Microsoft adCenter Addresses Accusations of Illegal Pharmacy Advertisements

Earlier this week, a report from LegitScript.com and KnujOn stated that 89.7% of Bing’s ads for online pharamacies were from illegally operating pharmacies. Microsoft’s adCenter has responded by saying the report is true, but the number of violations is substantially lower.

adCenter uses PharmacyChecker.com to verify pharmacy advertisers. PharmacyChecker.com is a competitor of LegitScript.com.

Microsoft says that the illegal pharmacies essentially hacked the system:

Based on our initial findings, we believe the advertisers noted in the report found a way to work around the PharmacyChecker.com verification process after being validated to advertise on Bing. These rogue advertisers manipulated the system by “hijacking” and/or misusing landing pages. Our internal teams are continuing to investigate how these advertisers sidestepped the policy.

adCenter is taking several steps to address the problem, including:

  • All pharma-related keywords have now been manually reviewed to sweep out any advertisers who are in violation of our policies
  • The editorial team is validating the claims in the report around “hijacking” and misuse of landing pages
  • The quality and editorial teams are reviewing our processes to document how these advertisers made their way onto our system. This documentation will likely lead to changes in process as well as product requests moving forward

What do you think of Microsoft’s response to LegitScript’s report? Do you think they’ll be able to stop the “hijackers”? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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