Federal Trade Commission Looks Into Gaming Pop-Up Ads

27 September 2001
Interactive gaming operators who practice "mouse trapping" marketing techniques should be on guard, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

That was the message on Thursday as the FTC prepared for a press conference on Monday to announce a lawsuit that has been filed to target operators who take advantage of users' typing errors and spelling gaffes by directing them to a barrage of pop-up advertisements for porn and gambling sites.

A spokeswoman for the FTC wouldn't comment on any particulars regarding the case, but did say at least one report floating around the Internet about Monday's conference is "all wrong."

The spokeswoman said she couldn't comment on the case because it is sealed and some of the defendants haven't been served the papers yet.

"In fact, we are having trouble finding some of them," she said.

Internet news site Newsbytes.com reported Wednesday that the FTC is about to launch a campaign aimed at curbing mouse trapping. The FTC spokeswoman would not verify the truthfulness of the report or say whether the lawsuit involves mouse trapping, but she did say that some of the defendants in the case have ties to the adult entertainment and online gaming industries.

Newsbytes.com said the FTC campaign could impact "hundreds, if not thousands" of Web sites and operators; that information comes from what the site refers to as "sources familiar with the law enforcement proceeding."

It is believed that any action, whether in a courtroom or through other means, taken against such practices would be done under fraud codes and violations.