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  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    It is to my understanding that Linkshare choose not to continue participation as of last week. I cannot speak for Linkshare but I am sure they will have something to say on the matter.


    -Wayne

    Wayne Porter
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  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I applaud all those who contributed to the drafting and wording within this Network Policy Statement. Clearly there are ethical rules that superceed the blind quest for profits within the rank and file of the affiliate networks.

    __________________________________
    PUBLISHER CODE OF CONDUCT
    The following actions, practices and conduct, whether active or passive, direct or indirect, are prohibited:

    Interference with referrals. No Web publisher ("Publisher") or software download technology provider ("Technology Provider") may interfere with or seek to influence improperly the referral of a potential customer or visitor ("End-User") to the Web site of an online advertiser ("Advertiser"). No Publisher or Technology Provider will automatically replace or alter any component of a Service Provider's technology that results in a reduction of any compensation earned by another Publisher. For example, a Publisher or Technology Provider may not use methods or technology to automatically replace a Service Provider's tracking identifier of another Publisher with its own Service Provider's tracking identifier or otherwise intercept or redirect an End-User from being referred by another Publisher.

    Publisher may notify an End-User once that End-User has arrived at the Advertiser's Web site of an opportunity to utilize technology employed by that Publisher and obtain the End-User's consent via affirmative action upon each occurrence to proceed with the operation of such technology. Implementation of software application functionality requires that the notification be easily understood by the average End-User, that it occurs on each instance that the functionality is to be activated, and that it is not objectionable to the Advertiser.


    Altering another Publisher's site. Publishers may not alter, change, substitute or modify the content of or appearance to an End-User of another Publisher's Web pages, use that Publisher's content to obtain an End-User referral, or obstruct access to another Publisher's Web pages (regardless of receiving permission from the End-User).


    Software installation and de-installation. Publishers may not bundle downloadable shopping software applications with other applications, whereby the installation and de-installation is not obvious, easy or complete. Licensing and terms of all software downloads and applications of any type must be clearly presented to and accepted by the End-User, and de-installation must be obvious, easy and complete.
    First Published: December 10, 2002


    Enforce this and you have found a way to quiet this angry duck...

    WebMaster Mike

    "Vision without Action is a daydream .. Action without vision can be a nightmare"
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  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Hopefully LS felt that a much stronger statement than this one was needed and that is why they are noteably absent fromt the document. I'm looking forward to what LS has to say regarding their stance.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  5. #5
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    I do not speak for LinkShare. I want that to be known up front here.

    In my opinion however, this document is 322 words signifying nothing. The part of the document you should keep in mind is in the second paragraph of the preamble:

    "Each Service Provider has committed to enforcing the Code through means consistent with its own business operations and practices, and to communicating and cooperating with its customers regarding enforcement and interpretation."

    If indeed baby-steps are what we need, then this one certainly fits the criteria. It is indeed better for the industry than what is currently applied; however, I have stated numerous times that I thought they would end up with a Code of Conduct without enforcement directives, and that is what we got.

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  6. #6
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    Don,

    As you predicted- we would clash on this issue [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I ask you what is the difference of LinkShare having an addendum in place that they do not bother to enforce NOW?

    Simply meaning they have an addendum to their agreement, it is in place, and certain parties have not signed it. Nor has Linkshare forced them to sign. It is very easy to do...these are the terms of our business you either agree to our terms or we don't do business. At this point Linkshare selectively enforces the issue.

    Why doesn't LinkShare take action? I believe Stephen Messer is geniunely concerned about the issue but action speaks louder then words. Perhaps they are planning to do this, but how long should affiliates honor a long document that says alot but delievers little?


    I have talked to the other solution providers and they do have enforcement methods and divisions being setup now and they fully plan to back-up what they say. If they don't back-up their own Code of Conduct then they are shooting themselves in the proverbial foot.

    I say a published legal addendum without enforcement is worse then a Code of Conduct with planned enforcement.

    And lastly- its not the size of the document it is the action that follows that counts.
    (Excuse the vague innuendo.)

    -Wayne

    Wayne Porter
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  7. #7
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    What is sad for the independent affiliate is that both Don and Wayne make valid points.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    "While the Code of Conduct is intended to address many, if not all, of the major concerns raised by all interested parties, the practical aspects of drafting such a document make it impractical to cover all issues that may arise. As such, in addition to adherence to the Code of Conduct, all Publishers and Technology Providers are expected to perform their advertising and referral services with honesty and integrity in any situation not specifically covered by the Code."

    Overall this policy takes the HO out of the BHO by muzzling to interlopers with three key factors

    1. No more autoredirects, ID swapping or embedding foreign links within the publisher/affiliate's web site.
    2. Make the damn loyality/reward shoppers do a 2 step or physical click to overwrite the actual referrers cookie.
    3. Brings the double dipping of the merchants normally non-commissionable links to the forefront of the BHO issue.

    WebMaster Mike

    "Vision without Action is a daydream .. Action without vision can be a nightmare"
    Combine the two and you have the makings of a profitable reality!

  9. #9
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    Hello again Wayno...

    You said:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Don,

    As you predicted- we would clash on this issue

    I ask you what is the difference of LinkShare having an addendum in place that they do not bother to enforce NOW?

    Simply meaning they have an addendum to their agreement, it is in place, and certain parties have not signed it. Nor has Linkshare forced them to sign. It is very easy to do...these are the terms of our business you either agree to our terms or we don't do business. At this point Linkshare selectively enforces the issue.

    Why doesn't LinkShare take action? I believe Stephen Messer is geniunely concerned about the issue but action speaks louder then words. Perhaps they are planning to do this, but how long should affiliates honor a long document that says alot but delievers little?


    I have talked to the other solution providers and they do have enforcement methods and divisions being setup now and they fully plan to back-up what they say. If they don't back-up their own Code of Conduct then they are shooting themselves in the proverbial foot.

    I say a published legal addendum without enforcement is worse then a Code of Conduct with planned enforcement.

    And lastly- its not the size of the document it is the action that follows that counts.
    (Excuse the vague innuendo.)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    First, you say that LS has an addendum that they do not enforce. In actuality, that is not true at all. They have a number of affiliates who have indeed signed that agreement and it is being enforced.

    Let me ask a couple questions of you I feel are pertinent.

    In all your conversations with Stephen, did you ever ask him about a time-frame for bringing all the technology companies into compliance by signing the agreement?

    Do you have knowledge concerning all the specific companies who have the addendum in their hands currently that have not signed, but are either going to do so, or not?

    Since you have spoken to Stephen often, do you believe him to be a man of his word?

    You see Wayne, in answer to that last question, I do. I think he will indeed drop the firms who do not sign the addendum although that will cost LS a great deal of money initially.

    That money will be made up by what I see as an avalanche of mid-tier affiliates dropping their merchants from the Code of Conduct providers, and picking up the LinkShare merchants.

    I would agree with you about all of this were I not to believe that LS will indeed enforce their addendum; and, enforce it fully.

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  10. #10
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    I was just looking at Linkshare's agreement on their site. Is this something new that has been added recently or has it been there the whole time? Does this not cover eBates in what they are doing and others like them?


    6.5. You agree that You shall not:
    ...
    Distribute or display, or authorize or use any third party to distribute or display, any Qualifying Link or any other Link of any Network Merchant created or obtained through the Network by means of any browser extension or other software or technology which is downloaded to or installed on the Web user's personal computer or other Web access device and which serves advertisements, promotional material or links as an overlay upon, a substitute for content in, as a "pop-up" keyed by content or key words on a Webpage requested or viewed by such Web user;

  11. #11
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    Linda, I think that has been there for a while, but eBates won't agree to it and LS won't enforce it.

    But at least it is better than the 'Code of Conduct', which specifically allows (even encourages) parasites to do pop-ups.

  12. #12
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    Don,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> In all your conversations with Stephen, did you ever ask him about a time-frame for bringing all the technology companies into compliance by signing the agreement?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No. I specifically did not ask this. As I understand it the Addendum has been present since early this year- April I think. That leaves several months if I do the math correctly.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Do you have knowledge concerning all the specific companies who have the addendum in their hands currently that have not signed, but are either going to do so, or not?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nope. Obviously there are companies that have not signed, and from what I understand companies that plan on not signing. Likewise some companies have signed.

    Since the problem continues on the Linkshare Network as well as other networks I assume that LS has not begun enforcing this addendum. If there is a D-Day I am happy to hear about it. Until I hear that publicly I can only conclude that the date is arbitrary.

    For that matter Linkshare is selectively enforcing their original affiliate agreement- the one that bans all software of parasitic nature. The same agreement that had a date timed deadline where affiliates either accepted it or they could no longer participate in the LinkShare network. (You will recall a certain private lists group discussions about this...)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Since you have spoken to Stephen often, do you believe him to be a man of his word?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Stephen has yet to break his personal word with me so I would give him the benefit of the doubt that he keeps his word.

    I would have like to have seen LinkShare finish the Code of Conduct process, but for reasons you and I probably know they opted not to do this. I can respect their decision but I do not agree with it.

    For the good of a fledgling industry I feel it is important to support a Code of Conduct that can be applied not only to large aggregators but also to the myriad of CPA networks, non-network deals, and other various performance marketing systems. This is not about just one's own network and agenda, this is about public stewardship.

    It would be arrogant to assume that the four primary aggregators are the only major revenue points for this industry. There are many others (significant ones) and it would be good to see standards picked up and adopted by all.

    At this point I wait and see

    a) If the three providers will enforce the Code of Conduct in a reasonable time-frame. I believe they will.

    b) If LinkShare plans on enforcing their original affiliate agreement within a reasonable time frame. To me that remains to be seen, but I am sure there is something brewing.

    regards, as always,

    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
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  13. #13
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    Want to make affiliates happy?

    Once an affiliate link is clicked, no interference or diversionary tactics whatsoever.

    Put that in writing.

    Sales are everywhere, Sales are mine.

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> applaud all those who contributed to the drafting and wording within this Network Policy Statement. Clearly there are ethical rules that superceed the blind quest for profits within the rank and file of the affiliate networks. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Shucks Mike. I forgot to compliment you on that very rational post! I think it is great you are rewarding good behavior and showing support.

    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
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  15. #15
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Wayne I like the part that considers the enduser who always seems to be left out of these battles. The Policy requires each and every time some physical action on the part of the rewards/coupon/points shopper to overwrite the actual referrers cookie. The ebates enduser will then incur some unexpected inconviences as they are taken from the specific product they came to buy and end up on the merchant's main page to play "find the damn product special".

    Second is the "incented" shopper gets a one step (easy/complete) un-install to CLEAN his machine of the main BHO application and all those buried spyware/adware 3rd party programs. The networks agreeing to this also take on the policing burden to make sure the incent enduser agreement prior to download clearly states the load of crapolla contain therein.

    Muzzle the existing ones and raise the entry bar to hijacking commissions by the new ones popping up every week with a 49.95 script and some freebee enticement or driveby no-notice install. Just keep the HO out of the BHO. Make the merchants pay the double dipping fees or suckup to pre-sell affiliates.

    Get Linkshare to sign this and also keep their own strong statement in force. Then make the parasites swear they are reformed on a stack of bibles and take a special POLLYGRAPH if they become the least bit suspicious.

    WebMaster Mike

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  16. #16
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    I agree Mike. I think you have to keep the end-user into perspective since they are the most important person in the process. Without them there are no purchases.

    If an end-user wants their incentive they will have to jump through a hoop and make a conscious decision. No automatic redirection allowed. In the end I think this is better for both non-incentive affiliates and incentive based affiliates.

    -wayne

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  17. #17
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    "Stephen has yet to break his personal word with me so I would give him the benefit of the doubt that he keeps his word."

    Interesting, since Stephen doesn't enforce the policies he already has in effect, as Linda pointed out above, which has been part of the Linkshare affiliate agreement for quite some time.

    As they say, Wayne, actions speak louder than words. Linkshare has repeatedly proven that their "word" is meaningless.

    So in that respect, it probably makes no difference they aren't a party to this agreement.

    I'm waiting for a new crop of media coverage on this matter. Hopefully it will finally expose the network providers for what they are. Ethics mean nothing when it hits their pockets.

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Wayne said: "I think you have to keep the end-user into perspective since they are the most important person in the process. Without them there are no purchases."

    So true and had this entered the mindset of the online Ad industry we wouldn't have banner blindness and 0.020 CTRs at portals. The only e-mail complaints I've gotten from my EcomCity shoppers since 1997 were they couldn't find those Overstock bargains I displayed if they got a auto-redirect from my pre-sell display affiliate link.

    WebMaster Mike

    "Vision without Action is a daydream .. Action without vision can be a nightmare"
    Combine the two and you have the makings of a profitable reality!

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