Adware advertising strategy - what is it? Simply put, adware is any piece of software that you install on your computer that shows advertisements. Most software installed in this way is legal since they are downloaded and then installed with the user's consent. Most people do not want to look at advertisements, so adware is usually downloaded without your knowledge or permission. Commonly, adware is installed automatically at the same time you download other programs. At times, adware is also installed in your computer when you visit certain webpages or follow links in emails.

Typically, the user will want to play online games and in exchange for playing free, the user agrees to view a certain amount of ads. Adware advertising is also known as PPV/PPC advertising.

The market Scenario: Despite some harsh criticism, adware has proven to be profitable and effective. Companies are rapidly seeking this type of advertising. According to Rayner, "Claria Corp., an adware company, boasts net profit in 2003 of $35 million on sales of $90 million. According to some researchers, 12% of companies that advertise online use some type of adware to reach consumers".

Acquired a bad name: Adwares were initially developed for good intent to keep the software user informed about the new versions coming up and what progresses have been made; but later they often took the malicious way.

Software companies started attaching an application with adware which would download the upgraded version without the consent of user. Later it even got worse as these apps would download unnecessary extensions and programs. User turned blue seeing at their Internet bills getting sky high. Since then adwares acquired the bad name and started to be seen as advertising virus.

Some adware can also be classified as spyware, a type of malware (malicious software) which steals information.

Evolution of anti-adware softwares: As adwares acquired bad name as being virus, many it companies started developing anti-adware programs which would warn of remove the malicious adware coding of the program. Programs have been developed to detect, quarantine, and remove spyware, including Ad-Aware, Malware bytes' Anti-Malware, Spyware Doctor and Spybot - Search & Destroy.

In addition, almost all commercial antivirus softwares currently detect adware and spyware, or offer a separate spyware detection package

BonziBUDDY - Biggest Culprit: An application marketed as an "intelligent software agent", corrupted many of the user's system files, forcing the display of many obscene advertisements (composed mostly of infected flash coding); these and the main application logged browsing details and sent them to various third parties.

In defence of adwares: Defenders of adware say it benefits both the advertisers and consumers. Advertisers benefit through increased product exposure and increase in sales. According to some, consumers benefit because the adware is tailored to their internet track record, making the pop ups more targeted to their interests.

Adware would allow consumers to become aware of products they would have an interest in, increasing their awareness. Many feel the risks far outweigh the benefits. Despite the all the saga, adwares continue to be on the thin line between ethical and unethical practices.