Here is a note that was sent by the co-owner of AdultFriendFinder which confirms their use of Zango's adware… just more bullshit.
AdultFriendFinder from time to time as a small part of its advertising budget places ad buys with companies which some people might call “adware”…
Adware is software that is installed on a user's computer with notice and consent by the user. In some instances such adware will use contextual ads – for example it may scan web pages for references to certain keywords and then pop up relevant ads from its advertisers. Typical keywords for AdultFriendFinder may include “dating” and “friend”. One of the motivating factors in AdultFriendFinder placing such adware ads is to effectively compete in the online dating marketplace – namely if AdultFriendFinder does not place such ads our competitors will make deals with the adware companies to place such ads to our detriment.
It has come to our attention that some affiliates are unhappy about some uncommon and unintended side effects of adware advertising – in some instances the adware will scan a web page and pop up an “in context” AdultFriendFinder ad in a browser window next to an affiliate's ad for AdultFriendFinder in another browser window. This scenario certainly makes us uncomfortable and creates a catch-22 for us – if we stop buying the contextual adware ads our competitors' sites will pop up and we may lose sales and if we keep buying adware ads we may find from time to time our ads will pop up near our affiliate's ads for our sites.
While it is perfectly legal for us to place ads with internet software providers like adware companies, specialized browser providers, and search engines that place our ads near our affiliates ads (for example this happens often with keyword buys on search engines) this notion of the adware ad “collisions” that has recently been raised does make us feel somewhat uncomfortable – in other words we find ourselves sympathetic with those who have not been happy with this bizarre result.
So we decided to look further into the adware issue. While we are at least partially at the mercy of the programmatic techniques of the given adware companies we are already exploring and experimenting with technology solutions to try to figure out ways to reduce the number of “adware collisions”. Our primary method of tracking affiliate traffic is not by using cookies (as has been wrongly suggested on some board postings) but rather by coded URLs – this may have to change. Suffice it to say that for now we appreciate the comments that have been made on the boards to date by our affiliates (yes even the adverse ones) and we will attempt to address this unforeseen consequence of adware ad buys in the near future. If AdultFriendFinder affiliates have any comments or proposed solutions you may e-mail me at lars at legendarylars.com
My response to this will be posted in the next blog entry…