L.L. Bean Files Suit Against Four Alleged Users Of Claria Software

  • May 18, 2004
L.L. Bean filed lawsuits on Monday against Nordstrom, J.C. Penney, Atkins Nutritionals and Kraft's Gevalia alleging that the companies employed pop-up ads that appeared when consumers visited its website.

The suits, filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, Me., allege that the retailers used ad software from Claria Corp., which tracks consumers' online behavior. L.L. Bean has accused the four companies which are alleged Claria advertisers, of placing pop-up ads on its website. The cataloger also alleges that the companies traded on its name and infringed on trademark rights. "Reputable marketers like L.L. Bean are doubly victimized by this parasitic form of marketing. It's bad enough that there are companies out there wantonly poaching consumer activity on our site and redirecting it to themselves," said Mary Lou Kelley, L.L. Bean's vice president of e-commerce, in a published report. "But even worse is the fact that our reputation is injured by a consumer perception that suggests L.L. Bean is authorizing these activities or even receiving compensation for it."

Claria has come under fire in recent months for its adware and methods of ad delivery. Claria faces pending suits from Hertz Corp., L.L. Bean, Six Continent Hotels Inc. and Inter-Continental Hotels Corp., TigerDirect, True Communication, Wells Fargo & Company, WFC Holdings Corporation and Quicken Loans, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

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