Ben Edelman: Critiquing ITSA's Pro Adware Policy
These days, few advertisers defend "adware" advertising. It seems the world has largely noticed: Consumers hate adware-delivered popup ads. It's rare that any consumer intentionally installs adware with an accurate understanding of what lies ahead. Since consumers don't want adware, adware vendors get onto users' computers by trickery and deception, without appropriate disclosures and informed consent. Problems plague even those vendors that claim to have reformed.
Despite the rising backlash against adware, the Interactive Travel Services Association recently offered a rare contrary view. In its Statement Regarding the Use of Marketing Software Applications (PDF), ITSA effectively endorsed adware. ITSA claims adware "can be useful to many consumers because it provides timely, relevant and money-saving information." Despite the bad consumer experience and lousy value proposition, ITSA goes on to say adware advertising is just fine, under strikingly vague and weak conditions. Critiquing ITSA's Pro-Adware Policy
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