Google has announced that it will be issuing refunds to ad partners who used their DoubleClick Bid Manager after it was discovered that ads were running on websites with fake traffic or followers, according to The Drum. The bottom line here is that it’s ad fraud – offering something for payment and not giving it. Google has done the right thing – as soon as they discovered evidence of it, they set about owning it and issuing refunds. There is a full report on fraud in digital advertising on The Bot Report HERE. Although it’s mainly aimed at advertisers who are victims of click farms, there is plenty to note for fraud across the internet including bought followers and likes. One of the key things The Bot Report calls for is advertisers to ‘refuse payment on non-human traffic in media contracts’. When you realise that this non-human traffic (including bought followers, comments and likes) causes economic losses of $6.5 billion globally (this year) you can see that no brand wants to be part of pouring money down this world-wide drain.

Up until now, beauty industry insiders (marketing, PR etc) have turned a blind eye to bought traffic (it’s someone we know, we don’t have proof, it doesn’t really matter, it’s libellous to accuse them, etc), but I don’t think they can continue to do so because suddenly there is consequence.

Lauder For Sale? Although Estee Lauder Companies are absolutely denying the speculation, The Times reports that ELC has received a take-over approach. Their shares have shot up as a result of this rumour, which also cites Unilever as the most likely buyer although we are not to discount L’Oreal or P&G. Jesus.

The year’s most creative collaboration comes from NYX and ShoeDazzle – a collection of shoes and boots in metallic, jewel and shimmering shades inspired by NYX best-selling shades. Hell Yes to this! If Marc Jacobs Eye-Conics palettes came out as shoes, I’d be straight on it. Shoedazzle is a subscription site which is the only negative I can see.. other than it’s US only.

Making news is a brand new make-up range from a feminist dad to empower his daughter. RealHer is all of the good things (natural, cruelty free, charity donators) and the result of Bill Xiang wanting a better, fairer world for his young daughter. The mission statement reads so: “Our mission is to inspire and bring out the best in the modern woman: to know her worth, to feel proud of her individuality, to love each and every one of her flaws and not to fear who she really is.” All fine – inspiring quotes, beautifully named products (Be You, I Define Beauty Myself, I Am Loved, I Am Unique) – until we come to the Plumping Lip Gloss. I just think the first message on that is that your lips aren’t plump enough.  It just proves how ingrained it is for girls and women to always be ‘better’ and how even when you’re really trying not to, telling them that through beauty messaging is an easy trap.

Unilever and Hijab Fresh. Hijab Fresh is a new brand from Unilever designed to ‘provide a solution to the specific needs of the Muslim population’ according to the Unilever home page. This is possibly very badly put when you discover that it’s a ‘whitening’ range (UV White) with cooling elements. Because I don’t think that whitening is a specific need. Earlier, Unilever produced a shampoo specifically for Hijab wearers where I can see specific needs for hair if it’s covered all the time and hot.

Finally... two more brands heading to China – Dermalogica and Tresemme.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.