(Photo by Juliana Reyes)
After two-and-a-half years, a lawsuit against Leadnomics and another University City tech company has been dismissed, according to court documents.
The other University City tech company named in the suit, listed as International Web Services, has been linked to 50onRed, which formerly shared space with Leadnomics and shares Stephen Gill as a cofounder. Gill, who’s the CEO of 50onRed, previously declined to comment on the suit and has not responded to our latest questions about it. We first reported on the lawsuit in April.
Leadnomics and International Web Services shared legal counsel for the case, according to court documents. Leadnomics COO Michael O’Hara declined to comment when asked if International Web Services was 50onRed.
The matter at hand in the suit: A Chicago man named Dan Halperin alleged that the two companies were selling ad space on websites that they didn’t actually own the rights to. It might sound weird, but it’s a fairly common practice in the online advertising space: it’s called ad injection. That’s not what Leadnomics does — Leadnomics sells leads to insurance companies. It’s not clear if that’s what 50onRed does, though 50onRed sister company RightAction has been linked to the practice, according to this Ad Age report.
When asked if 50onRed injects ads, Gill did not respond to a request for comment.
Is it strange that Leadnomics would be named in a suit that ostensibly has nothing to do with its business practices?
Kind of. Call it the hazards of association.
“We were often painted by the same brush because we shared an office,” O’Hara, the Leadnomics COO, said.
Last year, after five years of sharing an office with 50onRed and RightAction at the Cira Centre, Leadnomics moved into its own space. The company had outgrown the shared office and needed a space of its own, Leadnomics CEO Zach Robbins told us earlier this year. But it was also a way to distinguish itself from its sister companies. Robbins said he was tired of people confusing one company for the other.
When we spoke to O’Hara on the phone about the suit, he said that Leadnomics did not move into a new office specifically to distance itself from 50onRed and RightAction.
“Both companies have grown so strong in their own direction,” he said, adding that it’s a benefit that “we’re not easily bucketed with the pros and the cons of another business.”