Bonzi Software Settles Suit Over Misleading Online Ads, Agrees to Alter Ads And Pay Legal Fees

Bonzi Software Settles Suit Over Misleading Online Ads, Agrees to Alter Ads And Pay Legal Fees – Brief Article

Bonzi Software, San Luis Obispo, Calif., best known for its purple gorilla desktop software program BonziBUDDY, has reached an out-of-court agreement with a Spokane, Wash.-based law firm that sued the company in November 2002 over Bonzi’s misleading pop-up ads (TABR, Dec. 16, 2002).

The ads, which appeared as Microsoft Windows warning alerts, led several recipients to believe they were experiencing computer problems only to be brought to Bonzi’s homepage after they clicked on the ads.

Bonzi has agreed to alter the ads to state clearly that they are advertisements.

The software firm also agreed to cease running ads that made false statements, such as warning recipients that their IP addresses were being “broadcast” across the Internet. Bonzi also agreed to pay the firm that filed the case – Lukins & Annis – roughly $170,000 to cover its legal fees.

Lukins & Annis, which filed its class-action suit in Washington State Superior Court, originally asked the court too make Bonzi pay $500 for eac Internet user who received a misleading ad and $5 for every impression it served. It’s estimated Bonzi served 300 million impressions. At the time the suit was settled it had not been certified as a class action by the court.

Darrell Scott, the lead attorney for Lukins & Annis, said the settlement hopefully would send a message to online advertisers who use false and misleading statements in their ads.

“I am hopeful the Bonzi settlement creates some benchmarks by which some other Internet companies are measured,” Scott said.

Lukins & Annis pursuing another class-action suit against eAcceleration Software, Poulsbo, Wash., for deceiving users into downloading software from its pop-up and banner ads.

Bonzi Software can be contacted at 805-546-1955. Lukins & Annis can be contacted at 509-455-9555.

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