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  1. #1
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    Company to Retain Top Audit Firm To Provide Detailed Analysis Of Its Affiliate Marketing Practices

    Bellevue, WA - July 12, 2004 - 180solutions, Inc., a leading provider of Internet search marketing solutions, today announced it will retain one of the nation’s top independent audit firms to review its affiliate marketing practices and verify its contractual compliance with affiliate marketing networks. 180solutions categorically refutes recent allegations of illegal business practices and is certain that the findings will confirm that its affiliate relations are ethical.

    “We take these allegations very seriously and recognize the potential for misinterpretation of facts due to the complicated issues associated with affiliate marketing,” said Keith Smith, 180solutions co-founder and CEO. “Our company works with all major affiliate networks and operates with the highest level of integrity and transparency with our advertisers, distributors, content partners and end-users. We do not siphon, poach or seize affiliate marketing commissions. We look forward to working with a professional and independent audit firm to bring swift and complete closure to this issue.”

    Smith added, “Over 6,000 advertisers depend on 180solutions to generate leads and drive sales, as such we add-value throughout the entire advertising cycle. It is due to our strong customer focus that 180solutions exceeds 90% client retention.”

    About 180solutions, Inc.
    180solutions, Inc., headquartered in Bellevue, WA, is a leader in online search marketing services. The company delivers highly relevant offers and information to consumers engaged exclusively in search-related shopping activities. For more information, visit www.180solutions.com.
    Press Contact:
    Howard Barokas, Barokas Public Relations, 206-264-8220, howard@barokas.com
    Todd Sawicki, 180solutions, 425-279-1200

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    never answered my particular question in their forum = something to hide.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Wonderful! It seems the thousands of folks here have Keith Smith's attention. Yes, only a few dozen have posted, but thousands are following what is being said about 180solutions.

    Now is the time to raise the bar. Let's keep the momentum going until we get this finally taken care of. 180solutions is just one company. We have to remember that even though we are thousands of unorganized affiliates (and some merchants) we do have a voice and it IS BEING HEARD. Keep it up!!!
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    They should Hire Michael Moore to do an accurate documentary on their ebiz plan and growth of their company and it's culture. The only question left unanswered is ..."Did these guys invent flies or sh*t".
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    They wouldn't want to hire Michael Moore, he'd just uncover all the dirty little deeds they've done, things they don't want anyone else to know about...

    Andy

  7. #7
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    My thoughts on this audit:

    Who pays - rules.

    carneol

  8. #8
    15 years and counting
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    Keith Smith, 180solutions co-founder and CEO is trying to cover his butt. I wonder who he's going to blame after the confirmation that its affiliate relations are NOT ethical.

  9. #9
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    That seems like it would be very expensive.

    LS can do it by paying for Ms.Bs transportation and putting her up for a couple of nights and looking at the truth for themselves.

    Are they going to take her up on her offer?

    I agree that since 180 is paying, they will only get results they want to pay for.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Maybe it is just me, but I think there is something wrong with a company themselves hiring an independent audit firm to see if they are doing something that is not ethical.

    I mean, really, they know what they are doing. This is just hush money they are paying so they can come back here and shove it in our face that thay are doing nothing wrong. Whose criteria are they using to determine what is ethical? 180's? The Networks? Ours?

    We, as a group, along with the networks should be picking our own independent audit firm (or firms) and have them investigated. It would be interesting to see the variance in the findings.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  11. #11
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    Kind of reminds one of Arthur Andersen in the Enron fiasco dosen't it.

    Sort of like we can't be crooks, our auditors said so.

  12. #12
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    Who is going to train this outside company in what to look for? What tricks are used? etc. 1-800?

    I should hope not.

    As someone else stated, they will just be paying for the results they WANT the world to see, not what is REALLY happening.

    I hope LS take Ms B up too. It would show some integrity and that they have nothing to fear.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  13. #13
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Exactly ~ Michelle

    They are doing nothing more than buying a good PR spin for their shareholders.

    I don't know any auditors but I would stab a guess than none of them knows anything about parasites or their modes of working.

    As for Stephen taking Ms.B up on her offer I would imagine if he were going to so he would have done it by now. I think this is nothing more than another of smesser's attempt at delaying tacticts. He has no intention of doing anything to 180 apart from maybe give them an award next year as the "best selling newcomer" or "a shining example of how to succeed".
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  14. #14
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    I wanted to make something very clear concerning this thread.

    The above mentioned article was provided from the 180solutions site, this is not some sort of nonsense, I always watch my enemies very closely and visit 180solutions chronically:

    http://www.180solutions.com/pages/pr...de=/news/Audit

  15. #15
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 180:
    “Our company works with all major affiliate networks and operates with the highest level of integrity and transparency with our advertisers, distributors, content partners and end-users. We do not siphon, poach or seize affiliate marketing commissions. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Bullhockey, you lie like a dog..

    Ebudae


  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    It sure sounds like they're on the defensive. And I guess they have good reason to be, since lots of people seem to have their software on their computers without knowing how it got there.

    If I had a company that downloaded software on someone's computer, I'd darn sure make certain they understood what they were doing BEFORE downloading began. I'd also limit downloading to my own site, to make sure there was no chance for misrepresentation or corruption of the software. I sure wouldn't let it be bundled with anything else, either.

    Those are all steps I feel a reputable, ethical business would take. Enough said.

    Andy

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Ms. B,

    I'd sure like to here your comments on this.

    Also, has LS contacted you yet? Are they even interested in your services?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Ironic if the auditors end up hiring Ms.B to do the evaluations...
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  19. #19
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    “Over 6,000 advertisers depend on 180solutions to generate leads and drive sales, as such we add-value throughout the entire advertising cycle. It is due to our strong customer focus that 180solutions exceeds 90% client retention.”

    That's pretty impressive, All the advertisers on CJ, Ls, Performics, Clickbank and everyother ad network.

    Did they cotact every one of them or just become a CJ affiliate and apply to all of them and pay CJ to approve them for all of them.

    I would bet that half those advertisers don't even know they exist.

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    You can further bet more then half of their app's users have no clue where those pops are coming from or how their program got into their system.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  21. #21
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    It would be interesting to learn in advance the methodology the audit firm intends to use.

  22. #22
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    I truly believe we need to know who the auditor is so some meaningyfull info can be furnished them. Remember those with the gold rule and the only info given to them is from those with the gold. I would suggest that they furish the email addrss of someone at the so-clalled independent autitor do this formum could furnish proof that they are in fact illegal. Remember, this outfit is funded by VC's and they are looking for a luvrative IPO. If it becomes public knowledge this outfit is in fact a fraud then the VC's will drop them in a NY second. The dreams of an IPO will be a distant memory... It may just send a message to other VC's that this isn't the biz we want to invest in.

  23. #23
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    By request, I'll respond to this thread.

    First is that this audit that 180 is going to have conducted has nothing to do with LS specifically. I'm not sure how or why those connections are being drawn. 180 states:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>review its affiliate marketing practices and verify its contractual compliance with affiliate marketing networks <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't see where it says LS exclusively, but it does say affiliate marketing networks. If the audit company does it job this should include all Networks as well as independent programs.

    Second, whether or not the audit company is qualified to do such audits with a biz model such as 180Solutions will depend on the audit company. There are some audit companies who have experience in the area of technology. An interesting observation on my part is that when I first saw that press release the other day (don't remember the exact date now) an audit company was actually named. That seems to have been removed now from the press release.

    Third is that 180 deciding has do this audit has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not LS takes me up on my offer. This is 180 conducting an audit, not LS.

    Fourth is I don't do audits. I do testing which falls more under compliance than an audit. The 2 things are not the same. If I was approached by anyone to do an audit, I would most likely decline because that is not what I do and others would most likely be more qualified to do so.

    Fifth it is a very common practice for a business to bring in a third party to conduct audits when they are wanting to show objectivity of the audit results (vs conducting the audit themselves internally). That is why there are companies who do audits. The perceived validity of the audit results will be in part based on the reputation of the company 180 uses to conduct the audit.

    Sixth is that I do believe there can be conflict of interests with even a third party audit when the person being audited is paying for the audit. But again, the perceived validity of the audit by others will be in part based on reputation of the auditor and the auditors experience with technology. I do have concerns regarding the audit report however. I also wonder to what extent the report will be made public.

    Seventh is I don't know if it is possible to hire an audit company to just go audit another company with having that companies permission or a legal binding reason for the company to comply. It seems that to conduct a meaningful audit, the auditor needs access to the company's data, paper trail, etc. A company does not have to agree to this unless they are being legally compelled to do so.

    Finally, I am not pleased about this whole situation at all.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see what this "nation’s top independent audit firms" report has to say in their findings post. I think I'll go out and buy 10 cases of popcorn for the fantastic entertaining show to follow ... it'll surely be an excellent one!
    Ray Thomas
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    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  25. #25
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BLFH (Ms. B):
    An interesting observation on my part is that when I first saw that press release the other day (don't remember the exact date now) an audit company was actually named. That seems to have been removed now from the press release.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Mrs. B.

    As I happen to work with one of the "Final Four," I'd be very interested to know which of the firms was chosen. Although it has now been removed from the 180 press release, since it was published earlier, can you recount which firm was selected?
    Tom C.
    [URL=http://www.cafepress.com/simplesignshop]Simple Sign Shop[/URL]

    Every day leave someone or something better than you found it.

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