Bonzi Software Sued Over Misleading Internet Advertising Campaign
A Spokane, Wash., law firm has filed a nationwide class-action suit in Washington State Superior Court against Internet software company Bonzi Software for running an Internet ad campaign that it claims misleads consumers into believing their computers are damaged.
According to the suit filed Nov. 25, Bonzi Software (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) uses banner and pop-up ads that mimic computer error messages. When users click on the banner, they are taken to the Bonzi homepage where they are offered various software programs to fix the particular “problem.”
Defendants include Bonzi Software and company founders Joe Bonzi and Kenneth Shaw.
Bonzi manufactures the Bonzi Buddy, a talking purple monkey desktop character; InternetBOOST, a software program that claims to speed up Internet connections for computers using dial-up service; and InternetALERT, a software program that monitors if anyone is trying to hack into a user’s computer. Bonzi Software did not return phone calls for comment for this story.
Darrell Scott, an attorney with Lukins & Annis, P.S., and chairman of its class-action lawsuit team, said the suit lists Philip Carstens as the plaintiff but also states, “The class action complaint was brought on behalf of all persons residing in the United States who have, while operating a computer, encountered an advertising banner [such as the example below].”
“Literally thousands of people have contacted my law offices asking to be represented in this case,” Scott said.
Scott said he is seeks $500 per fraudulent banner broadcast and compensatory damages of $5 per occurrence. Scott said it is estimated that Bonzi used approximately 300 deceptive advertising impressions.
“Deceptive practices like the ones being used by Bonzi would put normal businesses out of business,” Scott said. “This case will hopefully help put an end to that.”
The case is expected to have its first hearing in court in February.
Bonzi Software can be contacted at 805-546-1955. Lukins & Annis, P.S. can be contacted at 509-455-9555.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Simba Information, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group