ValueClick has settled a class-action suit brought by shareholders for $10 million. The shareholders -- union pension funds and the like -- alleged that ValueClick's management damaged its own stock price by not disclosing to investors that parts of its business were based on fraud.
ValueClick previously paid a $2.9 million settlement to the FTC for using deceptive online tactics to gain consumers' information and then not safeguarding their privacy.
According to the complaint, ValueClick was guilty of advertising "free" gifts to consumers, even though consumers were required to make a purchase before receiving the gifts.
... the sweepstakes campaigns were phony.
... No drawings were held, and there were no procedures for selecting a winner.ValueClick denied the claims. Download its motion to dismiss here.
... sweepstakes prizes were not purchased or secured by the Company for the winner, as these campaigns were nothing more than a phony gimmick designed to gain the entrants' personal information for resale to ValueClick's advertising customers.
... all entry forms received by the Company went into large bags that were not segregated by sweepstakes campaign, and these bags were ultimately disposed of by the Company.
- See BNET's previous coverage of ValueClick:
- After Publicis' Acquisition of Razorfish, Might ValueClick Be Next?
- ValueClick Q2: Spin Fails to Hide 18% Decline in Revenues
- Q2: Online Ads Failed the Recession Test; Was It Because of Dumb Clients?
- ValueClick Tops BNET's Network Efficiency Ranking; Interpublic Comes Last
- ValueClick Q1: No Growth to Be Seen; 40 Jobs Lost
- JP Morgan: Web Ad Economy Could Recover by End of 2009
- ValueClick Execs Got $12.4 Million Pay Raise Despite Missing Performance Targets
- ValueClick Q4: Recession Arrives on the Web and It Ain't Pretty
- ValueClick Exec Publicly Crucified Over E-Mail Error
- Q&A: ValueClick's Ardis on Where Client Money Is Going