Sunday, July 09, 2006

Spyware companies: Yahoo, Delta, Cingular

Business Week has written an expose of a spyware company -- Direct Revenue. Take careful note of their paying customers and investors:
Spyware developers net huge profits, outrage - Tech News & Reviews -

Spyware rakes in an estimated $2 billion a year in revenue, or about 11percent of all Internet ad business, says the research firm IT-Harvest. Direct Revenue's direct customers have included such giants as Delta Air Lines and Cingular Wireless. It has sold millions of dollars of advertising passed along by Yahoo. ..
I'll be looking to avoid these three companies in the future. Yahoo must be in worse shape than the industry has realized. What they $#@$#! was Cingular thinking?

Update: A few others to live in infamy. Emphases mine:
By early 2005, Direct Revenue had notched deals with JPMorgan Chase, Delta, and the Internet phone company Vonage, according to former sales staffers and Direct Revenue documents. Cingular Wireless spent more than $100,000 a month at the peak of its relationship with Direct Revenue, current and former employees say. Direct Revenue put Cingular pop-ups in front of other phone companies' Web sites and news sites such as the one affiliated with tech magazine Wired. Vonage, meanwhile, was billed $110 for each customer that Direct Revenue delivered, according to a sales report from July, 2005. For that month, Direct Revenue billed Vonage for 287 new customers, or $31,570.

JPMorgan Chase confirms that it advertised with a Direct Revenue unit through the middle of last year, but says it was unaware of any spyware activity. Delta and Cingular declined to comment. Vonage didn't respond to inquiries.

...Many major companies, such as Cingular and Yahoo, have severed connections with Direct Revenue. But the ads of others, including Vonage, continue to appear in Direct Revenue pop-ups. Insight and TICC remain investors.
Vonage's share price is in free fall. They're making deals with devils, but it won't help them ...

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