Azoogle Continues Adware Crackdown

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Performance marketing company AzoogleAds today announced the adoption of a new Acceptable Use Policy for downloadable software, namely adware. This new set of standards, which the company believes are the strictest in the performance-based market, represents the latest stage in AzoogleAds’ ongoing effort to ensure the quality of its traffic. Earlier this year, the company severed ties with 180 Solutions, Direct Revenue, and eXact advertising, three adware companies which have come under fire for their practices.

“Fundamentally, this is about the integrity of our traffic, and it is about being an ethical company,” said Don Mathis, Chief Operating Officer at AzoogleAds in a press statement. “Adware that fails to conform to our new AUP hurts our advertisers, hurts our affiliates, and is a blight on the industry at large.

He adds, “Ultimately, the value proposition of online advertising is connecting legitimate advertisers with consumers in a way which serves the interests of both parties. Most adware operators today, on the other hand, appear to be in the business of deceiving or defrauding consumers. They have no place in our business model, and indeed, no valid justification to exist at all.”

AzoogleAds’ new policy has 21 separate mandates designed to ensure that any downloadable software operates with genuine consumer integrity. For example, downloadable software must require obvious consumer consent, allow for easy removal, provide full disclosure / transparency, and be truthful. Furthermore, the downloadable software must provide fair value to users and advertisers, and control over its distribution. Its vendors must demonstrate a substantial track record of compliance, not just have adopted recent reforms after repeated misdeeds in the past.

Additionally, no providers of downloadable software will be permitted to operate with AzoogleAds, either as an affiliate or a source of traffic via any intermediary, unless explicitly approved to do so. Not surprisingly, the company expects that very few current adware providers will meet its new standards.

AzoogleAds has relied on the work of a number of organizations to develop both its policies and its compliance mechanisms on the adware issue, including consumer advocacy groups and individuals such as the Anti-Spyware Coalition, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Harvard Researcher, Ben Edelman.

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