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  1. #1
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Does Pepperjam Network employ deceptive practices??
    I have heard second hand but I am asking the question: does PJN, PJ Affiliate or PJ Merchant employ cookie stuffing, URL forwarding or deceptive practices?

    I have heard from trusted sources (which will not be disclosed) that PJ has worked with companies like 180 Solutions, Zango, etc. I would like an answer from Kris.

    For this reason I have dissolved all relationships with any Pepperjam entity for the 15 domains I manage affiliate programs for. I have had strong relationships for over 3 years with Pepperjam under previously managed affiliate programs on several networks.

    chamrick@affiliatecrew.com
    801-993-2240

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    I've been considering joining Pj as an affiliate in my spare time so I'm pretty interested in the answer to this question.

  3. #3
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    Chuck,

    Thanks for your question.

    This is a very serious question and one that Pepperjam takes equally serious.

    Pepperjam does not employ cooking stuffing, URL forwarding, or deceptive practices.

    Pepperjam has never worked with 180 Solutions, Zango, or any other malicious software vendor in any capacity what so ever.

    Kris

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Kris,

    Thanks for responding. This is something that has concerned me. I am glad that you responded clearly, something that is needed in this industry.

    Chuck
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; March 10th, 2008 at 11:50 AM.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    I saw them once popping up a merchant's page without any click, but they called it "conversion tracking analytical tests"
    SomethingStore.com - Surprise and Delight!

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Sam,

    That was the past - are they STILL doing it?

  7. #7
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    Billy Kay,

    Let me answer that question for you.

    No, Pepperjam is not enaging in any cooking stuffing, URL forwarding, or deceptive practices.

    The issue highlighted by Sam Bay was addressed as soon as it occured (two years ago) and yes, it was the result of split testing we were doing regarding conversion rates.

    Thanks for your follow-up.

  8. #8
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    LOL - I need to use the word "rhetorical" when necessary

    My post was my subtle way of keeping the question issues focused on CURRENT PJ - not what was done in the past

    If someone has a video from the last 90 days, please post it

    But just constantly bringing up the so-called "test" 2 years ago doesn't move the discussion along

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pepperjam
    Pepperjam has never worked with 180 Solutions, Zango, or any other malicious software vendor in any capacity what so ever.
    If there was a list of merchants that you provide(d) affiliate management services to I think I'd have a question for you along these lines.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  10. #10
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    Haiko,

    Thanks for your question.

    Just go ahead and ask the question - I've provided you with links to Pepperjam managed clients.

    The featured client list for Pepperjam Marketing Services is located - http://www.pepperjam.com/client-list.php

    The featured client list for Pepperjam Network is located - http://www.pepperjamnetwork.com/feat...dvertisers.php

    If you have a question about a particular client please let me know.

    I made it absolutely clear in my answer above that Pepperjam has never worked with 180 Solutions, Zango, or any other malicious software vendor in any capacity what so ever.

  11. #11
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    Kris,

    the featured client list is not helpful.

    Here is what i need:

    a list of PJ mananged clients that currently have their tracking on the CJ platform. I need to look at this list, determine how many are currently on our sites, and then be sure that i have a plan should CJ push the issue and i need to make change, either take the advertisers off our sites, or whatever.

    please be clear about the advertisers in questions, not some vague client list.

  12. #12
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    BabyPhat.com
    Rocawear.com
    AppleBottoms.com
    PhatFarm.com
    Dereon.com (Beyonce's clothing line)
    Orange County Choppers
    Just Sweet (JLO's clothing line)
    Enyce.com
    New Line Cinema
    Cartoon Network
    WB Shop
    TMZ Shop
    WBTV Shop
    MGM Store
    AnthonyRobbins.com
    Foreclosure.com
    PacificPillows.com
    AllAboutDance.com
    BedBathStore.com
    RevivalSoy.com
    RevivalDiet.com
    USCavalry.com
    FruitCompany.com
    MyNutritionStore.com
    CoffeeAM.com
    BiggerBras.com
    Wireless Emporium
    Andy's Airplanes

  13. #13
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pepperjam
    Just go ahead and ask the question - I've provided you with links to Pepperjam managed clients.
    In an effort to maintain fairness, the list doesn't help me as it's a current list, and while two on the list did have a history with Zango, that doesn't necessarily mean that it was under your management. So I'll wait for another list or just do more diligence myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by pepperjam
    If you have a question about a particular client please let me know.
    I will, but an exact question

    Quote Originally Posted by pepperjam
    I made it absolutely clear in my answer above that Pepperjam has never worked with 180 Solutions, Zango, or any other malicious software vendor in any capacity what so ever.
    Understood, and thank you for that definitive answer, but could you please elaborate on "malicious software" and YOUR definition of such? Example is belcaro group (SAHS) considered malicious to you? --- Could you post a list of companies / software that you consider "malicious"?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  14. #14
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    nevermind.
    Last edited by Rollerblader; March 11th, 2008 at 10:45 AM. Reason: decided not to ask.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  15. #15
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    Haiko,

    Thanks for your follow-up.

    I don't have a definitive list because there are so many different software vendors, but I can share with you what I believe to be illegal forms of software, which are unacceptable to Pepperjam Network.

    FYI - I think the legal issue comes down to user consent.

    Therefore, in my opinion, any form of software that is downloaded onto a personal computer without the user's consent is illegal.

    With the above in mind, Pepperjam does not work with software companies that perform illegal downloads.

    As Connie Berg and others have expressed here on ABW - http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=102349 - not all forms of software are illegal. I agree.

    Finally, while Pepperjam Network has a policy AGAINST working with software vendors that conduct illegal downloads, it is our position that it is ultimately the advertisers decision to work with any of the others, including loyalty programs, cashback, and similar software vendors that do not do anything illegal. But again, Pepperjam feels strongly that it is the advertisers decision, not ours.

  16. #16
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Kris,

    Thank you for your follow-up.

    Quote Originally Posted by pepperjam
    With the above in mind, Pepperjam does not work with software companies that perform illegal downloads.
    If I may add an assumptive disclaimer ...

    "... currently perform illegal downloads ..."
    ...because they all did blind or illegal downloads in the past. Right?

    Quote Originally Posted by pepperjam
    not all forms of software are illegal.
    Ok so does that mean Belcaro (SAHS) is ok to you? I mean Today? Who else that we consider parasiteware or bad actors would you consider ok "today"?

    Quote Originally Posted by pepperjam
    Finally, while Pepperjam Network has a policy AGAINST working with software vendors that conduct illegal downloads, it is our position that it is ultimately the advertisers decision to work with any of the others, including loyalty programs, cash back, and similar software vendors that do not do anything illegal. But again, Pepperjam feels strongly that it is the advertisers decision, not ours.
    What does that mean in English? Your against them, but you'll allow them if a merchant wants to work with them? Why even take a position or a stance if it boils down to the "if the merchant wants to" disclaimer? I don't get it - to me its either yes or no. You have almost unequivocally stated that you [PPJ] has not worked with them [illegal downloads] in the past, BUT you make it seem that you might in the future if the merchant wants to / says it's ok.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  17. #17
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    Haiko,

    I appreciate that you continue to follow-up on this issue because I think it's very important.

    Your first Question was - "...because they all did blind or illegal downloads in the past. Right?"

    I agree that the software industry used to be much more covert than it is today - that is because of action taken by Congress and federal prosecuters against malicious software vendors that were performing illegal downloads - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyware

    However, I disagree with your statement all software vendors did blind or illegal downloads in the past. I agree the industry was bad, but I'm sure there were some who avoided it because of the possibility they were breaking the law.

    Either way, I'm glad that there are laws in place now to set standards and better regulate the software industry.

    Your next series of Questions were - Ok so does that mean Belcaro (SAHS) is ok to you? I mean Today? Who else that we consider parasiteware or bad actors would you consider ok "today"?

    Let me first repeat that Pepperjam does not work with software companies that perform illegal downloads.

    Question for you - Does Belcaro perform illegal downloads?

    In terms of other "parasiteware or bad actors" my position is that we don't work with software companies that perform illegal downloads. In order for me to expand on this question I'd need to know more about which software companies you (or other ABW members) believe are conducting illegal downloads.

    Your final question is a follow-up to this statement I made above: Finally, while Pepperjam Network has a policy AGAINST working with software vendors that conduct illegal downloads, it is our position that it is ultimately the advertisers decision to work with any of the others, including loyalty programs, cash back, and similar software vendors that do not do anything illegal. But again, Pepperjam feels strongly that it is the advertisers decision, not ours.

    You ask - What does that mean in English? Your against them, but you'll allow them if a merchant wants to work with them? Why even take a position or a stance if it boils down to the "if the merchant wants to" disclaimer? I don't get it - to me its either yes or no. You have almost unequivocally stated that you [PPJ] has not worked with them [illegal downloads] in the past, BUT you make it seem that you might in the future if the merchant wants to / says it's ok.

    ANSWER - Pepperjam Network does not work with software companies that conduct illegal downloads. Pepperjam Network will NEVER work with software companies that conduct illegal downloads. This is a decision made by Pepperjam and will not be influenced or compromised by any of our advertisers in the future.

    Since software vendors that conduct illegal downloads are not welcome as affiliates of Pepperjam Network, our merchants can't partner with them through PJN (they aren't allowed on the Network).

    However, Pepperjam Network advertisers have the ability to work with consentual (non-illegal) software partners if they are accepted into Pepperjam Network.
    Last edited by pepperjam; March 11th, 2008 at 01:15 PM. Reason: added "if they are accepted into Pepperjam Network" language.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    It seems to me, and I guess I should put this in the form of a question, that as long as it's not illegal, then PJN is okay with it? That is to say, that if there are ethical concerns, then PJN won't take a stance one way or another? Some - myself included - would say that when it comes to unethical concerns, if you don't kick them out, you're condoning them. Some might also say that PJN, like some other networks, is simply doing the least amount of policing necessary to keep from having the government interfere with the business, by only disallowing what has been deemed illegal, not what is unethical.

    Personally, I'm not at all interested in whether or not PJN is following the law. People and companies shouldn't get props for following the law - you should be doing that anyway. I'd like to know where PJN stands ethically - and given the answers here so far, I suspect I know. But I'd like to hear it spelled out.

    The question then, is this: does PJN take the stance that as long as something isn't illegal, it's allowed on the network?
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  19. #19
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    HecticDMC,

    Thanks for your follow-up.

    Your question was - does PJN take the stance that as long as something isn't illegal, it's allowed on the network?

    You are right that Pepperjam Network does not allow illegal activity by PJN publishers and advertisers.

    In addition, Pepperjam Network does not accept affiliates that are involved in overly controversial or unvetted business practices, including things like hate sites, gambling, pornography, and regulated pharmaceuticals, among others.

    However, as a network we believe it is the advertiser's decision to accept / reject a certain publisher.

    Therefore, Pepperjam Network sets the bar for the type of affiliate we are willing to accept into the network, but it is the advertiser's decision whether or not to work with a given affiliate once the affiliate is admitted into the network.

    Moreover, Pepperjam Network takes it a step further than the other major networks by attaching a "Transparency Score" to each affiliate so that the advertiser has a relative guage of confidence in the quality of promotional methods used by the affiliate.

    In terms of what is ethical and what is not ethical, there are all forms of affiliate marketing that can be considered unethical, including various forms of e-mail marketing, search marketing (PPC / SEO), incentives, software, coupons, etc.

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