Contextual Marketing Practices

Market Analysis                

False Advertising/Confusion

Secondary Meaning

Trademark Confusion

Search Engine Issues

  • Contextual marketing practices confusing to consumers

    Contextual marketing on the Internet often involves monitoring consumers’ behavior as they search the Internet:  the software that enables this monitoring is often referred to as “spyware.”  When the “spyware” notices that a search for a product or service relates to advertising that has been paid for by a third-party and which resides in the spyware’s database, the spyware serves a pop-up advertisement relevant to the search.  One allegation in this case was that consumer would be confused and believe that such pop-up advertisements were in some way connected with the website that they had searched for and clicked on.  The findings from a series of in-depth interviews designed to explore consumer beliefs and attitudes about the mechanisms underlying such contextual marketing practices led the parties to reach a settlement.  As a follow-up to this case, Mind/Share (through its client) provided input to a national Pew Internet and American Life Survey that has helped guide industry practices.

Other Issues


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