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Federal Trade Comm'n v. Various, Inc. d/b/a AdultFriendFinder, No. 5:07-cv-6181 (N.D. Cal. filed Dec. 6, 2007) (full-text).

Factual Background[]

According to the FTC,, which touts itself as “The World’s Largest Sex & Swingers Personal Community,” and its affiliates used pop-up ads to drive traffic to its websites. Some of the ads have included graphic depictions of sexual behavior, exposing consumers, including children, to sexually explicit images. Such ads were displayed to users who were searching online using terms such as “flowers,” “travel,” and “vacations.” In some cases, defendant’s sexually explicit ads were distributed using spyware and adware.

The FTC alleged that the practice of displaying graphic pop-up ads without consumer consent was unfair, and violated the FTC Act.

The defendants named in the FTC complaint were Various, Inc., a California corporation doing business as AdultFriendFinder,, and


The defendant agreed to settle the FTC charges. The settlement barred the defendant from displaying sexually explicit ads to consumers unless the consumers are actively seeking out sexually explicit content or unless the consumers have consented to viewing sexually explicit content. It required the defendant to take steps to ensure that its affiliates comply with the restriction, and end its relationship with any affiliates who do not comply. It also required the defendant to establish an Internet-based mechanism for consumers to submit complaints. Finally, the settlement contains bookkeeping and record-keeping requirements to allow the Commission to monitor compliance.