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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    July 1, 2004
    PRICEGRABBER TAKES A STAND AGAINST POP-UP AND SPYWARE ADVERTISING

    http://www.pricegrabber.com/info_pop...=codeofconduct

    Does anyone know anything about pricegrabber.com. Seems like they are taking a stance on pop-ups and spyware.

    This is the first time I see one of the bigger shopping sites make notice of this and allows us to place same logo on our sites too without a link back to them.

    Before I get hit, I have no idea who they are or the owner "Tamin Mourad" or even affiliated with anyone related to them. I have been to this site in the past few years and never seen a pop-up so I know they believe in it.

    I know they are competition to most of us, but should we implement this COC standard and same logo too and make a standard.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Well as I was checking out your link the Midaddle spy loaded a HSN ad on my screen. HSN is going on the sleeze list.

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    >spy loaded a HSN

    Not good!

    Was the spy from this site or other?

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    midaddle.com is the spyware that has infected my computer. HSN and LampsPlus are both running ads with them. Most of the ads I have seen are for casino and quick cash crap. When I see what are supposed to be good companies turning to this kind of invasive advertising it makes me sick. I emailed price grabber and asked them why they promote companies that advertise this way.

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    > I emailed price grabber and asked them why they promote companies that advertise this way.

    Good.

    I emailed them just now too asking about this.

    That's the problem sometimes we deal with merchants, affiliates and networks that all inter-relate with each other and somewhere somebody has a pop-up or spyware running.

    I have seen this where an affiliate that is under a network will have pop-ups and spyware running on their site when the network and the merchant is supposed to be spyware pop-up free.

    To be effective and truly say you are FREE should mean that an affiliate or merchant or network will be spyware, pop-up no matter what.

    It sounds impossible but it can be done. Just that we might end up working with merchants directly only and only honest affiliates that truly believe in this even if we have only few merchants.

    As long as you work with any middle person (network or software) that assists in the affiliate merchant relation it might be impossible to get free or pop-ups and spyware

    Even if you go independent and work directly with a merchant that you know both you and they will be free of spyware, eventually that merchant will signup an affiliate that changes their site or the merchant changes their site and now adds a small exit pop-up, pop-under, etc.

    Will it ever be truly FREE.

    I think we have to start somewhere and if create a standard logo where we can actually see and demand only to deal with mercnats and networks and affiliates ONLY if they have this logo and COC on their site and truly be pop-up spyware free. (I am not saying we should use the one from pricegrabber).

    We demand merchants and networks creating a COC but then what should affilaites use and when do we start?

  6. #6
    I like traffic lights
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    Midaddle.com huh?

    I'd never heard of them before today.

    Just a few minutes ago I was browsing through the copy of Revenue Mag issue #3 that just turned up, and midaddle have a full page ad on page 26

    Take a close look at the advert - they show screen shots of monster.com symantec, altavista, neopets, msn and many others, but in the small print they say "middadle.com may or may not be affiliated with any of the sites you see here.

    That, and the fact that they call themselves "the next generation of contextual advertisement networks" makes the "parasite delivery meter" go right over to full deflection.

    Time to do a bit more research.

  7. #7
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    If pricegrabber is working with HSN it looks like that might go against rule 3 on the link you gave if HSN is advertising through adware... unless I'm reading it wrong, or understanding something wrong. I guess it could mean that you don't use that software even if you advertise through it. Dunno.
    I forgot what I was doing.

  8. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    > middadle.com may or may not be affiliated with any of the sites you see here.

    Never heard of them either but needs investigation.

    > contextual advertisement networks

    When you see this run......

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Well I can tell you this. I live by myself, nobody else touches this computer and I don't play games, I don't download music. All I do is work, so where did this dang thing come from? Yeah, that's the real scary part!

    I don't know that HSN is working with pricegrabber, but Lamps Plus is and they are a CJ affiliate. But I am really more concerned about the privacy invasion than the cookie stealing.

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Is there a COC or standard logo somewhere that affiliate marketing can comply with?

    I can't seem to find it here or any search for info as to a logo or COC that is created as a standard so that we only deal with sites, including merchants, affiliates and networks that have this on their sites.

  11. #11
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    Keep my site pop-up free...I can even keep my own computer pop-up free...I get drilled with that shop nav crapola at least once a week.

    If I could find their REAL snail mail address, they would get a C&D letter.

    I am sending one to the CEO of Tiffanys as they must think I am going to buy something if the drop 100 pop-ups per day on me from the virtual
    unknown.

    There are a few otheers, who will get the same
    C&D letter - cheaptickets for one.

    Then we will see what happens...It might be off to Utah to file a bunch of small claims actions.

    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    LOL ...as Cheaptickets replaces X-10 and hump the monkey as the Adwhore of the year.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  13. #13
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    Before I step in here, I want to show my anti-spyware crusade qualifications!

    If you question that I'm not on your side here, think again. I do as much behind the scenes on this issue as AM (except for Chris Sanderson who is amazing)-- a bunch of AM's work hard on this issue.

    In fact, I even wrote a letter to the FTC on their hearing and Linda B, Chris and I got 15 merchants in it. I did this after hours on my free time. It was never posted here.

    My program is parasite free and I fight to keep it that way.

    If you all doubt this at all, check with Mrs.B

    Now down to business.

    PriceGrabber is a shopping comparison engine. There are four major ones: PriceGrabber, Bizrate, MySimmon, and Shopping.com (used to be DealTime)

    As a note, BizRate used to be on board with a anti-parasite stand, and now they work with Gator. I'm not sure about the others.

    What Price Grabber did was brave! It cut into their profits.

    Instead of asking them why they are promoting merchants that use Adware, we should be thanking them for taking a stand (though I do think this gives them an edge over Biz Rate in many ways, so it is also a little self-serving).

    This is great guys! They took a stand. The stood up to the bad guys. Hooray! This is what we all want to see happen with every merchant and shopping and search engine.

    What this does is provide an opportunity to write Biz Rate and say, well, I'm not going to use you anymore, I'm using Price Grabber because they took a stand.

    I think what Price Grabber did was a huge step in the right direction. They should be thanked.

    Cheers,

    Beth

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Well there is nothing wrong with asking and letting them know. They can't possibly know how all the merchants advertise. The only way to stop the intrusive ads is to put the heat on the merchants that buy them.

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    I invited them to abw so hopefully they will say a few words here some time soon.

    Either way I did thank them for their stance and posting this stance on their site.

    Here is a response letter

    -------

    Dear Jorge,

    Thank you for using PriceGrabber. We value your comments and always appreciate suggestions from our loyal users. As we state in our No Pop-Up statement, we do not knowingly work with companies that use spyware to send traffic to our site. We believe that spyware in general are a nuisance to the users and the Internet, which is why we do not engage in the use of these practices to promote PriceGrabber.com. However, there are other companies that do drive traffic to their site or advertise through spyware. While we believe that the practice in general is not a good one, we also believe that it is the prerogative of other sites to take their own stand in this regard. We are pleased that you share in our common vision of a pop-up and spyware free Internet and again thank you for contact us.

    Sincerely,

    --Pam

    Pamela S. Reese

    Communication Manager

    PriceGrabber.com, LLC

    -------

    I think we should all have a COC policy on our site(s), even if you use your own logo or wording, we complain about networks having COC but what are affiliates doing to let our visitors know how we feel and what to look for.

    I have seen other sites where some type of "We don't use pop-ups" on this site being posted and mentioned, perhaps some affilaites here, but there is no standard as to where consumers will recognize a standard policy or logo.

    I think it's time somebody here designs a simple standard logo and spyware, pop-up policy so that we can vote on it and put on our sites, Period.

    I think the one from pricegrabber is good but I know some here will want an ABW community created logo which is good too.

  16. #16
    Member Azam's Avatar
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    I hate spyware. However, I don't see anything wrong with pop-ups being used occaisionally on content-rich sites. People just ignore banner ads, so how else are sites which have quality content on them supposed to cover their costs?

    I think this is just a scheme by PriceGrabber to (a) get publicity for themselves and (b) get lots of sites to link back to them.

  17. #17
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    > I don't see anything wrong with pop-ups being used occaisionally on content-rich sites.

    With all the pop-up blocker programs out there (and especially in Win XP SP2) it is very hard to still successfully use them. There are a few tricks however.

  18. #18
    Member Azam's Avatar
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    What tricks? I had a couple of scripts which generated pop-ups even with people who had robust pop-up blockers installed. But now they don't work with SP2.

    Anybody know of a script which works despite SP2?

  19. #19
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Even though I am not a fan of popups I think it is my right as a webmaster to use them on my site if I choose to. I choose not but I admit that's only because I don't see any real benefit to them on my site. I think that since I own my site and need to generate an income from it that no one else has the right to block my ads. If you went around selling devices to block ads from Time Warner Cable you'd end up in jail.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    I refuse to use them on any of my sites, and say so on my privacy pages. It's one more step to show the consumer you run a clean ship. If others want to run pop-ups, great - have at it.

    When I surf, I block every pop-up I can. When I go to a site that somehow bypasses my ability to block pop ups - I never return.

    Fred

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