Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How Vonage Funds Spyware

I remember a couple mentions in chat about Skype not charging for land line calls in the U.S. and concern about Vonage's continued success. Apparentlly they are doing just fine. According to Ben Edelman, they paid Direct Revenue $31, 570 in one month in 2005, for "Spyware-Delivered Pop-Up Ads." Ben has done a very comprehensive job of documenting Vonage's use of spyware ads. We can't only blame the spyware companies, but also the companies who support spyware, with their advertising dollars. His article begins:
I ought to be a Vonage enthusiast. I support Vonage's efforts to protect network neutrality. I applaud their flexible voice over IP service and their efforts to compete with incumbent phone companies. I'm even a VoIP customer (albeit using a competitor's service).

But instead of praising Vonage, I have to criticize them -- not for their core business (which seems robust) or for their customer service (which others have repeatedly criticized), but for their reckless advertising practices. Vonage spends huge amounts on advertising -- more than $20 million per month. (source) Unfortunately, among this spending is widespread and substantial spyware-delivered advertising.

For years, my manual and automated testing have documented Vonage ads appearing in all the major spyware programs. Now that Vonage has completed its IPO -- itself promoted as a way to raise more money to buy more advertising [Do WE know anybody that bought Vonage stock?]-- this page presents twelve recent examples of Vonage ads appearing in spyware.

see the chart and the rest of the report, its disturbing. And makes me grateful for firefox blocking popups!!
How Vonage Funds Spyware

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