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jkcity
12-04-2002, 09:41 AM
http://www.lukins.com/bonzi/index.php?pid=home

they claim the ads where misleading

http://www.lukins.com/bonzi/index.php?pid=banners
example ads at link above.

if they win this could be bad news for publishers who use cpm, while I know alot of cpm ads are not warning type ads a great many of us use them, and if they win with it being misleading advertising which I think they probably will, then no company will dare run them anymore.

edit: in topic I said bonzi buddy, but this is against there company for other products as well not just the bonzi buddy ads.

firstmark
12-04-2002, 11:22 AM
Certainly not good.

shareasale
12-04-2002, 12:26 PM
Just my two cents, I am glad to see this. Those ads, in my opinion were misleading to the end user, as are a number of other ads of that type that are running out there.

I don't wish litigation on anyone, but if this can help clean up the ad world online, possibly by pointing out to companies that there should be integrity even in advertising...with possible legal ramifications to back it up, I am pleased to see it.

hammer
12-04-2002, 12:44 PM
Funny thing, all those ads just happen to be offered to us as CPM campaigns. They have a fairly high click-thru rate...which we don't see a penny for. And yes, as a CPM campaign, we do see some revenue, but not near as much if these were CPC ads.

Just my rant for the day.

jnestor
12-04-2002, 12:50 PM
Personally I don't think they stand a chance and if there were any penalty for bringing a lawsuit without merit it would never have been filed. How about Steve's ads here which say "Geek Village is for sale"? How about the TV commercal which implies that if you use their deodorant you'll have *** with beautiful women in the elevator? The vast majority of advertising is deceptive if you take their claims literally.

firstmark
12-04-2002, 12:51 PM
This can only make it harder to get cpm campaigns. How can this be good?

Robert from SI
12-04-2002, 01:28 PM
>>>>>>>>>
How about the TV commercal which implies that if you use their deodorant you'll have *** with beautiful women in the elevator?
>>>>>>>>>

That one actually worked for me. ;)

shareasale
12-04-2002, 01:31 PM
I do see a very big difference between ads, as you mentioned specifically the one that said "GV for sale", and the ads that are included in this lawsuit...

Putting aside all of my personal feelings about ads and ethics, etc....the main "physical" difference is that the ads in the lawsuit contained elements, such as the "X button" in the top right hand corner, that I am sure many users clicked on with the intention of closing/ignoring the ad...and instead ended up at the advertisers site.

That above however, is not the main reason that I am not a fan of the ads...

There is also, back to my opinion, a huge line crossed when the ad implies that if you do NOT click on it, something bad will happen to your computer.... When you put that together with the "physical" elements of the ad mentioned above.....

If that same ad that was mentioned about Deodorant and Elevator women (does this ad really exist? :) ) was instead telling you that your current deodorant "may" cause sudden death, thus you should purchase a new deodorant....I don't think it would be considered anything BUT misleading.

jkcity
12-04-2002, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by hammer
Funny thing, all those ads just happen to be offered to us as CPM campaigns. They have a fairly high click-thru rate...which we don't see a penny for. And yes, as a CPM campaign, we do see some revenue, but not near as much if these were CPC ads.

Just my rant for the day.

back in 1999 I got payed 15 cents a click on a warning banner, it was great :), they never seemed to mind my site content had zero to do with there's either, although not suprising this company is bust now.

njpete
12-04-2002, 03:41 PM
Well let's look at the reality of this.


Why not go into whoever your Ad Network is and look at your currently running ad creatives. Ok now see who is running warning type ads, then subtract the percent of your inventory they fill. Still think this is not a problem?

PaulT
12-04-2002, 03:47 PM
If we were all making $1.00 CPM or more, then yes, we could afford to be picky about the type of ads we show.

However, we're not - and without these types of ads, annoying as they are, many sites would go bust.

Robert from SI
12-04-2002, 04:31 PM
This is a shot at a money grab by a law firm. Nothing more.

sdarken
12-04-2002, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Robert from SI
>>>>>>>>>
How about the TV commercal which implies that if you use their deodorant you'll have *** with beautiful women in the elevator?
>>>>>>>>>

That one actually worked for me. ;)
You're lucky Robert. I tried that deodorant and rode up and down elevators for three hours. All I got was a biker guy and a couple of interested FedEx delivery men. :D

qball0213
12-04-2002, 07:19 PM
Well, those lawyers should have all of this parasiteware and spyware programs brought to their attention, maybe they can do something with it.

njpete
12-04-2002, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by qball0213
Well, those lawyers should have all of this parasiteware and spyware programs brought to their attention, maybe they can do something with it.


Those lawyers didn't do this suit to help the downtrodden. I mean they're looking at the share of the $500 per person that will be multiplied by thousands of people.

jkcity
12-04-2002, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by Robert from SI
This is a shot at a money grab by a law firm. Nothing more.

Maybe so but it could have implications if they win.

darnell
12-04-2002, 10:10 PM
I have been bad talking these types of ads before. And I don't select many of them. I only run them if those types of ads specifically have words that indicate they are some type of ad for software. Like if the message says "you have 8 new messages" or "warning your PC may have a virus" I don't run it. But if it says "warning you may have a call and our software can inform you of that" then I run it. I just like to make sure the words in the ad make it obvious that it's not a warning or message from the user's PC.

Not to mention the excessive CTR those ads get. It was OBVIOUS to me that people were clicking them purely out of deception and you all know that to be true.

Since I have not run many of the ads I've already learned to live without them.

I hope the lawers win, but the punitive damages I hope are only $1. Just stop them from doing it any more.

qball0213
12-05-2002, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by njpete



Those lawyers didn't do this suit to help the downtrodden. I mean they're looking at the share of the $500 per person that will be multiplied by thousands of people.
I know their not, but getting legal action against all of these parasites would have to help.

jnestor
12-05-2002, 03:57 PM
If you want to know how class action lawsuits work see: http://www.stellaawards.com/sample.html for an example. A $3.8 million settlement with not a penny going to the "victims".

I got a settlement from the airlines as part of a price fixing class action suit. It was a discount coupon off of a full fare ticket. So I could save $25 on a $1,000 ticket or buy the ticket discounted to $400. There was another one that was equally as ridiculous. Class action suits are a boon to the lawyers and no one else.

FreeArcade
12-05-2002, 04:53 PM
These ads are deliberately created to fool newbies into clicking on them. They are deceptive and scummy.

In this case it doesn't really matter if the plaintiffs get a dime or not. If they win it will provide a service to millions of Internet users.


Any site that cannot survive without swindling their users into clicking on deceptive ads deserves to fail.

darnell
12-05-2002, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by FreeArcade
Any site that cannot survive without swindling their users into clicking on deceptive ads deserves to fail.

You said it!

qball0213
12-05-2002, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by FreeArcade
Any site that cannot survive without swindling their users into clicking on deceptive ads deserves to fail.
Funny, when I visited your site, I got about 5 popups on two pages, and two download prompts, one for gator.

Robert from SI
12-06-2002, 09:57 AM
>>>>>>>>
Any site that cannot survive without swindling their users >>>>>>>>

Swindling? Exactly how is the surfer being "swindled" by clicking on an ad?


And if you allow trial attorneys to decide what type of banner ads you're allowed to put on your site they will next want to decide what type of popups you should run, or not run. And then it will be what type of text links are allowed.

This will be settled by the defendant pledging to be more careful next time and paying a fine, which will be totally consumed by the lawyers.

Again...this is a money grab by trial lawyers and nothing more and web publishers should really look at the big picture.

OC
12-06-2002, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by qball0213

Funny, when I visited your site, I got about 5 popups on two pages, and two download prompts, one for gator.

I thought that was mean of you to say, until upon visiting two FA pages I received:

1 Gator install prompt
1 Xupiter install prompt (this one is particularly nasty)
1 Congratulations / "you're a winner" popup
1 "Your computer may be broadcasting an IP address" popup

:D

njpete
12-06-2002, 10:35 AM
I follow all kind of lawsuits and new laws (particulary by the FTC) and i would once just like to see a pro webmaster suit or law.

For example x company is being prosecuted for not paying webmasters for monies due (i'm thinking of one in particular),

or x company was sued today for promising a certain payout rate but never delivering,

or even decide on basic things on some things that need to be cleared up (like are online agreements legally binding?). These guys need to be opposed until they start REALLY helping us.

darnell
12-06-2002, 10:52 AM
The FTC works for the benefit of the consumer. So they are not going to help webmasters much unless you cry loudly enough. Like the consumers do ;) .

They and lawyers have gone after deceptive ads on TV so don't think the web is exempt. I'm glad the suit happend.

If it results in getting rid of deceptive ads it would only be a good thing. The people have a right to express concern about those types of ads and I hope many do so. Yea lawyers started it because it's an obvious issue.

jkcity
12-06-2002, 11:11 AM
I just don't get the tricked into clicking on, maybe the first time you see one, I don't know why these banners still get high click throughs though, I just don't think there is that many people who are truely tricked into clicking them these days.

funtoon
12-06-2002, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by jkcity
I just don't get the tricked into clicking on, maybe the first time you see one, I don't know why these banners still get high click throughs though, I just don't think there is that many people who are truely tricked into clicking them these days.

These ads are targeted toward newbie users, surely we dont click on them, as we are power users and been in this industry for a long long time.

I know newbies they get scared by a lot of silly things!

jkcity
12-06-2002, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by funtoon


These ads are targeted toward newbie users, surely we dont click on them, as we are power users and been in this industry for a long long time.

I know newbies they get scared by a lot of silly things!

yer, but there can't be that many newbie people around like this now.

I can think of way more decpetive advertising about, advertising like all clicks, now I know this is upto the individual webmaster how they implement this, but so many sites I have been to that implement these links deceptivly.

njpete
12-06-2002, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by darnell
The FTC works for the benefit of the consumer. So they are not going to help webmasters much unless you cry loudly enough. Like the consumers do ;) .

They and lawyers have gone after deceptive ads on TV so don't think the web is exempt. I'm glad the suit happend.

If it results in getting rid of deceptive ads it would only be a good thing. The people have a right to express concern about those types of ads and I hope many do so. Yea lawyers started it because it's an obvious issue.


The FTC seems to only be concerned with the consumer especially recently. But this is not in thier mandate they should also ensure that business runs smoothly. That's where the anti webmaster problem comes in, what group is helping internet commerce run smoothly.

darnell
12-06-2002, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by njpete



The FTC seems to only be concerned with the consumer especially recently. But this is not in thier mandate they should also ensure that business runs smoothly. That's where the anti webmaster problem comes in, what group is helping internet commerce run smoothly.

Yea I know what the FTC is "suppose" to do, but we know a group only listens to the babies crying the loudest. So if you don't cry they are not going to hear you.

I'm sure the Feds will care more about our concerns the day after we allow them to tax web based purchases :p .

But this particular suit against Bonzi was not the FTC's doing. There have been private lawsuits that benefit consumers and others made by websites that benefit website owners. If you have an issue that you want the FTC to investigate for you then you need to let them know.

FreeArcade
12-06-2002, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by qball0213

Funny, when I visited your site, I got about 5 popups on two pages, and two download prompts, one for gator.

Yes, I am aware of that problem.
If you look at my code you will se that those are not coming from me. I only have code for a single popup.

Some unscrupulous advertiser is spawning those off of either one of my banners or the Advertising.com popup. I can't figure out who is doing it and All the advertisers deny it.

It has me ticked off.

:mad:

FreeArcade
12-06-2002, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Robert from SI
>>>>>>>>
Any site that cannot survive without swindling their users >>>>>>>>

Swindling? Exactly how is the surfer being "swindled" by clicking on an ad?



Here is the definition of swindle from webster.com

"to obtain money or property by fraud or deceit"

People click on these ads because they are deceived in to thinking they are legitimate warning dialog boxes, and they are often full of misleading information.

The purpose of these deceptions is to make money.

Seems to qualify for the label to me.

jkcity
12-06-2002, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by FreeArcade


Yes, I am aware of that problem.
If you look at my code you will se that those are not coming from me. I only have code for a single popup.

Some unscrupulous advertiser is spawning those off of either one of my banners or the Advertising.com popup. I can't figure out who is doing it and All the advertisers deny it.

It has me ticked off.

:mad:

it can't of ticked you off that much cause you ain't pulled the code.

qball0213
12-06-2002, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by FreeArcade


Yes, I am aware of that problem.
If you look at my code you will se that those are not coming from me. I only have code for a single popup.

Some unscrupulous advertiser is spawning those off of either one of my banners or the Advertising.com popup. I can't figure out who is doing it and All the advertisers deny it.

It has me ticked off.

:mad:
So your just going to keep running it until they quit or what?
Well it should be easy to spot, you should pull the advertising.com code on principal, they can shut the popups for you in your account. They did for me.

Czar
12-06-2002, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by FreeArcade
Some unscrupulous advertiser is spawning those off of either one of my banners or the Advertising.com popup.Just to reiterate the comments made by others on this issue, it is important that you pull the code of the responsible party as soon as possible.

While our membership may have mixed views about 'trick banners' and blind links, it remains united on the theftware issue. In fact, it is a rule (http://www.geekvillage.com/rules_for_bb.htm) of participation here that one share no association with the major theftware/scumware players. This includes supporting Gator's auto-download prompts (whose delivery method alone is highly questionable, never mind the net result).

Your first step, a qball suggested, should be to contact Advertising.com with a request to opt-out of their Gator campaigns. Since FastClick have never supported this firm, Ad.com are the likely culprit. I'm not sure who is behind the Xupiter download prompt, but it shouldn't take you more than a few minutes of trial-and-error to determine this.

Robert from SI
12-06-2002, 08:34 PM
>>>>>
"to obtain money or property by fraud or deceit"

The purpose of these deceptions is to make money.

Seems to qualify for the label to me.
>>>>>


I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with you.

No one is "making money or property" when an ad is clicked on unless that ad also has the ability to read the customers credit card information in their wallet.

It's an advertisement, not an automatic invoice.

Using your logic all infomercials are "swindles" because they appear to be a television program but are actually advertisements.

In a movie I saw last night the main character drank a Heineken beer. Was I being "swindled" because there was not a clear disclaimer stating the Heineken appeared due to a paid placement?

What about auto advertisement in a car magazine?

Radio commercials with music in them?

If you allow trial attorneys to dictate what ads you may and may not run on your site you're going to find yourself out of business.

Steve_S
12-06-2002, 09:37 PM
<Who want's a hundred pound can of decaf-coffee for the Holidays :) /joke>

My 2 cents and I'm not an attorney:

This "class" goes absolutely no where. Even if we assume 20K members of the class, you have no basis to determine "damage" and translate this to dollars and cents.

Respectfully, please don't tell me that a judge will say you wasted 2 minutes in a click and view and thats worth xxx dollars. Sorry...I don't think so. Like Robert and others said, their is no commerce involved. Translation: no money changed hands.

On the other hand, if you look at the numerous "Gator Suits" you have a reasonably sound basis to attach a monetary award to hijacking a visitor with a pop which does impose financial damage on the gagle of large media companies. Obviously their are others issues in this case but perhaps this will help clarify the difference.

AND, we have Miss Cleo and all that deseptive/trick stuff, which again involves an exchange of money.

Yes, I have been known to author what you may call "trick" stuff and I just call attention getting headlines which have a level of ambiguity and do work for a short time. Given this, the last thing in the world I want is the court and or government telling me what I can write for a headline.

Frankly, this "class" reminds me of the Male who is suing McDonalds because he became "obese" eating their food.

:angel:

Just my 2 cents worth

jnestor
12-06-2002, 11:05 PM
All of this begs the question of how can these advertisers make money off of these type ads? Yeah one or two of those ads got me to click the first time I saw it but my reaction was an immediate click on the back button. I'd never buy something from a site that tricked me into clicking onto it. I pretty much view it the same way as I view spam. Of course spam hasn't gone away either so I suspect some people are buying.

Blubster
12-07-2002, 05:14 AM
Originally posted by jnestor
All of this begs the question of how can these advertisers make money off of these type ads? Could be because users that are "dummies" enough to click on that banner, will be also reacting on banners/popups/textlinks/newsletter signups/downloads/.... on the landing page.

darnell
12-07-2002, 12:07 PM
You can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded room when there is no fire, but you can say "You've got 8 new messages" but not really have 8 new messages for the user. And you can present an icon universally known for closing a window and instead use it to lure people to your web page.

Some amazing logic being used I must say...

While I think some of my site's users are vultures and leeches looking for as much as they can for free, I can't ever say I'd think of them as "dummies".

These tricks may work for now, but as tricks have been busted in other advertising media they will eventually be hit on the web too. You're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

qball0213
12-07-2002, 02:18 PM
Well you can hardly compare it to yelling fire in a movie theater, I would say it would compare more to walmart saying we got dvd players for 50 bucks, and really only having 10 or so, to draw the crowds in. It's a numbers game, like Nintendo and Amazon, the more numbers you throw at it, the more that stick.
I'd hardly call it illegal, these companies are just taking advantage of webmasters looking for easy cpm money and users that don't know any better.
It will go away eventually, when it's no longer worth it to the companies that run them.

AdGoblin
12-08-2002, 06:12 PM
A buddy of mine actually knows about the attorney heading up this class-action suit. I'm told he is the same goof-ball that sued his previous employer for cracking his tooth on some candy that the company gave out.

I'm going to have to agree with Steve and think this isn't going to go too far.

I also looked at some of the suspect ads, and one of them used the word 'may' which is used in so many ads. "Studies have shown that eating these protien bars may increase your testosterone output by up up to 46.2%....blah blah" As long as you don't straight up claim something that isn't true, you should be OK anyway. There is a big difference between between "Your Internet connection is not optimized" on a banner, vs. "Your Internet connection may not be optimized."

AG

jkcity
12-08-2002, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by AdGoblin
I also looked at some of the suspect ads, and one of them used the word 'may' which is used in so many ads. "Studies have shown that eating these protien bars may increase your testosterone output by up up to 46.2%....blah blah" As long as you don't straight up claim something that isn't true, you should be OK anyway. There is a big difference between between "Your Internet connection is not optimized" on a banner, vs. "Your Internet connection may not be optimized."

My understanding was it is not the wording of the banners its the fact they look like part of the operating system, causeing people to click on them.

jnestor
12-08-2002, 08:30 PM
You can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded room when there is no fire, but you can say "You've got 8 new messages" but not really have 8 new messages for the user.

Let's see someone yelling "fire" in a crowded theater causes people to panic and run for the exits where people are trampled leading to serious injury and death.

A banner that says "you have 8 new messages" hasn't caused any injury or death as far as I know.

darnell
12-08-2002, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by jnestor


Let's see someone yelling "fire" in a crowded theater causes people to panic and run for the exits where people are trampled leading to serious injury and death.

A banner that says "you have 8 new messages" hasn't caused any injury or death as far as I know.

Point taken.

But I can't see how anyone can say these ads are not deceptive with a straight face :rolleyes: .

It almost justifies the user blocking them.

jkcity
12-08-2002, 10:00 PM
"But I can't see how anyone can say these ads are not deceptive with a straight face"

I have never thought they where that deceptive in banners, but fastclick is running a warning ad in and invue ad at the momant, and that is pretty deceptive cause there is two x's next to each over and you can't tell which one to click, in fact most users probably think its just all an ad and probably don't realise they can close it down, I find that pretty deceptive but I can't see how anyone could ever think one of these ads was a real system alert.

darnell
12-08-2002, 10:49 PM
What about the InVue that says "Congratulations, you are the XXX visitor to this web site" (where XXX is a random value)?? That user is NOT that numbered visitor to my web site. I don't run that one.

I don't run any of the warning box styled InVue ads.

Some of you should sit down with "ordinary people" that are outside of the technology field sometime and see how they navigate the web.

jkcity
12-08-2002, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by darnell
Some of you should sit down with "ordinary people" that are outside of the technology field sometime and see how they navigate the web.

I have and the only deceptive type ad I have seen people think was real was the "if this banner is flashing you have won $500"

I think alot of people click on warning ads just to see the junk thats behind them, I know thats why i often click them when I see them, I do admit there is some users who probably do get confused but I don't think its many and after the first time I don't think it will happen again, these banners still get hight ctr (some still 8%) I doubt that 80 out of every 1000 people is still confused.

JAL
12-09-2002, 01:02 PM
I actually read the complaint and did a little research.. A few facts are interesting:

1) The plaintiff bringing the suit just happend to be an actual attorney employed by the firm that is bring suit on his behalf.

2) The complaint acknowledges that it would be impossible to actually find all the citizend who have "suffered" and as a result the plaintiff/firm will generously accept the potential award on behalf of the class

3) The attorney/plaintiff previously sued his employer b/c theywould not pay for a damaged tooth he incurred while eating candy during work hours.

Regardless of the merits of the case, it looks lke a money grab, pure and simple.

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