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  1. #1
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    We have had many calls today relating to the NY AG case against Optinrealbig.com LLC. We can not confirm the news about the cases being dropped at this time but we have scheduled a press conference soon. This is big news for cpaempire.com and its advertisers.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CpaEmpire1:
    This is big news for cpaempire.com and its advertisers.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's certainly big news for affiliate marketing as a whole, as well.

    After all, a successful prosecution in this shaky case would have been a black eye and a bad precedent for all affiliate marketers!

    <font size="2" color="#0000ff" face="verdana">Shawn Collins</font>
    <font size="1" color="#000000" face="verdana">www.ShawnCollinsConsulting.com - scollins@affiliatemanager.net - 908-522-0056
    outsourced affiliate program management</font>

  3. #3
    Member hooligan's Avatar
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    How would this be a black eye for affiliate marketers?
    I don't understand how spam and affiliate marketing have anything in common? I get several emails a day with this signature:

    This offer sent to you from:
    Optinrealbig.com LLC
    1333 W 120th Ave Suite 101
    Westminster, CO 80234

    The latest being a "TailWagging Offer" from GetAQuickHomeLoan.com

    Of course, they claim it's not spam, yet I have NEVER opted into any list...

    So again, my question is, how is what I do (affiliate marketing), in any way aligned with what they do?

  4. #4
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    I agree this is bad news. Many sites have fake affiliate programs just so they can spam and say an affiliate did it.

    I have no idea how this case would give legit affiliates a black eye. Can you explain Shawn?

    Chet

  5. #5
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hooligan:
    How would this be a black eye for affiliate marketers?
    I don't understand how spam and affiliate marketing have anything in common?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Every story in the news discusses how affiliate marketing was to blame for the alleged spam incident.

    In this case, the "merchant" is being blamed for the activity of the "affiliate."

    If the "merchant" were to lose the case, it would make affiliate marketing look a lot less attractive to CEOs (liability, risk of negative association with their brand, etc), and companies would be less inclined to run affiliate programs.

    <font size="2" color="#0000ff" face="verdana">Shawn Collins</font>
    <font size="1" color="#000000" face="verdana">www.ShawnCollinsConsulting.com - scollins@affiliatemanager.net - 908-522-0056
    outsourced affiliate program management</font>

  6. #6
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chez Noir:
    I have no idea how this case would give legit affiliates a black eye. Can you explain Shawn?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Because a loss in court would set a precedent that merchants are fully liable for the actions of their affiliates.

    That would make it awfully dangerous to run an affiliate program of hundreds or thousands of affiliates, because the affiliate manager would have to closely police the activity of all affiliates, and set lots of restrictions.

    <font size="2" color="#0000ff" face="verdana">Shawn Collins</font>
    <font size="1" color="#000000" face="verdana">www.ShawnCollinsConsulting.com - scollins@affiliatemanager.net - 908-522-0056
    outsourced affiliate program management</font>

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Further proof that merchants must pay attention to what they're doing, and who they're approving and partnering with! Affiliate managers SHOULD be policing their affiliates, this lack of policing is why there is so much abuse going on today.

    To label this case as having an effect on affiliate marketing as a whole is perpetuating a stereotype, as affiliate marketing and spamming are two different things. Yes, there are affiliates who spam, but as a whole most are honest and don't practice unethical and/or prohibited marketing techniques. To continue to refer to the two as kin is a disservice to the affiliate marketing industry.

    As for OptinRealBig, they are spammers. I receive spam from them at an E-mail address that is used solely for processing forms on the Internet. It has NEVER, EVER been used for anything else! So when messages come through that address, telling me I've "opted in" I know they've been harvested off the Internet.

    So, if OptinRealBig is trying to be a legit company, it's time for them to take a long hard look at how they get addresses, because whatever filters or restrictions they have in place now, AREN'T WORKING! You are spammers!

    Andy

    _______________
    <font color="red">Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!</font>

  8. #8
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    I agree with Shawn.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Andy:
    To label this case as having an effect on affiliate marketing as a whole is perpetuating a stereotype, as affiliate marketing and spamming are two different things.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Andy -

    That is very clear to us, but for the people that are above the affiliate managers, they just see a risk.

    I've spoken to a whole lot of them, and I think one bad court decision could result in a whole lot more situations like Birthday Express.

    <font size="2" color="#0000ff" face="verdana">Shawn Collins</font>
    <font size="1" color="#000000" face="verdana">www.ShawnCollinsConsulting.com - scollins@affiliatemanager.net - 908-522-0056
    outsourced affiliate program management</font>

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>would set a precedent that merchants are fully liable for the actions of their affiliates.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I agree with Andy that a merchant needs to know how their ad campaign is being presented. I have no sympathy for a merchant who claims ignorance when they pay an affiliate to send 15 million SPAM messages/day in their name. This case wouldn't have been brought if this was a one time mailing by a rougue affiliate of General Motors and was nipped in the bud by GM at the first evidence of the activity. We've all seen this Optinrealbig SPAM for ages and to blame years of continuous abuse of our email boxes on an "an affiliate who obviously was out of control" is as laughingly lame an excuse as I can imagine.

    Is this the type of merchant you are trying to protect from getting a "black eye?" If the "whole lot" of merchants that you spoke to see a risk if this case is successful, then you might consider associating with a better crowd of merchants.

    The average person doesn't associate the crap that is being targeted in the lawsuit with a banner ad or text link they see on a website that they know or trust. Most merchants aren't as ignorant as you paint them to be either.

    Wayne

    [This message was edited by NorthernStudio on January 17, 2004 at 11:18 AM.]

  11. #11
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    There are many merchants who just wink and nod at spammers, taking no action as the same spammer will send his offer for months.

    If a merchant is notified of a spamming affiliate, and they take no action saying - Oh that is just an affiliate that is not us, you need to contact them. Then that merchant should be held responsible.

    These people are no different than if these merchants took out an ad on TV, the merchant is paying for advertising, and by paying for advertising and knowing that advertising is spam, they are condoning spam. I think it is foolish to think paying CPA verus a flat rate should free you from the responsibility of the ads or the claims made by the ads.

    Just curious shawn, what is the topic you are going to cover when you are speaking at the Direct Marketing Club of New York Luncheon?

    Chet

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Real interesting to see how the 3rd party professional AM firms react when the powerful Attorney Generals seek to whack their Dupers and merchant pool for endorsing e-mail spamming and privacy info peddling.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  13. #13
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chez Noir:
    Just curious shawn, what is the topic you are going to cover when you are speaking at the Direct Marketing Club of New York Luncheon?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Chet -

    It's a fairly generic title (What Every DMer Should Know About Pay-for-Performance Marketing Online).

    I still have to get together with Peter Figueredo and Prakash Bharwani to work out a list of topics.

    Off the top of my head, I'd guess we'll touch on parasites, search engines, CAN-SPAM, costs to start a program, etc.

    <font size="2" color="#0000ff" face="verdana">Shawn Collins</font>
    <font size="1" color="#000000" face="verdana">www.ShawnCollinsConsulting.com - scollins@affiliatemanager.net - 908-522-0056
    outsourced affiliate program management</font>

  14. #14
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by EcomCity.com:
    Real interesting to see how the 3rd party professional AM firms react when the powerful Attorney Generals seek to whack their Dupers and merchant pool for endorsing e-mail spamming and privacy info peddling.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Mike -

    If your comment had any base in reality, I myself would agree with you. But I've never worked with those guys.

    <font size="2" color="#0000ff" face="verdana">Shawn Collins</font>
    <font size="1" color="#000000" face="verdana">www.ShawnCollinsConsulting.com - scollins@affiliatemanager.net - 908-522-0056
    outsourced affiliate program management</font>

  15. #15
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NorthernStudio:
    I agree with Andy that a merchant needs to know how their ad campaign is being presented.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Absolutely. In the past, affiliate programs have not done a good enough job policing things, and they've let their programs get too big to monitor closely (i.e. opting in to every affiliate's newletter).

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NorthernStudio:
    I have no sympathy for a merchant who claims ignorance when they pay an affiliate to send 15 million SPAM messages/day in their name. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Neither do I. My initial post was not in defense of anything anybody did in this case - rather I was making the point that if affiliates and merchants lose a court case, it will reflect poorly on affiliate marketing in the eyes of the uninformed (who often make the big management decisions).

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NorthernStudio:
    Is this the type of merchant you are trying to protect from getting a "black eye?"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I want to see the industry protected, not any individual merchant.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NorthernStudio:
    If the "whole lot" of merchants that you spoke to see a risk if this case is successful, then you might consider associating with a better crowd of merchants.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The only merchants I don't associate with are the ones that are breaking the law.

    Unfortunately, the decision makers read the coverage in the New York Times and the trade publications, where affiliate marketing is branded as risky.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NorthernStudio: The average person doesn't associate the crap that is being targeted in the lawsuit with a banner ad or text link they see on a website that they know or trust. Most merchants aren't as ignorant as you paint them to be either.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The activity targeted in the lawsuit took place via affiliate marketing. That's all a CEO needs to read.

    It's ironic that the decision makers are being given credit for being clued in all of a sudden when so many have been criticized for being out of the loop on critical issues.

    Understand - I am an unabashed cheerleader of affiliate marketing - I am merely passing along some information.

    <font size="2" color="#0000ff" face="verdana">Shawn Collins</font>
    <font size="1" color="#000000" face="verdana">www.ShawnCollinsConsulting.com - scollins@affiliatemanager.net - 908-522-0056
    outsourced affiliate program management</font>

  16. #16
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    I don't believe merchants or consumers paint SPAM and legitimate affiliate ads on websites or newsletters with the same broad brush. I see no danger to legitimate advertisers or merchants being harmed if this prosecution is successful.

    Being clued in is not the same as being ethical. As I said, I don't believe there are many (if any) merchants using spamming services that do not know exactly what they've have paid for. If there are merchants that are this ignorant then they will have to learn their lesson the hard way. The CEOs you refer to need to educate themselves. If we lose a few ignorant ones along with the unethical/law breaking ones, then so be it.

    Although it is an extreme analogy, I believe hoping for this case to be dropped is like discouraging prosecution of street pushers as it might give a black eye to the local pharmacies.

    If this lawsuit is successfully carried through, I believe affiliate marketing will survive and flourish, earning more confidence and respect.

    Wayne

  17. #17
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    Mike, that was just a stupid comment. A quick check and you could have looked to see if there many complaints against clubmom for spamming.

    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=cl...=off&scoring=d

    As you can see, while there are a few listed, there are not repeat listings, meaning most likely they were either false positives or the AM removed the spammer. Or do you think shawn went out on his own, just so he could start spamming?

    Mike, I know you have been in the industry since t-rex's punched punch cards, but maybe its time you learned to use the resources these fascinating machines make available?

    Chet

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    My only statement ..."Real interesting to see how the 3rd party professional AM firms react when the powerful Attorney Generals seek to whack their Dupers and merchant pool for endorsing e-mail spamming and privacy info peddling."

    Hard stretch to infer this addressed ClubMom in any way. I appreciate Shawns comments and sharing of the information on this legal battle between the City of NY and the professional spam operations monotized by the network merchants. It is the tip of the iceberg as it addresses the new Can-Spam law as a test case with Spitzer's #1 cheerleader/advocate being Bill Gates.

    Interesting is this is just an offshoot of the info gleaned by operating cybercrime unit affiliate enabled shopping sites. The Duper (affiliates posing as merchants) frontends, merchant payment clearing houses, hosting operations are under the legal microscope yielding criminal charges like the recent Child Porn ring busts worldwide.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  19. #19
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    We take all abuse very seriously and act probably faster then most networks on abuse when there is any problem reported to us. I would like is any of you could email me your emails that you have gotten that you claim are spam so that we can respond to them as well as show Optin info to you.

    I think this is a fair request to make as its easy to scream and say what you like but its fair to let us proof your statements are not true.

    I do not see how it benefits any one if we do not all work together as a group.

    Please email and ones to look up to postinglookup@optinbig.com

    Thank you and I look forwarding to replying with the information and will hope you then will post that we did not spam you.

  20. #20
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    why not set up the email address:abuse@optinbig.com, it's easier to remember.


    _____
    I earned something? Who screwed up?

  21. #21
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    How about this plan:

    Send everyone on your "opt-in" list an email giving them the opportunity to confirm that they did, in fact, opt in. Then only send future emails to those that confirm their opt-in status.

    This way the millions of us who have had their email addresses harvested will never have to hear from you again.

    This works better for me.

    Wayne

  22. #22
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    Good plan, Wayne!
    Now let's just persuade all spammers to do this....

  23. #23
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    What Wayne said!!!

    You most probably won't do as he suggested as you won't have much of a list left. I know that I for one have never opted into anyones list to receive email except that which is pertenent to the immediate person with whom I correspond.

    I am disgusting sick of unsolicited spam email.

    Gene
    TCS

  24. #24
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    Herb

    We do have that address set up for abuse complaints but I wanted to set up this special address so that I could personally over see any sent to us and respond to them.

    Scott

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Spammers pure and simple. You can paint it any way you want. You can spin it like affiliates are lumped in with spammers, and so it is bad for all affiliates too.

    I'll take my chances when it comes to a CEO's opinion about whether affiliates are good or bad based on a SPAM case.

    If I have to risk a few bad opinions from CEO's in order to put these SPAM houses out of business, then so be it. Some good may come of this - where merchant's clean up their programs, get ride of the parasites AND the SPAMMERS.

    I am sick and tired of getting SPAM from you guys (and everyone else). I don't feel sorry for you for a second, you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    I'm sure your lists are "clean," and we all will believe it when you say it.

    This thread should not be in Midnight Café, but in the Direct Marketing/SPAM forum. Wait, we don't have one of those.

    Are you sure the nurses know you're using the computer?

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