Please note the Law may have changed since publication of article.
“Most businesses shelling out their hard-earned marketing budget on a pay per click (PPC) campaign want to know that they can rely on the statistics they are provided with. After all most newspaper and magazine circulations are independently audited. However you may only have someone elses word to take for it on a PPC campaign.
An advertisers claim that ‘we regularly get 10,000 hits per week’ for example could amount to negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation, and in any case may well not tell the whole story. But how will you ever know?
If possible, such claims should be independently audited. If not then before investing your money you will need a clear understanding of how the statistics are collated and what they actually mean. The more money you are investing, the more care and attention you should take over the wording of the contract that you enter into and you should consider implementing a contractual mechanism for resolving any disputes effectively.
In the same way that dodgy pop-bands may tour the Record Shops buying their own single in order to boost their chart rating, the number of clicks may be fraudulently boosted to your cost. You may therefore want to be able to check whether repeated clicks have come from the same place to see if this is happening.
We all know the phrase ‘Lies, damn lies and statistics’. Even when the campaign provider is entirely honest, you may still walk away dissatisfied by the campaign, without necessarily any legal recourse. It’s worth taking up references from other clients who have used the same PPC campaign provider, and see how happy they were with it and how it worked for them.”
© This article is copyright Simon Halberstam 2008 and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion in any specific facts or circumstances. the contents are intended for generic information purposes only. You are urged to contact a suitably qualified lawyer for specific advice.