In this case, the perpetrators were offering Super Bowl tickets – loads of them for all the teams involved currently in the NFL playoffs at cheap prices – in spite of the fact that the Super Bowl was only weeks away. By carefully choosing their time to strike, a Sunday evening, when much of the First BIDZ office was apparently at home, the ticket traders wreaked havoc. Ironically, they were a long way from making money.
Rick Harman, First DIBZ co-founder, told the Chicago Tribune, “We didn’t really see it happening … it’s incongruous to think a person would spend time to post up stuff for sale, knowing they’re not going to get a penny for it until they deliver the goods,” Harmon said. “They had had to sign an indemnity and liquidate any damages with a credit card.”
Even though First DIBZ was fooled this time, its exchange’s controls prevented a much larger fraud.
Industry-wide exchange regulation for the advertising exchange industry, however minor at this time, would be a good start in preparing for the exchange model’s larger future. Forming a regulatory body (not the IAB – a toothless, industry marketing organization and lobbyist) wouldn’t be a bad PR move either.