Behavioral Targeting Firm NebuAd Shutters Operations

  |  May 19, 2009   |  Comments

UPDATED: As of this morning the company's Web site displayed only its logo, and its phone numbers have been disconnected.

UPDATED: Behavioral targeting outfit NebuAd, which caused controversy with its ISP-level targeting technology, is ceasing its operations.

According to court documents, filed in relation to a lawsuit brought against the firm in November, "NebuAd has been winding down its affairs since late summer 2008," and "will cease to exist as an ongoing concern" following payment to its existing creditors.

This morning, the firm's Web site displayed only its logo, and phone numbers for senior staff have been disconnected. "NebuAd now operates with a skeleton staff, and shortly, that too will disappear," stated the letter, which was sent to U.S. District Court Judge, Edward Chen, by both NebuAd and the prosecuting attorney, Alan Himmelfarb. Mediapost first reported the news.

Tony Evans, an ex-commercial director for the firm's London operation, left the organization in September. Speaking with ClickZ today, he said the remaining staff "plugged away [at alternative revenue possibilities] for a bit," but that the number of staff has now been cut from 60 to just two. The London offices are now vacant. The company's U.K. Managing director, Paul Goad, said he was currently in Latvia and was unable to discuss the matter.

NebuAd was forced to reconsider its business model last year after pressure from Congress regarding the legality of its tracking technology and the subsequent loss of its ISP partners. At the time, it said it would pursue more "conventional" ad targeting methods, such as those employed by the likes of Tacoda and Revenue Science, but CEO, Bob Dykes, tendered his resignation.

To make matters worse for the firm, a class-action lawsuit was brought against it and its ISP partners, which included CenturyTel, WOW, CableOne, Embarq, Knology, and Bresnan Communications, in November of last year. The suit argued the defendants violated two federal laws (the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) as well as two California laws (the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the Computer Crime Law) when it trialed the technology with consumers.

Meanwhile in the U.K., fierce debate continues to surround ISP targeting rival, Phorm. Despite the fact U.K. regulators appear to be satisfied the technology can be implemented legally, privacy advocates continue to object on both legal and moral grounds. In addition, the EU has now launched legal proceedings against the U.K. government in reference to trials of Phorm's technology carried out by BT in 2007, without consent from its customers.

Phorm CEO, Kent Ertugrul, maintains that the U.S. market is of great interest to his company, and that Phorm can learn from the issues raised by NebuAd's activities there.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Sept 5 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Senior Director US Agency Ad Sales
      Senior Director US Agency Ad Sales (Expedia, Inc.) - ChicagoJob Title:  Senior Director US Agency Ad Sales   Position Overview: The Senior...
    • Senior Director US Agency Ad Sales
      Senior Director US Agency Ad Sales (Expedia, Inc.) - New YorkPosition Overview: The Senior Director US Agency Ad Sales is responsible for managing...
    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...