Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Brand Damage - When Push Marketing Goes Too Far

My computer got hit with some malware recently, not a virus or a worm, but adware. One day mysteriously, my Internet Explorer user interface looked different. Some strange, extra toolbar had appeared. The unwelcome program had also taken hostage the part of the browsing process that happens when a page is not found or when you mis-type a URL address, sending me to its website instead of allowing the Windows message DNS/Not Found screen to display normally.

I struggled for days to get this annoying crap off my laptop. See if you can sense the frustration I was feeling when I sent a series of messages to the purveyor of adware.

Here's the excerpted exchange below. My comments are in plain text. The malicious adware vendor's comments are in bold text.

I cannot remove your promo program from my computer. I did not request it. There is no icon for it in Programs, no Uninstall ware, plus your adware has disable the Add/Remove capability for your registry in my Control Panel function--it simply takes me to your website when I click 'Remove.'

Come on, give me a break. Let go of my computer, please.

Name -- Skip Lineberg
Username --
MemberID --
Email --
Subject -- Spam Complaint
Browser -- MS Internet Explorer 6.x
Internet Connection -- Cable TV connection
Processor -- PC - Pentium IV
Operating System -- Windows XP
RAM -- 128-256 MB
Session Cookie -- on
Permanent Cookie -- on
JavaScript -- on
User IP --
User Browser -- Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312461; .NET CLR 1.1.4322

Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting us. We have looked into your issue and have
determined that an adware program(not owned or operated by our company) has
installed promotional material for our product. We have taken measures to
see that this company cease from promoting our products.

The adware that has infected your PC is called i-search and we recommend you
visit to remove this adware from your pc.If your still
having trouble here are some contact numbers you can call.

Customer Support

You think there's a snowball's chance in hell that I'll ever buy their product. How many other folks like me do you think they have caused to hate the name "ISEARCH." Their brand is histy, it's Ghandi, it's toast.



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