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  1. #1
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    DirectCPV/LoudMo/AdManage
    I wanted to expand on the brief information I posted in the AdManage intro thread.

    This is a relatively new contextual adware group on the scene. They've been gaining some traction over the last few months and have been making the rounds at many online marketing forums as well as booths at affiliate conventions. Depending on where you run across them, it may or may not be clear what their business model is.

    The contextual adware is called LoudMo, the site that handles the pay-per-install of the software is also LoudMo and the site where advertisers buy traffic is DirectCPV. They also have another company called AdManage. AdManage is set up as an advertising network for publishers and advertisers. However, if you look closely you'll see that they deliver the same types of ad inventory as DirectCPV. The question has to be asked as to whether or not ad inventory bought through AdManage is displayed through DirectCPV (i.e. ad bought with the expectation of being shown on publishers site who have agreed to display those ads vs through contextual adware). I don't have any way of knowing the answer to that question, but it's one that should be asked.

    This is bascially the same set-up as Zango, TrafficVance and MediaTraffic where people buy can buy contextual ads to be displayed through the LoudMo adware by targeting other people's URLs and/or keywords on some else's site.
    The CEO of DirectCPV and AdManage is Charlo Barbosa, who has been around the Internet for quite some time. He has been involved in the porn and gaming biz. DirectCPV also owns quite a few porn sites....a mechanism for installing the LoudMo software. Around 2000/01, he settled charges with the FTC related to some of his porn sites regarding billing of consumers using those sites (excessive phone charges). He was also behind the public offering of Poker.com way back.

    Charlo Barbosa is also a VP at RevenueGateway, a CPA network. RevenueGateway is owned by Blue Whaler Investments, which also owns Coreggy.

    It's never a good mix of adware company and CPA network IMO.

    There is also a company under the LoudMo branding which provides advertising for social networking sites, such as FB, MySpace, etc. LoudMo also has plans to release a software app bundled w/ LoudMo though their PPI program which allows users to customize their FB page. While this software is already available it's own site (preporting to be both spyware and adware free while the EULA shows otherwise), once it's offered as part of the PPI program, the install reach will increase along with a different demographic group.

    The software itself displays ads a bit differently than Zango. Why restrict oneself to just pop-ups?

    Their adware has the ability to deliver interstitial ads. So the end user is browsing a site and suddenly they are shown a page to another site in the same browser window (highlights and red boxes by me).



    From the screenshot above, you'll see that the page is loaded in frames, so the URL in the address box remains the same for the site that was previously being viewed by the end user. Even though the browser is titled LoudMo and there is a link to "skip" the ad, I imagine this can be confusing for some end users as to where the ad is really coming from. This also has implications with regards to the http referrer information.

    The software also delivers inline ads as seen below. I've highlighted the adware link, but it's just a hyperlink delivered by the adware.



    As you can see in the example, sometimes these links look very similar to the legitimate links on the targeted web site, again potentially causing confusion for the end user.

    DirectCPV appears to be on a marketing campaign for more mainstream advertisers. This includes both merchants and affiliates. We are already seeing some CPA affiliates using DirectCPV.

    Affiliates with the traditional networks should beware of using this type of advertising themselves. ALL the major traditional networks do not allow such ad buys. ALL are actively monitoring for such use (to varying degrees). The most likely result if you are found to using such adware is termination of your account with loss of current earnings.

    I have already come across a few traditional network links with the LoudMo software.

    For clarity, affiliates aren't the only folks advertising through DirectCPV. For example, most of the inline ads I've seen with them so far go to PPCSE listings pages. Of note if you do PPCS, but not always affiliate links.

    So heads up and keep an eye out. Make wise business decisions.

    I have seen posting by AdManage reps on other forums stating their software is "clean" for http user agent headers, an issue for affiliates buying ads through them and network detection. The the claims of AdManage that their http headers are "clean" (don't show LoudMo in the user agent info), this does not make the use of their software undetectable by networks..not by a long shot. Don't be fooled by that claim.

    More important, IMO, is the implication of a company, which has it's own CPA network under the corporate umbrella, making public claims of their software being somewhat invisible to networks while admitting using their software can be problematic for the affiliate in some CPA networks.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for posting this info. So it looks like this stuff is mainly getting bundled with apps on social network sites? Is that the main way people are getting this on their computer? I guess it would have to be, don't know many or if any that actually download it just for the adware.

    Side note - that looks like somebody snuck some spam in on Connie's site, I remember deleting that here.

  3. #3
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    Excellent post.

    I have recently come across a few training videos by the so called mega CPA affiliates, like cashtactics, ian fernado, amish shah, who claim to make thousands of dollars per day through CPV/PPV ads. Per them PPV is the new ppc and you can drive substantial traffic to your sites at a fraction of the ppc cost and without any worries about google quality score etc. In one of the videos, the affiliate claimed that adware is legal and not the same as spyware which is illegal.

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    @Trust No, they've been distributing primarily via video sites (bundled with a FLV player to watch videos), many of those in the adult biz. The use of social networks will be new. My guess as an attempt to draw in more main stream advertisers.

    @sam_park I've been seeing the same types of posts regarding CPV/PPV as well. Along with specifically marketing DirectCPV. DirectCPV is in the midst of a marketing campaign of signing up new advertisers. They are (or recently were) running a contest with a new suburban as the prize for getting new advertisers to join. But CPV/PPV has been around a long time. Nothing new about it. True you don't have to worry about Google Quality score with adware CPV, but you do have to worry about whether or not your affiliate account is at risk.

    Spware does not equal adware. Although some security/privacy groups might classify the LoudMo software as "spyware" as it captures IP address and web pages viewed.

    I do think LoudMo et al will be skating FTC disclosure regs very close to the edge with the claims of no spyware or adware badges I've seen with the FB app. Ok...so they say "adware and pop-up free"....but as you can see from my original post the ads aren't pop-ups (my guess is to increase the lenght of install time on the end user's computer). But it is still adware.

    Zango left a void when they went bankrupt..here's who has stepped up to the plate to try and fill that void.

    On the Zango note...the company that bought some of the initial Zango technology at bankruptcy seem to be getting things lined out on their end. Seems the 4th (or is it 5th..6th) generation of Zango technology is rearing it's head now.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam_park
    Excellent post.

    I have recently come across a few training videos by the so called mega CPA affiliates, like cashtactics, ian fernado, amish shah, who claim to make thousands of dollars per day through CPV/PPV ads. Per them PPV is the new ppc and you can drive substantial traffic to your sites at a fraction of the ppc cost and without any worries about google quality score etc.
    We were talking about this elsewhere today too and that's one of my big concerns. For months now I've been seeing CPV/PPV (the company Kellie mentioned and several others) being discussed more and more on some big forums that have tons of affiliates, even white hats and newbies are using it. Many act like it's a normal acceptable method of generating traffic, and like Sam said, there are a ton of courses and "gurus" saying it's the "in" new way to drive traffic.

    There's even a well known white hat super affiliate blogger that was advertising the company Kellie mentioned. Sometimes the way this company and others like it position themselves, affiliates don't even realize it's just flat out stealing. (Sometimes stealing affiliate commission, but always stealing someone else's hard earned traffic.)

    I think it's one of the biggest problems the industry faces, due to the sheer numbers of affiliates using PPV. Maybe not as much in the retail space. I see it discussed and used more in the info marketing and CPA marketing circles.

  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    From the archived WHOIS details:

    Charlo Barbosa domainadmin@iclicks.net
    980 - 1500 West Georgia Street
    Vancouver
    British Columbia
    V6G 2Z6
    CA
    Phone: +1.6046461123
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  7. #7
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    This thread reminds me of the way this industry shared information in the past.
    Way to go in 2010 !

  8. #8
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    This is not the white hat super affiliate blogger I was referring to... but look who is doing a big plug with what looks like an affiliate link for DirectCPV today. John Chow and he has a ton of readers!

    Make Money Online with DirectCPV
    johnchow.com/make-money-online-with-directcpv/

  9. #9
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant Consultant Team
    This thread reminds me of the way this industry shared information in the past.
    Way to go in 2010 !
    Are you being serious or facetious?

    I think that was a serious comment and I too am glad we are talking about it, HOWEVER have wanted to bring this up for a long time and have held back due to the concern about educating people who maybe haven't discovered it yet. I thought about bringing it up in the 'back room' to ask how can we talk about these things to educate the honest affiliates and possibly try to curb the spread of some of this stuff without helping to spread the word to those who would use it for illgotten gains. I mean, I know things about how people are using PPV and other new bogus software that steals commish that I def would not want to share in public.

  10. #10
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    VERY serious!

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    Zango left a void when they went bankrupt..here's who has stepped up to the plate to try and fill that void.
    There was no void, to my knowledge. Zango's existing inventory and publisher network was extremely important in the sale, and I doubt any void was created in the sale.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms
    This is not the white hat super affiliate blogger I was referring to... but look who is doing a big plug with what looks like an affiliate link for DirectCPV today. John Chow and he has a ton of readers!

    Make Money Online with DirectCPV
    johnchow.com/make-money-online-with-directcpv/
    Pay John Chow $500 and you get a sponsored blog about whatever you want. The guy's blog is useless, and is just a sponsored post emporium. Props to him for making that work, and keeping the cash coming in.

    The adware networks aren't as bad as they used to be, as most prohibit affiliates from popping over the merchant's own site. It can be an effective means of advertising to certain populations (the kind who install these to begin with, to access videos or other similar content), and surprisingly a number of large corporations use them.

    Whether the software is legit is one question, but as for being a legitimate traffic source, I'd say it's legitimate as long as a merchant doesn't prohibit software. If it delivers targeted, converting traffic, and doesn't interfere with their own site, most merchants are willing to deal with it.

    I personally have never used CPV/adware for traffic, but know many people who do. No clue what they run, but they can make it work.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    The adware networks aren't as bad as they used to be, as most prohibit affiliates from popping over the merchant's own site. It can be an effective means of advertising to certain populations (the kind who install these to begin with, to access videos or other similar content), and surprisingly a number of large corporations use them.
    Joshua, do you have specific adware networks in mind? Can you direct us towards the rules/policies you're thinking of? I have not seen such rules, but I'm open to being enlightened!

  13. #13
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    Pay John Chow $500 and you get a sponsored blog about whatever you want. The guy's blog is useless, and is just a sponsored post emporium. Props to him for making that work, and keeping the cash coming in.
    Totally agree about that blog, however he still does have a lot of readers.

    Zac Johnson also blogged about DirectCPV a few days ago and they are one of his featured advertisers. Like John, he does lots of paid reviews. But whether or not I like his blog, he still gets lots of readers which he's driving to DirectCPV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    The adware networks aren't as bad as they used to be, as most prohibit affiliates from popping over the merchant's own site.
    As far as I'm concerned, merchants that allow adware traffic, well I hope some of their affiliates are popping on their own sites so they have to pay double for their traffic.

    What about affiliates popping on other affiliate's sites? That's my biggest concern!
    Affiliates stealing from the honest affiliate that generated the traffic to their own site and loses the sale.


    Even if you take affiliates out of the equation, any advertiser popping over any site is really stealing that webmaster's traffic as well as any potential ad income they would have otherwise generated if the traffic had not been stolen away.

    And in the case of the interstitials and inline ads like Kellie showed below, it's really defacing the webmaster's site or making it look like the content they show is coming from the webmaster's own site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua
    …but as for being a legitimate traffic source, I'd say it's legitimate as long as a merchant doesn't prohibit software.
    I'm not sure how can it be considered legitimate traffic when it's stealing.
    I'll use an analogy I wrote in response to someone else the other day.

    Brick & Mortar Analolgy =======================================

    Lets say you own a local video store. You bought the property, built the store from scratch and pay for all the advertising to get people INTO your store. (Like a webmaster or affiliate owns and builds up their site and traffic.)

    Joe owns XYZ video store. Joe comes on YOUR property that you own, he puts up a big XYZ billboard right in front of YOUR front door, BLOCKING the entrance and tells people to come to XYZ video store instead. (Or like the inline ads) He puts his posters on your windows and a sign at your checkout saying "Save $10 come to MY store".

    It's YOUR property. You got the visitors to come to YOUR store. They are already at YOUR front door or inside YOUR store. YOU paid to get them there. Joe has no legal right to STEAL your customers right off your property! (And I'm sure in the real world there would be legal ramifications.)

    ============================================================

    That's how I see PPV or adware traffic in general (and in very simple terms.)
    Sorry about bold and caps. Not yelling at you personally, this topic just gets to me.

  14. #14
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Zango didn't really leave a void, it got bought up by a UK firm called Pinball Publisher Network (pinballpublishernetwork.com) [1] [2] [3]

    The problem is that these so-called PPN installs are big business, and a lot of publishers really don't care how the software gets installed onto the target computer. So, we're seeing things like PDF exploits, IE flaws and plain old deceptive advertising to get installs.. and especially with crappy software like Acrobat, these installs are becoming more common.

    Now, the tell-tale sign that the publisher is dodgy tends to be when they hide their identities, so no physical address on the site and private WHOIS details (or ones that use a drop box).

    Here's the thing for publishers - reputation networks such as Norton Safeweb, MyWOT and SiteAdvisor are gaining in popularity, and bloggers and webmasters who use these dodgy PPN publishers do often get marked down as a result... and if your website gets a bad reputation on one of these services then it is often difficult to shake.
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  15. #15
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    My opinion of a "void" (void for advertisers still looking for contextual adware buys) is based on my own personal observations as to the ad inventory coming through Zango leading up to it being confiscated by the banks in April 2009, ad displays through the software following the sell of part of the overall Zango holdings to Blinkx (parent company of Pinball), ensuing silence from Blinkx regarding their intentions with the technology, court records, issues with Zango advertisers being able to replenish their Zango accounts after the sell to Blinkx, etc.

    Maybe "window of opportunity" is a better term than void?

    Zango had already lost marketshare prior to seizure...hence the rocket bottom sell price for Blinkx.

    About a month after Zango was lost in bankruptcy, DirectCPV announced the launch of their new pop-up contextual ad network. I'm not a big believer in coincidence.

  16. #16
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    Whether the software is legit is one question, but as for being a legitimate traffic source, I'd say it's legitimate as long as a merchant doesn't prohibit software.
    When discussing whether or not software and certain practices are legitimate or not, it's important to quality your perspective of "legitimate". Since that wasn't done, I'm going to try and keep my response on the general side of things.

    I agree that your opinion is shared by others & it seems at the moment by a growing number of others. The issue of whether the software is legit is tied to whether the traffic source is legitimate as well. Maybe it shouldn't be tied together, but legal realities dictate otherwise. The fact that the FTC and more than one AG found some contextual adware companies software wasn't "legitimate" (based on installation tactics), including Zango & DirectRevenue, tainted the traffic source for advertisers as well.

    and surprisingly a number of large corporations use them.
    I think that depends on the type of company you are talking about. My own personal observations have been a decline, at least by major online retailers. Ask Priceline and Travelocity (Cingular has since been acquired by AT&T) if they think contextual adware is a legitimate traffic source and I bet they say no after being fined by the FTC for advertising through DirectRevenue.

    Ask some major companies like Overstock, 1800contacts, WeightWatchers, UPS, Hertz, etc, etc what they think. Hint --> check for legal filings.

    All this stuff is nothing new. Contextual adware has been around since the beginning of adware connected to affiliate marketing (companies like Gator, Whenu). But here's what frustrates me the most. As our industry matures, I'd hope we'd learn from our history and past mistakes.

    Back in March 2007 I looked at who was advertising through Zango. At that time I found 78% of the ads I received were connected to affiliates (either direct linking of their affiliate link or to an affiliate web site). This was NOT good for the image of our industry, particularly with mainstream media grabbing hold of the stories of FTC and AG actions against companies like Zango (and Zango themselves).

    Some affiliate networks have never allowed affiliates to use this traffic source (SAS, Avant, etc). But later in 2007, I began seeing the other major networks (CJ, LS, PFX-now GAN) begin to actively monitor for contextual adware use and take action. I know of hundreds of affiliate accounts which were terminated for using various contextual adware (not necessarily 100's of affiliates but accounts). It took probably around a year, but some affs finally got the message it wasn't going to be profitable for them.

    Then we got the FTC clamping down of certain types of CPA offers (ringtones, gratis offers, etc) and that helped to signficantly reduce the number of ads being seen through adware connected to CPA networks.

    Overall, I observed a signficant decrease in ad displays through contextual adware connected directly to affiliate marketing. Not saying that it didn't exist still, but it was happening to a much lesser degree.

    No a new company is on the scene with the same old same old. And who is heavily marketing new advertiser sign-ups for thelm? People within the affiliate marketing channel.

    And then we take offense when those outside of our business classifies affiliate marketing in not so great a way? Do we really wonder why?

    Hopefully this isn't going to be a one step forward, two steps back situation. More like a flash in the pan. No doubt some newbie affiliates as well as merchants are probably going to have to learn about the contextual adware market the hard way.

    I just hope that I won't be seeing numbers like 78% of ad displays connected to our industry again.

  17. #17
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    Hopefully this isn't going to be a one step forward, two steps back situation. More like a flash in the pan. No doubt some newbie affiliates as well as merchants are probably going to have to learn about the contextual adware market the hard way.
    Well, the money trail goes through more than just affiliates and merchants.. but yeah, it's definitely time that some lawsuits got filed. But outfits like the FTC aren't intererested unless there's a few hundred million at stake (as in the case of Sam Jain and Innovative Marketing).

    I think we have a dangerous combination of greed and sloppiness that is threatening to get out of hand, from the organised criminals masquerading as legitimate corporations to actual legitimate corporations who don't carry out enough checks to who they are dealing with. Greed and stupidity is a very dangerous combination.
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