Our investigations into why wired.com was shut down for eight hours by a misbehaving ad continue. We've now pulled the server records and they show that what I was told earlier this week is incorrect. The agency did not switch the creative without telling us; instead, it appears that our own internal quality assurance process somehow didn't spot that the ad didn't have a close box (our policies don't allow those kind of ads) when they'd approved it weeks before. That's why the ad didn't have a timeout, and why it wouldn't go away.
As previously noted, we have taken all interstitial ads off the site until we can come up with a better process that will guarantee this never happens again. The silver lining may be we create a better process that improves standards across the industry.
And on that note, I hope this is the last you hear of this, and I can now happily return to Long Tail/FREE blogging, of which more later today.