Azoogle Pulls 180 on 180Solutions, Direct Revenue

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Today, online advertising affiliate network AzoogleAds parts ways with adware company 180Solutions. 180 has been under fire from industry observers for allegedly letting malicious publishers install its Zango ad serving software on peoples machines without their permission. 180 has been taking measures, such as their S3 installer to prevent unauthorized installs, but 180 critics say it’s too little too late. Azoogle will also be breaking ties to adware provider Direct Revenue on March 3rd for similar reasons.

“Although there was nothing directly related to us, or linked to us, they’re clearly in the spotlight; especially 180Solutions. The FTC had conducted an inquiry… [and] we understand there’s certainly a lot of other industry observers that have given both of those companies poor marks in terms of adware being downloaded and we just saw at this stage that it just didn’t make sense to go forward,” Azoogle COO Don Mathis tells ADOTAS.

Mathis also added that they had received no direct complaints from their affiliates, but that their decision to end their relationship with 180Solutions and Direct Revenue was based on their current reputations. “I think as the industry matures, advertisers are going to increasingly demand optics about where their ads are being served, and we want to bring… trust and transparency to that process.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. The only reason Azoogle dropped these guys is because Azoogle is afraid of the negative economic implications of not dropping them. If you have people like Ben Edelman pointing the finger at you during the Anti-Spyware coalition, saying that you fund spyware, of course you’re going to distance yourself from that perceived spyware–you have an economic reason for doing so.

    Spyware is bad, no doubt about it. But what’s also bad is the general atmosphere of hysteria and confusion around the issues. Fact is, there is a difference between spyware and adware. And it’s also true that there is some good adware out there–applications that get explicit end-user consent before installing, give the user something useful in return, and can be uninstalled. I haven’t seen any blogs about non-consensual installs from WhenU, DirectRevenue or Claria lately, so it is probably safe to assume Azoogle is lumping Direct Revenue together with 180 out of laziness. There’s no doubt that the Internet is moving toward software-based behavioral advertising–witness Microsoft’s Office Live (and their interest in Claria’s behavioral technology), the Google Search bar, etc.

    We need to keep in mind that, while people make a big deal about the moral issues at stake here, there are economic issues at stake too–and the latter are more meaningful in interpreting the defection of the world’s biggest brands away from adware over the past two years. AT&T, Cingular, Priceline, Monster, etc. were all MAJOR spenders of media money on adware before adware became the hot button issue that it is. And did they stop using adware due to newly awakened moral outrage? Of course not–there is a good argument that adware is much more compliant now with the sort of benchmarks TrustE is about to codify than ever before. So why stop using it now? Because the big brand advertisers realized the economic benefit of using adware was no longer there now that it had become such a public issue (they have brand equity to protect, after all).

    The spotlight is a tough place to be, as Azoogle is finding out. Better to deflect the beam elsewhere.

  2. […] Azoogle Pulls 180 on 180Solutions, Direct Revenue ADOTAS, NY – Feb 27, 2006 Today, online advertising affiliate network Azoogle Ads parts ways with adware company 180Solutions. 180 has been under fire from […]

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