Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    LinksAdor
    Continuing from this thread, where I provided some basic information for the LinksAdor contextual adware application. Considering some of the additional information I know have on them, I thought it was appropriate for them to have their own thread.

    A few highlights that I've found during my testing:
    • On multiple installations, there were some instances where I did NOT receive a EULA for the LinksAdor software
    • The ad displays are not labeled as coming from the LinksAdor software
    • The software tracks end user surfing behavior
    All of the above, but particularly the first two, fail to follow FTC guidelines related to adware. Not only is LinksAdor potentially running afoul with the FTC, but it has been made very clear any advertiser displaying through such software can be held accountable as well.

    LinksAdor is a fairly new entity as a contextual ad network themselves. Probably because of this, I am not really seeing any ad displays which appear to be coming from LinksAdor on ad network.

    I am seeing ad displays from the following two sources:
    • Affiliate links belonging to LinksAdor themselves (they continue to have active affiliate accounts; although some appear to have been deactivated since I first reported on them)
    • Ad inventory from DirectCPV (LinksAdor acting as a publisher of DirectCPV and displaying ad inventory purchased through DirectCPV)
    It is not uncommon to see ad inventory from contextual adware networks syndicated out through adware applications not in direct control of the adware network. This should be a definite consideration for advertisers. No matter how much a network may be in compliance with FTC regulations, some of their publishers may not.

    I've seen ad inventory displayed in two ways through the LinksAdor adware:
    • The most common way is a new tab being opened in the foreground.
    • Browser hijack of the window currently being used the end user. This second one, although occurring less frequently, is yet another frowned upon behavior by the FTC and security companies.
    Some examples:

    LinksAdor Hijack This shows the LinksAdor software hijacking the browser. Watch the highlighted area of the browser status bar to see the redirect happening. In this particular case, the affiliate link used in the redirects belonged to LinksAdor themselves. This type of behavior is against both Linkshare and the merchant's TOS.

    LinksAdor Ad Display This video shows the more typical behavior of the ad opening in a new browser tab. In this particular case, the ad originated from the DirectCPV network. There was no forced click of the affiliate link, as shown in the first video, rather the affiliate displayed a page promoting a competitor of the site which triggered the display. I should mention that while the click I did on the ad (not shown in the video) went through via a CJ link, CJ links go through even when an account has been terminated. So I can't definitively whether or not the affiliate's account is active on CJ. Regardless, both merchants in the video have programs on CJ. Not such a good thing to have affiliates in one program potentially hijacing traffic between merchants (from the merchant's perspective).

    Again, I have posted information regarding affiliate accounts owned by LinksAdor in the RoundTable forum for networks and merchants, if they are having some problems finding active LinksAdor accounts.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 15th, 2007
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,888
    Thank you Kellie for your thorough detective work as usual.

    If they are breaking the rules it should be easy to report them to the FTC right?

    Somehow the second video is not working for me. just a white screen with a scrolling video bar with the play button.

  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Somehow the second video is not working for me. just a white screen with a scrolling video bar with the play button.
    Not sure why that happened. It is an avi file instead of a swf (not sure why I produced it as an avi). Anyway, here's a swf version...try it.

    LinksAdor Ad Display 2nd version

    If they are breaking the rules it should be easy to report them to the FTC right?
    They certainly could be reported to the FTC. And no doubt their software will increasingly show up in security companies definitions. However, I don't feel that relieves our industry of our obiligation to self-regulate (something the FTC has specifically stated they expect with regards to adware). We should be sending a message about what types of activities are not considered acceptable means of ad generation.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 15th, 2007
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,888
    Thanks, the 2nd video worked and what shocking thing to see.

    A competitor taking away the sale from a competing merchant, plus stealing affiliate commission. This AM business is nasty and am not used to this. It just makes me cringe.

  5. #5
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,955
    Caught Linksador Hyjacking My Affiliate Links
    Well, if you do not think it can happen to you -- let me tell you, it can.

    Today I have proof that Linksador is hyjacking by links. To what extent is still under investigation, but I can tell ya --- I have lost a lot of money. This is nothing but pure -- theft. As I find out more, I'll post more.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  6. #6
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    It's cookie stuffing and FBI is apparently considering cookie stuffing as wire fraud.

    Thing about cookie stuffing as wire fraud..each time the cookie is dropped it's considered a separate incident of wire fraud...each incident eligible for individual penalties.

    You'd think networks would be putting a bit more effort into taking care of this kind of stuff considering. Not letting it go on and on for months.

    Happy Q4!

  7. #7
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,955
    At least now I have some proof. You can actually see my affiliate link being replaced with Linksador. I couldn't figure out what happening for months.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  8. #8
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,955
    In the video you can actually see my affiliate links being replaced by gim-me-bar-ga-ins which is owned by the same owner of Linksador. It doesn't happen until an actual link is clicked on at the merchant's site.
    Last edited by leeann; November 28th, 2010 at 10:43 PM.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Location
    Tropical Mountaintop
    Posts
    5,636
    That has to be devastating to watch your earnings stolen. I hope the merchant and network involved are people that will take action (other than awarding the thief for their "performance.")

  10. #10
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,955
    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy View Post
    That has to be devastating to watch your earnings stolen. I hope the merchant and network involved are people that will take action (other than awarding the thief for their "performance.")
    It really is devastating. I'm still in shock. Legal action is in the works. I'm not one to sit by and get totally ripped off if there is something I can do about it.
    Last edited by leeann; November 28th, 2010 at 10:47 PM.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  11. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •