Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Jeeves Disconnects Advertising Partner: Will Overture Follow Suit?

Bambi Francisco has filed an update on Adware and Spyware, and the potential fallout of a suit filed by New York State's Attorney General.

She received some interesting comments, and some interesting news, and writes about it in Net Sense: Intermix is just the start

I wrote about the lawsuit and Ben Edelman's Research on Spyware, and his second in a series which showed an application from an Ask Jeeves property installing software on a computer without the computer owner's knowledge or consent. It seems like the Ask Jeeve's folks hadn't seen it, at least until Bambi Francisco showed it to them.

After she played one of Ben Edelman's video clips for a spokesperson from Ask Jeeves, action appears to have been taken quickly:

Staples came back and said that Ask Jeeves did in fact find fault with this particular distribution partner. "We just turned off that partner," she said, adding, "I don't think this is a widespread issue because of the preventive steps we've taken." That said, "this is an imperfect industry... We need to rely on consumer feedback to identify these outlying issues."

There may be some other issues that Jeeves wants to take a closer look at, according to Bambi Francisco's article. She also quotes a New York Deputy Attorney who mentions that Overture was involved in some of the advertising that defendant Intermix is under attack for.

"We're not ruling out in the future going after advertisers, or Overture," said Brookman. Yahoo's Overture accounted for some 10% of Intermix's revenue, said Brookman.

There is quite a lot of money involved in these types of ads, and quite a few folks involved in using this type of advertising. But, if it were to go away tomorrow, there would still be a need to advertise, and there would still be people seeking to advertise. Fine and good. If they can stop having software installed on people's computers without their knowledge and consent, it's a step in the right direction.

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