John Cook of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has written a couple of interesting articles about 180solutions this week.
The first article (“180solutions lands a $40 million deal“) discusses how 180solutions has landed $40 million in venture capital to further build their company that “delivers targeted advertisements to millions of Internet users”.
According to the article, “To build its audience, 180solutions is working with 50 software affiliates and 17 online content providers. They include game publishers, humor Web sites and music sites — which in the past have received little or no money for online content.
Visitors to those Web sites — who want access to songs, jokes or games — agree to download Zango and view a couple of targeted advertisements each day.”
The follow-up article (“Internet advertiser disputes ‘adware’ label“), touches on the opinions from the affiliate marketing community.
According to Ben Edelman, a Harvard University Ph.D. candidate who studies adware programs, “N-Case is definitely installed without consumers’ informed consent in many or most instances.”
Some other interesting points from the follow-up:
180solutions denies that it uses the drive-by-download technique. But one person with knowledge of the internal workings of the company said the practice was widely used last year.
The person, who asked not to be identified, also said the company made the uninstall process intentionally difficult for consumers. A former employee who did not want to be identified confirmed the information.”
Later in the article, Todd Sawicki, director of marketing at 180solutions stated that “There are certain users out there who are not sure where or how they got our software.”
On another note, if you want to know whether you have adware, spyware, etc. installed on your computer, visit http://www.badware.com for a free spyware scan.