SOMERVILLE, N.J., Jan. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Congoo, LLC an online advertising platform said today that a jury verdict in a lawsuit brought by its competitor, Broadspring, owners of Content.ad, completely vindicated Congoo of Broadspring's charge of false and misleading advertising. The jury also rejected Broadspring's claim for damages of over $20 million, and instead awarded only $157.17 in actual damages, one dollar in assumed damages, and $40,000 in punitive damages, for certain statements found to be defamatory.
"We respect and thank the jury members for their service, and agree with their findings. We understand that certain past statements that were judged to be defamatory were poorly worded, and we accept responsibility for that," said Ash Nashed, CEO of Congoo.
The jury found that Nashed was not personally liable for any defamation.
"During a 7 day trial with over 10 witnesses, Congoo presented evidence that it had not engaged in a false advertising campaign, and that certain statements alleged to be defamatory both were substantially true and made in the context of Congoo trying to protect its existing publisher relationships from what Congoo believed were its competitor's deceptive advertising practices," Mr. Nashed said.
Several of the defamatory statements were made in an industry review authored by a Congoo employee on a website named Squidoo, which is no longer active. Among these were that Sanford Wallace, who the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued for distributing spyware, was a "founder" of a company called Mindset, and that Mindset was "shut down by the FTC in 2005." Adblade acknowledged to the jury that "more accurate statements would have been that Sanford Wallace was Mindset's business partner and that after acquiring Mindset, Broadspring shut it down around the time it might have received a subpoena from the FTC and did receive a civil investigation demand from the FTC. But these technical inaccuracies had no material impact given the totality of the information in the [Squidoo piece] which was not false."
Congoo intends to seek to reduce the punitive damages award, given its disparity with the negligible actual damages award. Congoo also will make an application for recovery of its costs.
The company is happy to put this lawsuit behind it and focus on providing quality products to its advertisers and publishers. Congoo will continue to place emphasis on proper advertising disclosures and invites its competitors to join them in following the FTC guidelines related to advertising practices.
SOURCE Congoo, LLC