The sleaziest excuse
"complaining that it had been "vilified" for legal and commonplace online marketing activities."
Ignoring the apparent illegal activities that it was up to, this is perhaps the sleaziest excuse. It's essentially saying "but everyone else is doing it!"
That something may be legal and commonplace does not indicate whether or not it's acceptable. It is appropriate to vilify CA for this stuff, and it is also appropriate to vilify every other company that engages in this stuff as well. In fact, lots of us do so, frequently.