Claria's Non-Exit Exit From Adware

from the splitting-hairs dept

Claria’s done a lot to try and shake its history as an adware peddler, from dropping the Gator name to not calling pop-ups pop-ups, and trying to change what they do to “behavioral advertising”. The company now says it’s exiting the adware business — a claim that’s open to debate. Claria does say it will stop serving pop-up ads generated by its spyware, and is looking to sell that aspect of its business (rather than just shut it down, it wants to further monetize the spyware business). It’s now pushing some “personalized Web portal” product that serves users content it thinks they’ll like, along with ads that displayed based on information from — yep — software with sneaky installs and convoluted EULAs. It’s pitching the change by saying the ads will be displayed with the relevant site’s permission, which may be true, but they’re based on information users may not realize they’re giving up. But when you obfuscate the definition of adware, perhaps it’s easy to say you’re moving on.

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Comments on “Claria's Non-Exit Exit From Adware”

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Joe Seither (user link) says:

Moving on -- for real

Carlo: yes, there is a great deal of shaking up and new stuff going on at Claria, as you point out. We are indeed exiting the adware business. That is not open to debate. We will sell the GAIN assets or exit the business entirely by end of Q2. PersonalWeb, our new product you mention, is an entirely new take on providing a relevant Web experience for consumers.

We’ll be sure to let you have a first look when we’re ready. We’d like your opinion, and think you’ll agree that Claria is absolutely moving on.

Joe Seither


googly_eyes says:

Re: You'll Pardon Me

If I don’t believe your word at face value.

As a network administrator that has had to spend hours cleaning up the unmitigated cespool of spyware yours and other companies have unleased (yeah yeah you call it “ADWARE” – I call it horse puckey), I had to laugh that you would even show your face on the net and spout nore of your “Spin”.

Any company that has made money using the tactics your company has is not one I will take the word of lightly, and does not deserve my trust.

Do the right thing LET GAIN DIE. Don’t sell it.

Do the honorable thing and stop this madness.

Not everything is “worth” money – certainly not your “business”.

thecaptain says:

Re: Moving on -- for real

Hi Joe,

We are indeed exiting the adware business. That is not open to debate

Maybe it isn’t by your screwed up definition. However, by many definitions of ad-ware AND spyware, I’d say its up for debate.

Claria (Gator! Yes you are Gator!) is one of the most unethical companies I’ve seen in years. Your PR machine works overtime to make us think you guys are squeaky clean when in fact you are completely unrepentant in your spying on people without their knowledge. You use dubious methods to gather your data and debate loopholes when called on it.

Claria is gator is spyware. Say it with me.

Frederick Gorbin says:

Re: Moving on -- for real

As another sysadmin who’se experienced the pain of removing spyware from company machines, (GATOR/GAIN in particular) I find nothing redeeming about Claria’s stated “intention.”

As with all spyware/adward companies, first and foremost; they lie. They lie when they tell you they don’t lie. Sneaky installs, no regard for privacy, convoluted EULAs and no regard for software quality and compatibility; their words mean nothing when compared to their actions.,

Bottom line: these companys are peddling something no-one wants: Consequently, the only way to move such a product or web is to lie about it. There *is* no other way to move such a product. Think about it: How do you market a product/website that will bombard the visitor with intrusive advertising? Do you say that? Of course not; you lie about it; you lie and tell people it’s something it isn’t; you lie and tell people it’s something they would want.

Joe, you’ve got a credibility problem; and I believe it’s your number 1 problem. I don’t believe a word you say.

Joe Smith says:

Re: Re: tsk tsk tsk


About two and a half hours ago, I posted a comment on the article. At that time there were about eight comments on the article. The tone of the comments was pretty harsh. When I checked the article an hour ago those eight comments were gone and there were just two new ones, one of which was from Claria.

I jumped to the conclusion that Claria had leaned on you and you had deleted the comments on mass. If I’ve done you an injustice I apologize.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: tsk tsk tsk


About two and a half hours ago, I posted a comment on the article. At that time there were about eight comments on the article. The tone of the comments was pretty harsh. When I checked the article an hour ago those eight comments were gone and there were just two new ones, one of which was from Claria.

It looks like you didn’t post the comment to this article, but to one that is linked in the article above, but is from a few years ago.

You can see your comment at the bottom of this post from 2003 — which is where you placed it.

awwtbone says:

Re: tsk tsk tsk

Short of 180Solutions, GAIN/GATOR was the most annoying adware ive encountered. Everyone had it at one point and not by choice… And to think Round 2 is right around the corner… only with a different name… PersonalWeb will be the new Hell of Adware. Everyone had Gator, Everyone will have PersonalWeb. You Damn Companies. DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE WITHOUT REPERCUSSION!!!!

Mr. Scott says:

New Way Of Doing Old Business

I *love* that line in there about “It’s now pushing some “personalized Web portal” product that serves users content it thinks they’ll like”. Um, excuse me? They’ll like? I can’t think of ONE person that likes content *pushed* on them. When I surf the web, *I* know what I want to see, *I* know what I want to read, and *I* know where I want to surf to next. (you get the point here)

If I want things “pushed onto me”, I’ll put on my bib and sit in my highchair and have my mommy spoon-feed me! C’MON, gimme a break!

I hate spyware and popups with a passion! So much that I’m very vigilant about keeping that garbage off my system. I don’t need someone (or something) watching my every move when I’m online. Then this (I’ll use this term loosely) software, will tell me what *it* thinks I need to see next, and pops it up on my screen. NOW, this popup is right in front of my face telling me that I’ve just won an all-expense paid trip for two to Cancun Mexico! Excuse me?? Trip for two?? But I’m recently divorced. Why in the he** would I want a trip for two if there’s nobody to take. D’OH! I was actually at this website, through an RSS feed, reading about a child dying because of an accident that happened.

My, God! When will these people get it! WE DON’T WANT SPYWARE! WE DON’T WANT POPUPS! Good Lord, if they want their name to be heard…make a good product. Make it the best product in the world. I’ll bet my next paycheck that if you make an outstanding product, people *will* talk about it. The word will spread like wildfire! But when you make a bad product, the word spreads even faster. (are you listening spyware makers??)

I’m willing to bet that many of you have had a similar experience while surfing and getting popup after popup, and all that happens is that you get madder by the minute by closing the damn things, then eventually closing your web browser to get away from it and start somewhere else.

I see no future with spyware. I never agreed to have it on my machine. Now I know that a few of you out there will tell me about the EULA and to read it first, but I can tell you from experience that I DO read it. ALWAYS! I want to know what low-life has bundled their spyware into this shareware program that I was considering to “try before you buy”. Once I see that in the EULA (and sometimes it’s not even in there) it’s gone! Deleted! If my AdAware tell me that there’s something in there after installing, guess what?? It’s gone! So the author of that shareware program certainly won’t get my money because of the spyware that got installed. Sorry, you lose! Both of you!

I’ve ranted on long enough and have put MORE than my 2¢ worth in. So, on that note… Enough said!

Worldscolide (profile) says:


I am sorry, but when you post comments like that, you have to understand that everyone already knows this, to be terrably honest companies like claria have no right to exist, they pray on people who aren’t very techno savvy, and don’t know about adware and spyware, and in doing so you damage their expensive computers. Shame on any company like this, and may they burn in hell.

awwtbone says:

Shove It Prick

YOU ARE SELFISH, UNCARING, AND MAYBE JUST ONCE PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND SEE WE DONT WANT SPYWARE OR ADWARE! Joe Seither from Claria appearently couldn’t care less about the stance we have on adware. You got some big balls coming onto this post and talking down to us. Your company doesn’t care what damage it does as long as the point is across and your fat pay-check can pay off your penis enlargement supplements. Sit Down and Shut Up. If you have nothing to help the general population, then get off the web.

Alec Weisman

Simi Valley, California

Would Love To Meet You, Prick

TheSaxMan36 says:

my two cents, and a suggestion for Mr. Seither

I for one agree with everyone else here, SPYWARE, no matter WHAT you call it, is an infrigement on every person’s basic right to be left alone. I hate it when people decide that they are going to pry themselves into my life, and packaging adware in otherwise useful downloads has to be the worst form of trickery of that sort imaginable.

I’m not going to get profane, but I think the earlier “shove it” post really does just about sum everything up.

If you think you are seriously doing the world a favor by producing software that forces ads onto people who do not want to get them, I have a simple suggestion for you, Mr. Seither:

Go forth and multiply with yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

In defense of Claria, the GAIN-type adware is NOWHERE NEAR as threatening as some of the downright evil spyware out there now.

That said, BUNDLING ADWARE IS BULLSHIT. Ads should be internal in a program, not installed separately.

What on earth was wrong with banner ads in programs? I would gladly stare at a 400×200 pixel ad rather than be paid to clean spyware off customers machines day after day, after day . . .

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