FTC investigating ValueClick

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ValueClick Inc. is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission concerning its lead-generating practices, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday.

According to reports, in a Form 8-K filed with the SEC, Westlake Village, CA.-based ValueClick said it received a letter from the FTC on  May 16 that said it is looking into whether ValueClick's lead generation practices violate the FTV Act or the CAN-SPAM Act.

"Specifically, the FTC is investigating certain ValueClick Web sites which promise consumers a free gift of substantial value and the manner in which the company drives traffic to such Web sites, in particular through e-mail," the company said in its filing.

ValueClick Inc., an integrated online marketing company, offers services that deliver cost-effective customer acquisition for advertisers and transparent revenue streams for publishers.

Its performance-based services allow customers to reach their potential through multiple online marketing channels, including affiliate and search marketing, display advertising, lead generation, ad-serving and related technologies, and comparison shopping, the company claims.

ValueClick brands include Commission Junction, ValueClick Media, Mediaplex and PriceRunner.

In the filing, ValueClick said it did not know of any ongoing or planned FTC investigation related to its lead generation and that it believes it is in compliance with related state and federal regulations. The company added that it would cooperate with the FTC.

Analysts have recently expressed concerns that the FTC might look into improper lead-generating practices in the online-advertising market or that related legislation may be looming.

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