Marketers often blame an intermediary agency when they are caught engaged in annoying, unethical or illegal practices, such as word-of-mouth stealth marketing, adware or spyware. I have little patience for executives and companies who hide behind intermediaries. So I was interested when an AP News headline and summary appeared in my Bloglines feed with the headline "Study: Marketers to Blame for Pop-Up Ads."
I clicked on the link to the full story, which was hosted on the AP site, and had the skin of an AP-member newspaper site, the Trentonian.com. But here’s the irony: First, a GIANT pop-up ad for Classmates.com appeared and dominated my screen. Second, my Firefox browser said that it prevented the site from opening three pop-up windows! See for yourself; click on the image below for a full-size version.
What the heck is going on here? This is scandalous! Well, here’s the gist of the AP story:
Critics say adware has become one of the top scourges of Internet use because it can degrade computer performance, track a user’s browsing habits and mysteriously appear on computers without a user’s full knowledge. Major companies often blame an intermediary when they are found to advertise through such programs.
But the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group that has conducted research on such programs, said Wednesday that 55 percent of the ads, particularly those coming from smaller companies, used no intermediaries at all.
"There are a lot of companies that are clearly working directly with adware companies," said Ari Schwartz, deputy director for the center.
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The report did not name the advertisers.
The report SHOULD HAVE named the advertisers. Why not? The Center for Democracy and Technology should open the window and expose fresh air and light where the mold is growing.
The link to the full story is here. Does that link blast you with pop-up ads?