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Claria Halts Pop-Ups, Urges Users To Uninstall Its Adware

Claria is pulling out of the adware business, which earned it $100 million annually as of mid-last year, and says it will stop support of its GAIN line.
One-time adware giant Claria made good on its March promise this week, and announced it would stop pushing pop-ups to Internet surfer's screens. It also posted instructions for uninstalling its GAIN-labeled software, and urged users to follow through before Oct. 1.

"Claria will stop displaying GAIN pop-up and other ads on July 1, 2006 and will stop supporting all GAIN software on Oct. 1, 2006," the company said in a statement on its Web site.

In March, the Redwood City, Calif.-based company announced it was abandoning the adware market by the end of June.

As recently as mid-2005, Claria was pulling in almost $100 million annually from its GAIN line (formerly Gator), and drawing the ire of anti-spyware advocates, who said Claria's bottom line "makes spammers look like two-bit back alley operations."

Claria made it clear that users should uninstall the GAIN software. "Since Claria will no longer support these applications in the near future, there is the possibility that they will cease to function properly." In addition, users' Web usage data will continue to be collected and sent to Claria until Sept. 30 unless the applications are removed.

Claria will now base its business on PersonalWeb, a site and service that generates a personalized Web portal on the fly. PersonalWeb is currently in beta testing.

In April, Claria struck a deal with Yahoo Japan to produce a custom home page for users with the PersonalWeb technology, and announced it had received $40 million in financing several investors, including several Softbank America and Canada's Rogers Communications.

Claria isn't totally abandoning the concept of putting ads in front of users, however, since PersonalWeb admits to showing advertisements. "PersonalWeb may provide links, content, information, advertisements, and graphics (collectively, 'Content') that are automatically selected for users based on the information collected by PersonalWeb," the service's end user license agreement (EULA) reads.

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing