Zynga Brings Back its Ads, no Funny Business This Time
Zynga, the developers who brought you the Facebook games Mafia Wars and Farmville have recently announced that they will be relaunching their ads, or ‘œoffers’ as they call them, back into their games.
Zynga has come under a lot of fire for the deceptive nature of their ads, which even scammed users into hefty monthly payments. While Zynga wasn’t doing any of the actual scamming, they provided the ads and thus came under the media scrutiny, with the company even being sued. Most of the dodgy ads consisted of the user signing up to what they thought was a free trial, only to find charges of over $180 on their monthly bills, which ended up being incredibly difficult to cancel. Zynga then removed the ads while retooling began.
Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga wrote on his blog about a team that is ‘œdedicated to checking the quality of any offer we display’ with currently only a limited number of trusted companies serving offers, including The New York Times and Gamefly.
Zynga have also created an ‘œAdvertising Guidelines’ section on their website stating that:
The product or service being advertised must deliver clear value to our users and advertisers; product or service offered and billing terms must be clear and transparent to users; ads must never be spammy or scammy.
This is from the same guy who once said: ‘œI did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away… we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this Zwinky toolbar which… [I] couldn’t get rid of.” So yeah, trustworthy right?
It looks like Zynga is trying to mend their ways, or at least their public image, but for me it’s too late. It’s hard to move forward from such a PR mess, and personally, I won’t be playing Farmville anytime soon.