Many companies may face public humiliation by the United States Federal Trade Commission if they continue to serve ads through adware, according to reports. FTC Commissioner John Leibowitz said Thursday at an event hosted by the Anti-Spyware Coalition that such a move could help curb the growing threat of adware on our PCs.
The FTC would publicly announce and publish the names of companies that use adware which installs itself on a user's computer without their knowledge. Many of the event's attendees agreed that the idea is a good one, but others outside the community feel it could be a problem for companies which handle their advertising in a hands-off fashion through third parties.
"There are well-intentioned advertisers out there that do not
understand where their ads are appearing," said Trevor Hughes, directory of the Network Advertising Initiative. "It is easy to
shame those advertisers, but that does not solve the problem."
One such advertising company is AzoogleAds, which handles advertising for many prominent companies such as eBay and Netflix. Azoogle used to serve many of its ads through adware, but today that number is under 5 percent, according to COO Don Mathis.
"Advertisers rely on us to provide this service for them," Mathis said.
"Two years ago nobody ever thought about adware, but everything from
enforcement action to legislation has raised the profile of the risk
and liability associated with it."
However, other companies which offload advertising to less reputable agencies may face public humiliation and scrutiny simply by not paying close enough attention to their associate's policies. It is then up to these possible target companies to reel in their advertisers and understand their methods.
News source: CNET News.com