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  1. #1
    Full Member
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    Anyone else being Threatened?
    This happens every year it seems:

    Linkshare sends out an email wanting screen shots etc detailing how you get traffic to your site. This year they have threatened to terminate my account if I do not provide adequate information. Linkshare is the only Network that seems to do this.

    Just wondering if this is happening to anyone else?

    Thanks
    Tami

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    I've never heard of anything like this before.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  3. #3
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    I've certainly heard of this, and I've even sent comparable emails. (I don't recall ever receiving one.)

    In the past, when I worked as "interim affiliate manager" for several merchants (whose affiliate programs were in-house or through SAS), I've sent emails like that to a couple of publishers (though it sounds like my emails were much more polite, respectful, and deferential).

    Each time, I was 99% certain the publisher was engaged in unethical, prohibited activity, and each time, I got no response -- and after several warnings I was left with no choice but to cut each publisher's rates to zero. (They never responded in any way, even after their advertising fee rate was cut to 0%. One of them was engaged in prohibited trademark bidding, and actually continued to bid on the client's trademark -- even six months after the client closed its doors! I enjoyed searching and clicking on their PPC ad once every couple of months.)

    I'm certainly no fan of LinkShare (I've refused to work with them for years), and I think it's reasonable to be concerned about an inquiry like this (especially given some of the conduct of their "corporate cousins"), but you should certainly make a reasonable response unless you're ready to pull the plug on your relationships with all LinkShare merchants (and potentially to forfeit any earned-but-unpaid advertising fees).

    If you have some reason to suspect that they're just trolling to gather your trade secrets to share with others, you might want to escalate the issue directly to your merchant(s), but otherwise just make a reasonable response and express your discomfort with the apparent level of distrust.
    Last edited by markwelch; January 19th, 2011 at 10:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    I do suspect they are trolling.
    They have done this to me for the past couple of years and I have expressed my displeasure each time. This is the first time they have said they will terminate my account with LS if I do not provide the information within a certain amount of time.
    I cannot imagine what I have done to deserve this? I am by no means what I would consider a highly successful publisher. I do just OK. It is bizarre!
    I am not doing anything unethical at all.
    It seems to me that they are free to come and visit my site and all is plain to see, my content, style of promoting etc.

    I will respond to their demands, because I have to.

    Thanks for the advice.
    Tami

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    If the email came from Linkshare's Network Quality/Compliance department, then there is something that has flagged a concern for them. And just going to your site and looking at it doesn't not mean their concerns can be answered by a long shot. If I had gotten more than one such inquiry from compliance, I'd be concerned. Not only would I provide whatever information was needed to rectify the problem, I'd inquiry as to what the actual concerns are, so that I could make sure I was abiding by the rules.

    If the inquiry is not coming from compliance, I would again inquire as to why the information was being requested.

    It is definitely possible to alleviate any potential concerns without divulging any true trade secrets.

  6. #6
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    The email is signed with a name, "Network Quality Specialist" with their Linkshare address in New York.

  7. #7
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    I have gotten another insulting email, even though I have provided the requested information.

    The funny thing is I have not done anything even close to wrong. I do not even utilize SEO!
    Years ago I worried about every little stat etc. Now I do what I love. Add quality content, etc. I do not make much money, but there is less worry.

    I will be weening myself off of Linkshare as of today.

    There are other affiliate networks that I belong to that deserve more attention and I will be looking for new ones to join.

    Thanks all,
    Tami

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Hi Tami,

    I don't know the details of your account but in general our Network Quality/Compliance team will reach out to various publishers and inquire on how they are driving traffic for the Network's Advertisers. As you know there are many questionable publishers out there and because of that transparency is very important to LinkShare. The Network Quality team needs to ask some of the questions which may seem invasive to our publishers but it is done so that all Advertisers and Publishers have a fair play in this industry.

    I do apologize if the email's seemed rude/threatening.

    Let me know if I can help with this matter. Feel free to PM me with questions specifically related to your account.

    --Ranae

  9. #9
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    January 14th, 2011
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    That is strange my first thought when I read this post was that maybe you broke one of their rules and that's why you've receive this type of email and need to provide screen shots.

  10. #10
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    The only thing that I think I did wrong is that I do typically ignore requests for information regarding my marketing strategies, etc. I have always felt giving away any business strategies is not a good idea, even though I use very basic marketing 101.

    In the future I will pay closer attention to who is requesting the information before deleting the emails. I sent screen shots and it seems all is resolved now. My payment is no longer on hold.

    My major complaint is that they seem very quick to jump to the worse conclusions. Presume innocence until proven guilty.

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