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Bill Day, CEO of WhenU, wants ad buyers to be intelligent about their media buys — not just walk away from adware completely. 

So what’s a buyer to do? You could simply abstain from all adware (and to be consistent, maybe abstain from working with all behavioral targeting or even all advertising networks whose analytics and third-party tracking cookies raise concerns while you’re at it). As thought leaders, we can’t operate successfully by making simplistic decisions; successful online marketing involves a certain amount of pioneering. But how do you strike the right balance?

Now, realize that the media buying side of the ad business dominated by harassed and overworked 20–somethings.  It is a lot to ask of anyone in that position to make a decision with any granularity (“let’s see, this one adware company has a long writeup from Ben Edelman and has practiced a number of illegal drive- installs, while this one is different, because they have full disclosure and consent, however Eric Howes wrote a whitepaper which criticized several aspects of their business…”). 

So ad buyers need a simple solution, which is why the ad business loves the TRUSTe Trusted Download Program.  It makes buying a simple binary decision for ad buyers — “oh, it’s certified?  Then I can place ads in it”.  Of course, in the end, it is a validation of the adware business model…  (see a recent Sunbelt posting about TRUSTe here).

But here’s a direct reference to an adware company (We All Know of Whom He Is Speaking):

Be especially wary of those who defend themselves by accusing the anti-spyware community of being a bunch of ad-hating “zealots” and “fanatics”–most security advocates leading the charge to accountability are thoughtful, dedicated and discriminating professionals who are able to see the difference between hot air and meaningful moves. If hardcore anti-spyware watchdogs can be discriminating, media buyers can be, too.

Link here.

Alex Eckelberry