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Zango, AdultFriendFinder Sued by Epic Cash

Claims stem from Epic Cash’s accusation that Zango, AdultFriendFinder are diverting potential clients with adware, pop-up ads
Zango, AdultFriendFinder Sued by Epic Cash
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Sep 3, 2008 7:00 PM PDT    Text size: 
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — In a statement issued by legal counsel for affiliate program Epic Cash, the company announced today that it has filed suit against online advertising company Zango Inc. and Various Inc., parent company of social networking website AdultFriendFinder.com, for unfair business practices and unfair competition, among other claims.

The suit was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Zango Inc., formerly known as 180Solutions and Hotbar, specializes in pop-up advertisements. According to Epic’s statement, once a computer is infected with Zango adware, the Zango Search Assistant monitors the user’s browser and collects keywords that are then used to trigger pop-up ads.

Los Angeles attorney Gary J. Kaufman, who represents Epic Cash, said in the statement, “Zango and its clients are essentially cyber-parasites, feeding off of others’ goodwill and popularity and poaching a competitor’s potential customers just when they are ready, willing and able to buy.”

In the claim, AdultFriendFinder.com, a competitor of Epic Cash’s EpicCams.com website, is accused of having used Zango’s services to have “diverted traffic away from Epic Cash sites and converted Epic Cash’s business to their benefit,” by “taking advantage of plaintiff’s marketing efforts,” presumably when potential consumers are inputting certain keywords or searching for specific sites, which subsequently leads to Zango pop-up ads.

In the complaint, Epic also claims that clients “may also ask Zango to make its pop-up ad appear over NameBrandCompany.com’s website whenever an infected user goes to that website by inputting the domain address.”

“It is the equivalent of Burger King setting up shop inside a McDonald’s and selling Whoppers to anyone asking for a Big Mac,” Kaufman added. “That we are dealing with virtual, rather than brick-and-mortar storefronts, does not change the fact that these deceptive and unfair practices are unacceptable. I expect the court to agree.”

Epic Cash has asked for $750,000 in damages.

Attorneys for either party were not available for comment at the time of this post.

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