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  1. #1
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    The JAR Group
    MODERATOR NOTE: This thread started over on my forum asking for votes on a trade mark bidding panel at ASE10. It has turned into a vetting of The JAR Group so have moved it here to continue the discussion.



    If you are part of the affiliate marketing industry then you are aware or the premiere event Affiliate Summit. The next Affiliate Summit is in NYC in August.

    I’ve been asked to participate in a panel that I think will be very insightful and I would really appreciate if you would log into the site and click the up arrow to give me a vote at the link below. You will need to register to vote.

    http://affiliatesummit.slinkset.com/...iate_Marketing

    Feel free to vote for other sessions you feel will benefit your marketing efforts.

    Chuck Hamrick
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; May 12th, 2010 at 10:22 PM.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Darn, I forgot to submit my speaking proposal for that topic... oh well. I have some darn good data on the topic, too.

    Did you happen to go to the last discussion on this at ASW, moderated by Debbie Bookstaber of The JAR Group?

    Did anyone happen to point out that having someone from The JAR Group represent a neutral opinion on this topic was a horrible idea? Or am I the only one who knows about a dirty little secret in their closet?

  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Hi Joshua, didn't catch that one but you are welcome to post about it here. Looks like Debbie is listed as an alum on The JAR Group site.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Hi Joshua, didn't catch that one but you are welcome to post about it here. Looks like Debbie is listed as an alum on The JAR Group site.
    I actually missed that at ASW, so I was wondering if anyone else had caught it. I guess Debbie has left The JAR Group since then, but they're still up to their old tricks with one of their divisions/associated (owned) companies.

    Maybe I'll put my name in for a Vegas proposal, and I'd definitely love to see this at ASE - This topic has been of great interest to mine since 2008, and it's great to see it now a regular occurrence, and now in panel form.

  5. #5
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    Hi Joshua. This is Debbie Bookstaber. I'm posting under my blog name www.mamanista.com. As Chuck pointed out, I'm no longer working at The JAR Group. I worked there for a little under a year, and I've since left to become a partner at another firm. But I wouldn't want to see some good people attacked.

    I've been involved in the affiliate industry for nearly ten years and managed programs for companies such as Expedia. Many affiliates and merchants know me, and I take affiliate ethics very seriously.

    While at The JAR Group, I recruited Donna McCarthy, formerly of DMC Consulting, to lead their affiliate management group. I've also known Donna for many years, and she has an excellent reputation in the space. She had previously managed the Chase Affiliate Program and also worked as some other top OPM firms. She serves on the Linkshare OPM Advisory Board and is an award-winning affiliate manager (Linkshare Golden Links). The JAR Group manages programs for some excellent brands including DollarDays.com, Tunecore.com, Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton and others. And I know that Donna and her team work very hard to provide good service to clients.

    You refer to some other divisions associated with JAR, but I can assure you that I worked only for The JAR Group and for no other associated companies during my short time there. And I know that Donna only works for The JAR Group and not any other companies.

    If you have issues with another company or division that is somehow associated with JAR, please keep that separate from the OPMs like me or like Donna who have worked for years to build their personal reputations.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamanista View Post
    Hi Joshua. This is Debbie Bookstaber. I'm posting under my blog name www.mamanista.com. As Chuck pointed out, I'm no longer working at The JAR Group. I worked there for a little under a year, and I've since left to become a partner at another firm. But I wouldn't want to see some good people attacked.

    I've been involved in the affiliate industry for nearly ten years and managed programs for companies such as Expedia. Many affiliates and merchants know me, and I take affiliate ethics very seriously.

    While at The JAR Group, I recruited Donna McCarthy, formerly of DMC Consulting, to lead their affiliate management group. I've also known Donna for many years, and she has an excellent reputation in the space. She had previously managed the Chase Affiliate Program and also worked as some other top OPM firms. She serves on the Linkshare OPM Advisory Board and is an award-winning affiliate manager (Linkshare Golden Links). The JAR Group manages programs for some excellent brands including DollarDays.com, Tunecore.com, Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton and others. And I know that Donna and her team work very hard to provide good service to clients.

    You refer to some other divisions associated with JAR, but I can assure you that I worked only for The JAR Group and for no other associated companies during my short time there. And I know that Donna only works for The JAR Group and not any other companies.

    If you have issues with another company or division that is somehow associated with JAR, please keep that separate from the OPMs like me or like Donna who have worked for years to build their personal reputations.
    Debbie, so you mean to say that you had no knowledge of The JAR Group's "division"'s practice of violating merchant search policies like crazy? I have evidence of this "division" even breaking the Linkshare search policy for your own clients, taking over the official search ad on one brand. And this was during ASW, while you were still working for them.

    All that this "division" does is bid on trademark terms, taking over the official brand's search ad, outside of the market in which the client is based.

    When I was in the OPM world, I kicked this "company" out of every program I managed - The blatant disregard for terms in order to make money is disgusting, coming from a company purporting to be an ethical agency. Pulling the offer from a new network after getting kicked out of a different network for trademark bidding, and resuming the trademark bidding, is a sure sign of knowing that you're doing something wrong, but disregarding that in pursuit of easy profits.

    Oh, and The JAR Group does a pretty good job of hiding the association - One slip up a few years back let me make the initial connection, and a reminder last year let me find the smoking gun that connected the ownership. And it's been verified by an employee of The JAR Group, too.

    I'm really debating posting full details on this "division" of The JAR Group, as well as another company that does similar things.


    Oh, and DollarDays has had at least 3 affiliates breaking search policies and taking over the official brand search ad for a while now. If Donna and her team don't see this, either they're not cut out to be affiliate managers, or they're purposely disregarding this to increase sales in the affiliate channel at the expense of their own search efforts. Just my 2 cents.

  7. #7
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    Hi Josh, please don't assume that you know the agreements in place between my clients and the search affiliates they work with or that we have hid any associations with The JAR Group with them.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    DoIIar Days™Official Site
    Quote Originally Posted by Donna McCarthy View Post
    Hi Josh, please don't assume that you know the agreements in place between my clients and the search affiliates they work with or that we have hid any associations with The JAR Group with them.
    So maybe you have special agreements with the people on those terms, but something REALLY shady is going on. Let's take Dollar Days - An affiliate associated with The JAR Group (the 2 people listed on this affiliate's site are both employees of The JAR Group's internal publisher efforts) is currently using the www.DollarDays.com URL on Dollar Days terms on Google.

    Ok, so maybe you have an agreement with them to run search, on a performance basis. Ok, seen that before.

    Here's the ad title: DoIIar Days™Official Site . Notice the two capital " i "s in place of Ls. That's a standard, old trick of getting around trademark filters, and avoiding detection.

    So, you were saying, what? That you're legitimate? Bull.

    And then this site of this "affiliate" -http://www.thesmartestsearch.com/2010/04/286/ - Has the audacity to reference Mike Jacob's ASW 2007 video on search affiliates and constructive relationships.

    By the way, "The Smartest Search" isn't the parasitic, unethical entity related to The JAR Group that I was referring to. The former "company" on the DoiilarDays (sorry, DollarDays) URL was the same affiliate name/account that I've caught being a parasite (and reemerging after being kicked out of one network, and told why, only to pick it up and start all over through another).

    Looking forward to hearing a response.

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    And of course, I forgot to mention that Brendan (from this company bidding on DollarDays, connected to The JAR Group), is related to your CEO, AJ... There's another link that I won't make public at the moment, but it's clearly connected/supported/allowed by The JAR Group, or back to my main point, you're simply unaware of what's happening.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Donna - I now have the most damning piece of evidence tracing The Smartest Search directly to The JAR Group, and directly to another trademark violation entity owned by The JAR Group (that violates 3rd party trademarks). If you would not like to a) correct the problem, or b) come clean, I can post all the damning evidence here, and elsewhere. I'd love to hear an explanation from Brendan or AJ, too. Maybe if this isn't corrected, I should just bring this data directly to the clients, and to the networks?

    I have no problem doing this, and I don't see it as me giving you guys a bad name, since the information will speak for itself.

    What it comes down to, is that The JAR Group has a shady side, used to try and get easy money, by breaking search policies like none other. I'm not sure other AMs will post here, but I know for a fact that this one entity was a top performer in a respected AM's program - Until I outed this to him at ASW. There's a problem when I'm able to "guess" a program's top performer, and then tell the AM their "promotion method". Then again, I haven't named this 3rd entity yet, and I doubt anyone else has made the connection on the AM side (a good background in fraud detection and web investigations does wonders in this industry_.

    Which brings me to another point... most of the "respected" AMs here (except for maybe Chuck and Shaaf/PartnerCentric [though former PartnerCentric was bad on this]) have trademark squatters flying under their radar. The only difference is that they're not running separate companies to do so to their own clients, or others.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Looks like The JAR Group made it to the Inc 500 - http://www.inc.com/inc5000/profile/the-jar-group - yet is still up to some of their old tricks on TM violations... I wonder how much of that $3.1 million revenue is from TM bidding violations.

    Still at it on at least one of their clients URL in one engine, using an affiliate account under another organization's name, that just happens to be based at the same address.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Hmm, oh boy. Just came here to make a search and am now confused. I admit, in a hurry cos am very, very far behind on things so didn't read every word of this whole thread. When I made the search for "The Jar Group" this was first result tho.

    This thread is in the Unethical Merchants. I received an email to get me to join a program and it says it is managed by The Jar Group.

    So....um are they a merchant, affiliate managers, both or just somebody with the same name and umm since is in this thread, I assume this The Jar Group aren't good guys??

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplebear View Post
    Hmm, oh boy. Just came here to make a search and am now confused. I admit, in a hurry cos am very, very far behind on things so didn't read every word of this whole thread. When I made the search for "The Jar Group" this was first result tho.

    This thread is in the Unethical Merchants. I received an email to get me to join a program and it says it is managed by The Jar Group.

    So....um are they a merchant, affiliate managers, both or just somebody with the same name and umm since is in this thread, I assume this The Jar Group aren't good guys??
    They're an agency that manages programs, as well as an affiliate that violates trademark policies. They do this on some of their own affiliate programs (see their denials above, which are untrue), as well as programs managed by others.

    The JAR Group is still up to their old tricks...

  14. #14
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    I too received invitations from The Jar Group
    Quote Originally Posted by purplebear View Post
    <snip> When I made the search for "The Jar Group" this was first result tho.

    This thread is in the Unethical Merchants. I received an email to get me to join a program and it says it is managed by The Jar Group.

    <snip>
    Recently, I have received emails from The Jar Group, asking me to add one of their Affiliate programs. One of my web sites is devoted to that vertical and I might have added their client to that web site.

    But, I read this thread and probably I will *not* be adding their client to my web site. Thank you ABW!

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