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  1. #1
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    "Show Coupon" Opens Merchant In Frame
    I'm not sure if we can mention the affiliate without prior OK here, or even if this is news anymore. This coupon site has the text "Show Coupon" next to the coupon with no code displayed.

    When you click "Show Coupon" the coupon code and details are displayed across the top and the merchant opens in a <frame> below. Of course cookies are set.

    SOP = Slick Operating Procedure


  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    It IS pushing the envelope. I always think it's best to clearly say click here to go to "merchant" and view/use coupon, then it's a definitive end user action and not a trick for a click (cookie) or SOP as you call it.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  3. #3
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    This has been discussed here before and if I remember right - the merchants had no problem with it.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It's been discussed here quite a bit. None of the networks seem to want to take action, other than requiring more disclosure from the coupon affiliates that it's going to happen when a consumer clicks a link. I've seen some coupon affiliates do this and put the disclosure in small print at the bottom of the page. Disclosure makes it marginally better, but I still think it's wrong even with disclosure.

    It's a poor consumer experience. I don't think merchants and networks should allow it. No other type of affiliate is allowed to do this, and I don't see why coupon affiliates are allowed to. Fortunately, it's a relatively small percentage of coupon affiliates that do this. Unfortunately, it's often the ones who get good SEO placement.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    No other type of affiliate is allowed to do this, and I don't see why coupon affiliates are allowed to.
    Because all affiliates are equal, but SOME affiliates are more equal than others.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    No other type of affiliate is allowed to do this, and I don't see why coupon affiliates are allowed to. Fortunately, it's a relatively small percentage of coupon affiliates that do this.
    And not all coupon affiliates are allowed to do it, only the pride and joy's of the networks. If you or I did it the networks and others would be all over it. Some affiliates, coupon or not seem to get away with a lot because they bring a lot of money to the networks. Heck, networks even give cheaters, shady players awards, we all know that!

  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    None of the networks seem to want to take action, other than requiring more disclosure from the coupon affiliates that it's going to happen when a consumer clicks a link.
    The affiliate is working with a SAS merchant and SAS TOS states:
    Fraud is a serious offense, and will be treated as such. Fraud is defined as any action that intentionally attempts to create sales, leads, or click-throughs using robots, frames, iframes, scripts, or manually "refreshing" of pages, for the sole purpose of creating commissions. ANY ATTEMPTED FRAUD OR FRAUD WILL RESULT IN MEMBERSHIP TERMINATION AND VOIDED COMMISSIONS.
    This affiliate is using "frames" in his/her effort.


  8. #8
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    I raised this issue in a prior discussion thread ("Coupon Stuffing by Coupon Craze") (which had 345 posts during September and October of 2007; there was also an extended discussion at SAS ThinkTank 2007). The bottom line is that most networks and many merchants view this as "tolerable" or "acceptable" behavior. (Read the entire thread to understand the various viewpoints.) Of course, there have been many other discussion threads on the same topic, before and since.

    In that thread, I wrote: > "If a merchant has a coupon prompt, and if I find cookie-stuffing by coupon affiliates who appear in the top-10 results for "[merchantname] coupon," then I am NOT going to spend my money to promote that merchant's products, because I know that part of my effort will not be compensated but instead will help reward an unethical cookie-stuffer." <

    I also wrote: > "[T]he primary fault here does not lie with the coupon affiliate, but with the merchant for embedding a coupon prompt that we all realize is going to cause customers to exit the site looking for a coupon. As an affiliate, it is that prompt, combined with the existence of "coupon-site trickery," that persuaded me to abandon any relationship with this merchant." <

    There's a lot more hair-splitting philosophical discussion in that prior discussion thread.
    Last edited by markwelch; October 25th, 2008 at 02:46 PM.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    I tested something similar out for a few weeks a year or so ago. I didn't end up with more sales suprisingly, but did end up with a lot of angry merchant emails regarding their epc.
    I don't know how these sites can't be ruining the epc for a lot of merchants and I don't understand why some get away with it and some don't.
    I guess it could be the fact that the pop doesn't happen until the shopper/person is actually getting the coupon that they convert and make sales and don't have any affect on the merchant epc. However I would think that them taking the sale from another affiliate who's cookie was overwritten does affect the overwritten affiliate's epc.

  10. #10
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    In reading through the threads that Mark posted, I am left wondering: How do the networks expect affiliates to refrain from shades of gray when the networks themselves won't clearly define what is allowed and what is not? The networks really need to have their policies clearly defined not just let the merchants choose to sometimes penalize affiliates and sometimes not depending on how nice the merchant feels that day.

    Or as Trust puts it in a thread that Mark referenced above: http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...&postcount=125

    (I should add that whole thread and linked threads are REALLY worth reading.)

    Where are the boundries? As Haiko has said in the past, you don't really need to think about whether you are doing right or wrong. You feel it. You know it. But, is it right for others to be making money off the techniques that the ethical affiliates avoid while their competitors are never penalized for using them? Who is being rewarded for making the "right" decision there?

    -sfcom


  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    This has been discussed here before and if I remember right - the merchants had no problem with it.
    Actually some of us added to our TOS that this is unacceptable. *Some* merchants have no problem with it.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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