites. We are asking for this to be taken down with immediate effect.”
The real question lies with the advertisers who paid out on a performance basis. Will the Guardian be reimbursing those advertisers who were deceived into thinking their adverts were being watched by genuine readers?