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  1. #1
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    Urgent "Final Notice" email to remove links
    I received a very annoying email this morning, sent from the address of an OPM but very clearly written by someone else in "CYA" mode.

    > "After many repeated requests to all affiliates, this is the FINAL NOTICE for compliance, due to legal action that has been taken against [merchantname].com, regarding Pending Case No.[omitted], it is our policy that all affiliates in the [merchantname] affiliate program comply with our request to remove any and all text, images and content mentions of the following designer names and the following collection names from your website.

    Designer Names: (omitted)

    Collection Names: (omitted)

    In addition to removing the text and content of the abovementioned designer names and collection names, we require that you comply with the following:

    * For data feed affliates, you are requested to update your product data feed immediately and remove all previous versions, of our data feed from your site, which may contain the abovementioned designer names and collection names
    * All affiliates must completely remove any text and/or content that contains any mention of the designer names and/or collection names, including but not limited to, navigation menus, link text, alt tags and banners.
    * All search engine marketing affiliates are required to cease and desist all pay-per-click campaigns that mention the designer names or collection names, on the web or in any manner.
    * All affiliates are required to be fully compliant with removing all mentions of the designer names and collection names, within seven days from the date of this newsletter.

    If you do not comply with this notice of removal for the abovementioned designer names and collection names, legal action may be taken again you in a court of law by the aforementioned designers.

    We must recieve an e-mail confirming that you are in compliance with all of the aforementioned requirments within the next seven days. Please send your confirmation e-mail to [merchant email] and CC our affiliate manager, [name and email] so that we can avoid further legal action. We greatly appreciate your cooperation in this matter and look forward to a successful holiday season." <

    My reply:

    > "I don't see any prior requests or notices; I even see newsletters from [merchantname] dated October 2 and October 10 that make no mention of this.

    Your email refers to a "pending case no." without mentioning a jurisdiction, making this sound more like a phishing spam than a genuine request.

    I assume that this email was not written by [OPM name], but was poorly written by someone else at [merchantname], so I won't attribute the rudeness to [OPM agency].

    I've just checked my PopShops account and verified that 49 [merchantname] products were included in 27 content pages on my sites. All are currently "inactive," so I don't know whether (nor when) they appeared on my sites. Fortunately, PopShops provides a fast and easy solution to this problem: I purged all [merchantname] products from all my sites.

    Given the tone of this email, and the fact that I can't find any prior "notices" before this one, I see no reason to work with [merchantname] in the future. This is no loss to either of us, since I see that I've sent no traffic in October and only 10 clicks (probably all "test clicks") total." <

    As an attorney, I think recognize what happened here, and as both an attorney and an affiliate, I can see multiple reasons why I should never do business with this merchant again.
    Last edited by markwelch; October 28th, 2008 at 08:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    Which merchant?

  3. #3
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    If the merchant chose not to publicize this situation by posting here on ABW (either directly or through their OPM), I didn't think it would be appropriate to invite additional litigiousness by naming them here.

    I also didn't think it was fair to identify the OPM, either directly or indirectly, since I don't think this annoyance was the OPM's fault. (I also think that it's entirely possible that the email was sent by one of the merchant's employees or agents, using the network interface, without the OPM's approval.)

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    We received the same e-mail.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  5. #5
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Sounds like it's time to add another point to the Consolidated List of Affiliate Friendly Policies thread.

    Geno

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    Yep I got it too.

    I can read between the lines and guess at what happened.

    I'm sure the OPM is in no way at fault.

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    I can definitely understand your frustration when getting an email that references past communications that you never got.

    I wonder if the stuff made it into your folders? Otherwise yeah, I agree that the merchant/opm/network/whoever is responsible for that should be able to back up that they sent you other communications before threatening you vaguely like that.

  8. #8
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    My reply to the email was:
    Hey XXXXXX,
    > We have never used the terms in question.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > John
    He fired back a nice apology.


  9. #9
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I got that message this morning too. I made sure I didn't have any tags with those merchant names and asked a couple questions since I have never intentionally used those brands.


    I got a response a little while ago saying sorry for the inconvenience, but no answers to my questions so I guess it isn't very urgent after all.

    Dear MY NAME, I would like to sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused by the recent court order against MERCHANT We truly appreciate your response and genuinely wish that you continue to work with us while we make this transition. Thank you kindly for your prompt reply and please accept my kindest apologies. Best Regards, MANAGER


    I wanted to know when they fixed their feed and more information regarding their request since other merchants on my site DO sell products with those brand names and it seems odd to remove the brand from those products supplied by other merchants.

    Should I have "FAMOUS BRAND NAME Gold Watch" when that brand is actually part of the feed of another merchant whose products are also in my site?


    The "Final Notice" which is really a first notice is annoying. I see many managers abusing their subject lines so much that soon we'll have final/urgent/important subject line blindness... why?

    The affiliate managers who cried wolf (ok they cried important/urgent/very important), so instead of giving special time they'll get deleted right away.

  10. #10
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    I also got the e-mail and responded back that this was the first time I had heard of any of this trouble. I also found the tone disturbing, stating that "legal action may be taken again you in a court of law by the aforementioned designers."

    Luckily, I had removed them from my website several weeks ago when their datafeed disappeared from PopShops.

    I never got any response to the e-mail I spent back. I don't need any of that kinda trouble. Bye Bye merchant!

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    The "Final Notice" which is really a first notice is annoying. I see many managers abusing their subject lines so much that soon we'll have final/urgent/important subject line blindness... why?
    I can see why managers would do this, although I don't think it's a good tactic to use. You're right about the subject line blindness - affiliates who are members of many programs get so many newsletters and general emails from merchants that AMs are getting desperate to grab the attention of the affiliates in any way they can so they can get higher open rates.

    Like I said though, I see why AMs would be really tempted to do this, but it's still not right.

  12. #12
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    I got the same email.

    I responded to the [merchant email address] that I never had the listed designer/brand names on my content pages, and CC the email to [OPM email address] as they required.

    The CC one got bounced back.

  13. #13
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I've been out all day. I just checked my e-mail, received that one & deleted it. I didn't have any of those links up anyway.


    I regarded that e-mail as a "splash notice." It's the type of e-mail where an OPM/AM is annoyed with one affiliate and sends out an abusive e-mail to all affiliates.

    Let the idiot take legal action: good luck finding any of those links on any of my pages. I'll countersue the b@stard.
    Last edited by Rhia7; October 28th, 2008 at 10:26 PM.
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  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi All

    This is from The AMWSO client previously referred to.

    As I explained to Mark in my reply to him, this was the letter we received from the lawyer with the instructions to send it immediately. We were not happy with how it was phrased, but the lawyer required that it be sent 'as is', and as he's the lawyer and we're not we felt it would best to send it as is rather than change it and find out we'd messed up something important.

    I certainly do apologize to everyone who received this and found it to be brusk and impolite, I and Allen already did send an apology to Mark, and several others who contacted us about it

    Please don't hesitate to contact myself or Allen for clarification, or post here.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Last edited by Merchant Consultant Team; October 30th, 2008 at 08:06 AM.
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  15. #15
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    hi chris

    for the benefit of everyone, since you are the sender anyway and you are supposed to dissiminate the letter, can you post the unedited letter here? or at least, list the designer and collection terms?

    thanks

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waytogo
    hi chris

    for the benefit of everyone, since you are the sender anyway and you are supposed to dissiminate the letter, can you post the unedited letter here? or at least, list the designer and collection terms?

    thanks
    I can't see why not myself, but I need to check back with the firm as this is an active case and I am not sure what is and is not allowed right now. We'll check with the firm and the lawyer and if they have no issue with it being reproduced in full here then we'll certainly do so

    Cheers

    Chris
    Last edited by Chris - AMWSO; October 30th, 2008 at 11:39 AM.
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  17. #17
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris - AMWSO

    Please don't hesitate to contact myself or Allen for clarification, or post here.

    Cheers

    Chris
    I've e-mailed and posted here, so I'm just waiting for the reply.

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi Chris

    Allen will be sending a reply over in a minute or two

    Cheers

    chris
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  19. #19
    Outsourced Program Manager Allen - AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi LostDeviant,

    Reply has been sent to both your emails. Thank you for your patience.

    - Allen
    [SIZE=1][B]Allen Miller. Affiliate Manager, EZvacuum.com / UnitedShades.com[/B]
    [/SIZE]

  20. #20
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Hi Allen & Chris,
    I got your replies by e-mail. Thank you


    Christopher

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Maybe others will have similar questions so I'll just post here. If we have any Squidoos that are made already and they contain adjectives to describe this type of jewelry.

    Example: Designer replica jewelry or maybe Designer inspired jewelry, blah, blah jewelry, etc. (they don't mention any designer name, they just say designer replica or whatever)

    We can't change those actual names of the Squidoos since once you make em they say they can't be changed (the be sure this is what you want, since the name can't be changed in the beginning when you make it) So the url is gonna say squidoodotcom whatever term we used like replica, designer inspired, whatever. It also will have up at the very top of the page Replica jewelry, Designer inspired jewelry, whatever.

    That stuff can't be changed unless you delete the whole Squidoo lens which I guess means all the nice comments people gave it go bye bye, too

    The merchant products on that page won't have any of the actual designer names that were in the email, guess they may have some of the designer name products but will no longer refer to them as that designer, just as designer inspired. I'm assuming any of the other designers not mentioned in the email....it's ok to have their designer name mentioned since that's how they are in the Make a page or individual product maker (since I think they come from the datafeed)??

    I'm not gonna or any of the other affiliates (know there are other Squidoos but not positive they're affiliates since I haven't looked at theirs but assume they are) anyway I can't change whatever Squidoo puts in the page where they put stuff tho, like:

    Explore related topics or Related topics or ummm their ads on the page by Google for authentic whatever designer name.

    So, guess the question is am I gonna get put in th pokey (or any other affiliate with a Squidoo lens scenario like described) if those designers named in that email aren't actually named but their products could be on the page or if I have a Squidoo named Replica jewerly, designer inspired jewelry or whatever but Squidoo themselves put something on that page with one of those designer names in it.

    Since everybody else has said it..... might as well chime in too, never did anything that violated any type of terms before either, never received any previous emails either.

    Not quite sure if we're still supposed to be sending emails to people since not sure who the email came from and mayfly said hers bounced anyway that we did comply... since am not sure what it is that it means. Ummm don't really like the idea of sayin I've done somethin that somebody's told me to do if I didn't do what it says I've supposed to have been warned against not doin in the first place. Isn't that kinda like admitting I did what I'm accused of when I didn't do it? .....am I gonna get put in the pokey for not sending something back to contact at oj or to Allen?

    Not sure any of that makes sense, if not....will give it another shot.
    Last edited by Chris - AMWSO; October 30th, 2008 at 11:40 AM.

  22. #22
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    I guess some of it makes sense purpely (can I call you purpely?)

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    lol yeap Julian, you can call me whatever you'd like I've had others refer to me as plain ole purple, pb, miss purple bear, as long as it's nice you can call me whatever you want

    umm, which part of my purply babblin doesn't make sense and I'll try to give it another shot. lol

  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager Allen - AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi Kathy,

    Just to be on the safe side regarding your Squidoo pages, it would be a good idea if you changed the wording of "replica" to "inspired by designer" or "celebrity style". Please email me or PM me if you would like some additional help.

    Thanks,

    Allen
    [SIZE=1][B]Allen Miller. Affiliate Manager, EZvacuum.com / UnitedShades.com[/B]
    [/SIZE]

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Julian said: "I guess some of it makes sense purpely"

    Guess I didn't really explain myself too well.

    "That stuff can't be changed unless you delete the whole Squidoo lens which I guess means all the nice comments people gave it go bye bye, too[img]images/smilies/frown.gif[/img]"

    Guess that's what I'll have to do.
    Thank you for answering my question.

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