1. ValueClick and malware - the problem continues 2. The FTC investigates ValueClick
ValueClick seems to be facilitating more than the distribution of malware like Winfixer. Check out Mike's latest entries on the subject of ValueClick/Mediaplex:
ValueClick involved with Trojan.Zlob.N
ValueClick turns to the Dark Side
On 8 May I received an email from ValueClick advising me that ValueClick were still investigating the reports that I made to them on 25 April regarding the distribution of various Winfixer variants via Mediaplex. As of today, I have received no word as to what they have done or plan to do, if anything, despite more than 3 weeks having passed.
On a related point, I've been reading up on the various acquisitions of advertising networks that have happened recently:
Microsoft announced Friday it is buying online ad agency aQuantive in a $6 billion cash deal for $66.50 a share, an 85 percent premium over Thursday's close price;
24/7 Real Media is to be taken over by ad agency WPP Group (the world's #2 advertising firm, according to some) for $649 million;
Google announced in early April that it was buying privately held DoubleClick for $3.1 billion;
Yahoo! announced it was going to purchase the remaining 80 percent in Right Media that it didn’t already own for $680 million.
It makes me wonder who may want to buy ValueClick, and why hasn't it been snapped up yet. Yes, it is possible that there may be hush hush talks going on in a boardroom somewhere that the world at large does not know about, but what company would want to buy ValueClick when it has problems like this and this and this? Reality is that as ValueClick's reputation for facilitating the distribution of malware spreads (and, more importantly, as word spreads that the distribution via ValueClick has continued despite complaints and negative publicity), more and more people will simply block ValueClick content in it's entirety and that, gentle reader, will have a direct impact on income of legitimate advertisers and ValueClick itself.
Mike Burgess says:
"Way to go ValueClick! ... enjoy the Dark Side and your ill-gotten gains (for now)
Knock-knock ... who's there? (hopefully) The FTC"
Mike, in a way your wish has come true. The FTC is investigating ValueClick (cite: http://www.nypost.com/seven/05192007/business/ftc_probing_valueclick_business_.htm, http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&Date=20070518&ID=6924416 and http://www.fool.com/investing/high-growth/2007/05/18/win-a-free-ftc-inquiry.aspx)
Ok, so now that the FTC have got ValueClick in their sites because of potential violations of the Can-Spam Act, maybe the time is ripe for a publicity push regarding ValueClick's involvement in facilitating the distribution of Winfixer and other malware to encourage the FTC to have a close look at that as well.