After investigating World Avenue USA, LLC (previously NiuTech) dba TheUseful and Niuniu Ji, its chairman; for a year regarding their advertising methods, the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Florida has dropped the lawsuit against the company and closed the case.
The company was being scrutinized for its alleged use of the word “free” in various promotional online ad campaigns and whether or not the terms and conditions for receiving the “free” items were clearly and conspicuously disclosed.
The Attorney General did not make a determination that World Avenue USA violated any laws, rules or regulations, in turn ending the investigation. Dale Baker, President of World Avenue USA stated “This is the result we expected. We fully cooperated with the Attorney General’s office and after a very thorough investigation they have concluded that there was no reason to continue the investigation.”
He continued “While there are no findings of any wrong doing, we recognize this situation as an opportunity to take a leadership position in best practices by voluntarily agreeing to make certain changes to minimize the potential for any possible misunderstanding by consumers.”
Many industry watchers believe that this recent agreement is an indication of the need and progress towards standards and best practices within the promotional lead generation industry. Much like other online advertising segments, promotional lead generation and a number of leading companies like World Avenue USA, ValueClick, and AzoogleAds have been working with regulators to develop standards. The ValueClick investigation is still ongoing. Many have forecasted that these investigations would lead to the fall of promotional lead generation, but many industry analysts now expect it to be the beginning of clear standards that will lead to further growth.
World Avenue USA provides an online distribution platform that has been focusing on expanding its communications and advertising technology over the past two years. Baker said, “Our business is communication and we strive to be as clear and transparent as possible. We welcome and embrace feedback that enables the Internet to become a more effective medium for communication and commerce.” As part of its efforts to take on a position promoting the importance of standard and best practices in lead generation for online advertising, World Avenue USA, LLC will also make a $1 million contribution to the FL Legal Affairs Fund in support of the development and implementation of industry standards.