Harvard researcher and adware/spyware expert, Benjamin Edelman, has posted a new report that asks the question, "Are ad intermediaries responsible when their ads are shown by software installed improperly?" Advertising intermediaries are the companies that supply the ads to those unwanted pop-ups that begin appearing when spyware/adware and other programs install themselves onto your computer.
From the Media Post article: Adware Maven Investigates Google's Role In Distribution.
Edelman stated that he had analyzed 88,388 current 180solutions pop-up ads and found that 4,678--or around 5 percent--of those ads included Google's AdSense ads. That is, for that 5 percent, the pages that popped up on users' screens contained pay-per-click ads served by Google...Although adware isn't in itself unlawful, Google prohibits AdSense participants from sending pop-ups that contain Google ads. A Google spokesman said that Google and 180solutions have no business relationship, and that the company is investigating whether its AdSense publishers violated the no pop-ups.
The full text of Edelman's report including the case study about 180solutions is accessible here.