What to Call the IAC/Ask Toolbars
Current Practices of IAC/Ask Toolbars - Ben Edelman

I use the term "Ask toolbars" to describe the IAC products at issue. I choose this term for five distinct reasons:

  1. The toolbars all drive traffic to pages that show Ask search results and ads.
  2. Prior to IAC's acquisition of Ask Jeeves, the toolbars were owned by Ask Jeeves.
  3. To this day, the toolbars' code-signing certificates indicate that the toolbars come from "Ask Jeeves, Inc."
  4. To this day, third-party installers prominently say that the toolbars come from "Ask Jeeves, Inc."
  5. IAC's current Ask.com page includes an entry for FunWebProducts (the division that makes the toolbars) -- indicating that FunWebProducts is part of Ask.com. (Screenshot.)

Nonetheless, multiple IAC staff have asked me to not refer to these toolbars as "Ask toolbars." "These products are not made, distributed or marketed by Ask.com," explained one IAC staff person, insisting that Ask.com is "a completely separate entity" from the toolbars at issue.

After appropriate consideration, I reject their request. "Ask toolbars" is the best way to concisely convey the toolbars' origin, lineage, and business model.