JCPToday – JC Penney pop up advertisements

Post revised on June 2, 2007:

I was contacted on June 1st by Mark Stimson and Rob Noble of Skinkers about their concerns that I interpreted their application as Spyware. They promised me that the application does not monitor keystrokes and it is not malicious. It was all coincidence that at the moment I searched for ‘spybot’ on my moms computer their application popped up an advertisement for JC Penney. It also appears they were unaware that their uninstaller for their application is faulty. In the E-mail Mark stated that they are looking into the uninstalling problem.

They do claim that Vista requires the uninstaller shortcut to open the add/remove control. The lack of an uninstaller application in the program’s directory combined with the uninstall shortcut linking to the windows add/remove programs control drove me to make this post. Had I been able to uninstall the application successfully, I would not have made this post.

I understand that Skinkers is the software developer of the JCPToday application and that they did not intend for their application to be misconstrued as Spyware. They developed the product specified to them by the JC Penney company. My contempt is focused on JC Penney, not Skinkers. I certainly wouldn’t blame soldiers for a war.

I’ve removed sentences that I now feel may have been a bit harsh toward the Skinkers company and replaced the word ‘spyware’ with ‘pop up advertisements’. I’ve also fixed the spelling of the word monstrosity.

Original post on May 27, 2007:
I was working on my mom’s computer and noticed a nice pop up window from JC Penney. They recommended a product for my recent search I made on her computer. Wait a minute, why would they recommend anything for me to buy when I search for ‘spybot’? Apparently Jeans matched their database for the word I was searching. Nice pop up advertisements JCPenny!

So, I started to investigate. The application is called JCPToday.exe. So, now it is time to uninstall this monstrosity. They made the shortcut for the uninstall open the add/remove programs built into windows. Guess what, JCPToday isn’t even listed in add/remove programs. Ahh, a real challenge!

Okay, before I go into the details how to remove this thing, I have to put my 2 cents into this. First off, JC Penny must be really hard up for customers or their Marketing department has had their heads in the sand over the past 5 years. They should know this is considered pop up advertisements and that it will result in severe consequences with both company appearance and customer trust. My prediction, someone, if not a few people, from the marketing department at JC Penny will be fired within the next 3 months.

Now, lets get this software off the computer. This thing inserts settings in 12 different places in the Windows registry. I decided the best thing to do is create an application to remove it. The application linked here is made from NSIS. It first deletes the application’s files then deletes all the registry settings associated with it. If needed, it will mark the files to be deleted upon reboot.

After creating this uninstaller, I discovered how intrusive this program truly is. It added entries to the Windows Firewall and integrated itself to windows explorer. The only thing the pop up advertisements don’t do is order things from JC Penney for you. I am sure it would try to find a product match for your credit card number when you enter that on jcp.com. This kind of crap just blows my mind.

Download: JCPToday Uninstaller
Download: JCPToday Uninstaller Script

So lesson learned, never shop at JCPenney. They are unethical.

2 comments on "JCPToday – JC Penney pop up advertisements"

  1. John Hansen says:

    Interesting.. I did a quick google search and found this, from 2 years ago. It looks like the bad publicity hasn’t slowed JCPenney down at all.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/books/major-advertisers-caught-in-spyware-net/2005/06/25/1119321924887.html

    That, and you’re right about them being unethical. Check out this lawsuit from 2004:

    http://pub.bna.com/ptcj/jcpenney.pdf

  2. Alex Eckelberry says:

    How exactly did you get this application on your system? Did it come from the JCP website?

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