Class Sues AOL Over Ads Inserted Into Their Emails

EQ Admin

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
LOS ANGELES (CN) - AOL inserted ads at the end of more than 100 million emails without subscribers' permission, and won't allow them to cancel the unwanted advertising on their private emails, a class action claims in Federal Court. The class claims AOL has done this since March 2006.

Named plaintiff Frank Cecchini sued AOL on behalf of its 2 million customers who pay for email - about 20% of AOL's total subscribership, he says.

Cecchini says AOL defrauds customers by inserting the email ads without informing them, without their permission, and without letting them cancel. He says AOL thereby unjustly enriches itself and competes unfairly.

He says paid subscribers expect and should be able to send emails without ads being inserted into them. He says they pay for this service - unlike users of free services, such as hotmail and Yahoo, which also insert the "footer" ads.

"These advertisements are annoying, confusing, intrusive and misleading," the complaint states. He says that's why he pays for AOL email service, instead of using a free service. He says AOL began inserting the ads for its business partners around March 1, 2006, without telling its paid customers it was doing so.

Cecchini demands punitive damages. He is represented by Christopher Hamner.


Big Dan

EQ Forum Moderator
Go git 'em boys! I've always found footer ads annoying and most times completely off the mark. Same thing for virus scanners that put "Scanned by XX AV app in the footer with a convenient link to their website.

Paying customers should never have ads inserted into their email. Period. We're paying for your service, supporting your business, you've got no right to try and make more money off us with spammy footer links.

Don't get me started on businesses and professional webmasters who use free mail services like Hotmail and Yahoo as their primary business address and don't even pay for the upgrade to their account that doesn't have ads in their email. It just looks ridiculous and makes the company look cheap.


Customer Service
IMO if they are paying for it, they are paying NOT to have any ads in their outgoing emails. Free mail service is fair game to the ads since it is free. I hope they win the lawsuit.

Just my .02