Gmail's Similarities To Gator

from the may-change-email-advertising dept

ClickZ has an article that points out for all the complaints about Google’s Gmail offering, one area that people haven’t really explored is how it’s actually similar to Gator in certain ways. Of course, since so many people hate Gator, this will automatically be seen as a negative – but what people hate about Gator is that it gets installed without the user knowing it, which isn’t the case with Gmail. Also, Gator covers up other sites with popups from competitors, while Gmail just place regular text ads off to the side. However, there are some similarities – and you can imagine that companies will get upset when they find out that next to their own email marketing there is an ad for a competitor. How long until a merchant sues? There have been a number of similar cases against Gator (and others) and the results have been mixed depending on the judge. I stand by my position that throwing up competitors ads by itself should be perfectly legal – as long as the user knows what’s happening and the software hasn’t been put on their machine without their knowledge. Still, not everyone sees it that way – and it’s likely that an annoyed retailer will sue. Another option, as suggested by Jeremy Wagstaff, is that companies that advertise by email will move to alternatives like RSS. Of course, once Gmail adds an RSS news aggregator to their Gmail product they’ll face the same issue. Maybe, instead of worrying so much about competitors’ ads showing up, they should just focus on making sure their product is something people want.

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Comments on “Gmail's Similarities To Gator”

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AuMoose Cowherda TastyRoadkild (user link) says:

gooogle / gmail

does any one else think that google & now gmail make ideal platforms for the nsa to interface with the public in a friendly & convenient (& low key) manner ? echelon is so last decade. google allows you to “own” the internet & keep the masses placated… tcpdump’ing every internet hotel / exchange point is rather expensive. just get a shiteload of (disposable) linux boxes & make them / bad guys come to you !
[where them / bad guys = rest of world & / or not republican…]

Anthony Cea (user link) says:

Re: No Subject Given

This issue is discussed in detail, see the Gmail pages at

It seems that spyware has become a platform for some large companies, all are guilty that collect page views by whatever means, data mining is a hot subject that must be addressed. Privacy online is at stake, so is freedom of speech and access to online resources.

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