Florida settles with Internet advertising company

Nick Rees May 4, 2010, 2:00pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced on Tuesday that Florida will receive $2.9 million as a result of a settlement with an Internet advertising company.

ModernAd Media LLC, a Deerfield Beach-based Internet advertising company, agreed to the settlement to resolve allegations that it violated the Federal CAN-SPAM Act, which prohibits the use of deceptive and misleading header information in commercial emails.

The settlement comes as the result of an investigation initiated by the CyberFraud section of the Economic Crimes Division. The investigation found that ModernAd solicited to consumers through e-mail, pop-up windows and paid advertisements linked to Google and other search engines.

Many of ModernAd's advertisements, McCollum says, gave the impression that consumers were entitled to "free" merchandise. The Cyberfraud Sections' investigation centered on determining whether or not the items were actually "free," and if the terms and conditions for receiving the promotional items were displayed in a way that did not mislead consumers.

ModernAd Media LLC, under terms of the settlement, is required to disclose and prominently display all necessary information on Internet-based advertisements to allow consumers to make informed decisions prior to agreeing to purchase products or participate in trial offers.

The company will also pay $2.9 million to reimburse the state for fees and costs and to aid McCollum's office in continue to establish high standards of practice for the Internet marketing industry.

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