Speaking at the recent Kase Learning conference on short selling that was held at the Omaha Hilton, market guru Sahm Adrangi talked of emerging targets for unscrupulous stock pricing tactics, which is known as ad exchange intermediaries. During his presentation, Sahm explained the role of ad exchange intermediaries, companies that play the role of matchmaker between advertisers and websites. The websites meet specific thresholds about clicks and number of page views.
How Ad Fraud Works
Most of the companies that purchase advertising space assume that there are actual, live humans behind the numbers of clicks and views. However, Sahm Adrangi says that many of these statistics are inaccurate because they may be due to visits by bots and other automated systems. If the click and view numbers presented for purposes of selling ad space are being generated automatically in this way, it is viewed as ad fraud because the company that is purchasing space does not receive the service.
How False Ad Data Affects Shareholder Value for Exchange Intermediaries
From Sahm’s point of view, ad exchange intermediaries who offer ad space to their clients by inaccurate engagement and readership data expose themselves to the possibility of adverse stock price movements. The exposure results from the sale of misleading advertising services. If an investigation is carried out into the practices carried out by ad exchanges and revelations emerge of revenue being generated from falsified data, the shareholder value of the companies involved may drop drastically.
Sahm Adrangi’s Short Selling Activism
Sahm Adrangi has become globally renowned as a short-selling activist, thanks to his work in exposing Chinese firms suspected of fraudulent trading practices, resulting in the companies’ market value dropping by about $10 billion. The success of Mr. Adrangi’s short-selling campaigns has helped to increase the capital managed by his firm, Kerrisdale Capital, from just $1 million to about $180 million today. Despite his success, he continues to be active as a short-selling activist, often releasing informative reports that explain why specific companies may be overvalued, or if he believes that a particular industry is operating under pretenses.