Just in case you needed to be reminded about the difference between Google and Overture, Overture is contemplating selling ad results to Gator for distribution in their Search Scout software. Overture says,

“I understand that you may have some concerns about Gator. There has been a lot of recent media coverage about “spyware,” “scumware,” or applications that embed themselves into an Internet user’s browser and possibly track online behavior. Overture has evaluated Gator’s practices and determined that they are not consistent with what the media defines as “spyware.”

I’m a big believer that lightweight advertising placed in an appropriate context. “Lean-media advertising” will be an important revenue source for legitimate content sites.

But Gator is the perhaps the most-hated company on the Internet for a good reason. They exploit the limitations of Microsoft Windows to install unwelcome advertising spyware on people’s computers and sell those people to their advertisers. Overture (formerly Goto.com) has bought a measure of legitimacy through sheer profitability, a more-dignified name, and the acquisition of some powerful search brands. But a deal with Gator would pretty much put the torch to that.

Perhaps they don’t understand how fragile an Internet brand can be.[Thanks, Marketingfix]