How do you fool the FCA and Google?

Regular readers of the Contact State blog will know that brand spam (the process of passing off as a financial brand to trick a consumer) is one of the misleading lead generation practices we have campaigned to highlight and clear up:

  • We addressed our concerns to the Life Insurance industry in early 2020 with an expose of how protection consumers were being tricked on Google and Bing. 

  • We’ve campaigned for transparency via data certification so that buyers of leads can see where a lead has been generated from and therefore avoid rogue lead gen firms.

  • We’ve worked with the Equity Release and Mortgage industry to highlight how and why brand abuse happens and how firms can better protect customers.

We cautiously welcomed Google’s advertiser FCA verification process as a way to help the industry and regulator separate out genuine lead players from fraudsters. For a while it seemed, the Google process had worked and brand spammers were removed.

This week however saw the return of lead generation brand spam to Google. Alain Desmier, Contact State Managing Director has compiled an investigative thread on Twitter which describes what’s going wrong and why:

Please help us to raise the profile of this problem by sharing the link on social media. 

If we want a fairer, more transparent and effective online lead generation industry we all need to work to shine a light on fraudulent and misleading practices.

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