View Poll Results: Should the Same Standards Apply?

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  • Yes

    30 90.91%
  • No

    1 3.03%
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  • Need more information before I decide

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  1. #1
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    If an affiliate were paying a company to run ad campaign's for them through the company's software application (whenuish software) which did any or all of the following:

    a) open a new browser window containing their site on top of another aff's site which is the exact same browser size completely covering the first aff's site

    b) open a new browser window containing their aff coded url to a merchant on top of another aff's site which mentions the same merchant and is the exact same browser size completely covering the first aff's site and also setting their cookie for the merchant.

    c) open a new browser window to a merchant's site with their aff url on top of a merchant's site that has just been clicked to from another aff's site which completely covers the window for the original aff's click to the merchant, and hence overwrites the first aff's cookie.

    d) all of the above actions are automatic and the end user has no control of the ads popping except to run anti parasite software or do a ctrl alt delete if they know the file name of the app causing the pops

    should this affiliate be considered the same as a parasite by networks (compliance with COC, Addendum), merchants, and other affs and treated accordingly, even if the aff is potentially an ABW member?

    The above is not a hypothetical and is happening and all 3 cases have happened to both affiliates and merchants here at ABW.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> should this affiliate be considered the same as a parasite by networks (compliance with COC, Addendum), merchants, and other affs and treated accordingly, even if the aff is potentially an ABW member?

    The above is not a hypothetical and is happening and all 3 cases have happened to both affiliates and merchants here at ABW.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If what the above says is true, then those affiliates or merchants are no better than parasites. I think merchants should drop these affiliates at once. If merchants are doing it the networks should drop them also. I can see this having bigger implications than ebates etc ever was. Shame on you if any fellow ABW members are doing this. This is absolutely sickening if it is happening.
    Cazzie

    Join the Fight! Parasite Free In 2003!

  3. #3
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    No because the standards suck in the first place.

    The only way the COC would likely get involved is if you can show they are interfering with other parasites cookies.

    The COC doesn't mind parasites inteferring with non parasitic affiliates because it doesn't effect rebates such as the ones that would apply towards a childs education. This is the sensitive area that the COC IS concerned with. The COC's primary purpose IMO is for preventing parasites from stepping all over each other and ruining the game for networks due to consumer backlash all together.

    Long ago, I pointed this out and not to long afterwards Top Moxie and company put in a switch so that "only one of their programs can be active at a time". This is in part IMO why the COC was even formed, why afsrc came about and contributes to why some of the parasites encode their urls as well.

    If you can show any activity that interferes with a parasite - then you can expect action otherwise....... You're likely SOL.

    Networks have refused in to many cases to get involved with affiliates who employ sleezeball practices that copy code or interfere with cookies. Compliance testing and enforcement is a total joke!

    Not one network has ever responded to the "open letters to networks" threads, they openly allow identity theft like operations to be an accepted practice, they allow merchants to adopt outragous practices that not only undermine an affiliates ability to be fairly rewarded but also effects their ability to get a percentage based fee from sales as well, they limit the amout of information provided to affiliates and most fully practice "non disclosure" in many different forms.

    The next time to read those words "we want to help you earn more" or "we have a vested interest in ensuring your transactions are reported", you better think again!

    ** Have you asked for change? **

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    These kinds of posts always gets me steamed!

    You know the poons house is screwed up when the Mrs hears and HBO commercial and says what.... was that something regarding BHO's on TV?

    I'm guessing that as usual, the only recourse will be to contact the individual merchants who the affiliate is associated with and hope they will boot them. Partnering with "reputable merchants" will usually result in actions being taken.

    While most here would like to think that the big three were "reputable networks" and that the majority of merchants are reputable, their everyday business practices IMO shows this to not be the case.

    ** Have you asked for change? **

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Well maybe we will have no luck with the networks, but the merchants should be dropping affiliates caught doing this. Especially trusted merchants in this forum. I think more investigating needs to be done and proof be shown! I do not like the idea of an affiliate popping their page over mine and setting a cookie. And I know for a fact that they are popping on my site! That is plain BS! Wondering why your sales were down? You have the answer.
    Cazzie

    Join the Fight! Parasite Free In 2003!

    [This message was edited by cazzie on December 29, 2003 at 09:54 PM.]

  6. #6
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    BLFH (Ms. B)

    You are side stepping here, it is evident by your post you have a specific company/person involved.

    How long must we wait to get in on the fight?

    SandraR

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    It's a parasite; just because they hired a company that already did the coding w*rk instead of doing it themselves doesn't change the end result.

    But--If the ad company had been promising something like "get hits to your site" without being clear on just where the traffic was coming from, though, then I would be p*ssed at the ad company and not the affiliate. A lot of places claim they'll send qualified hits to a site but never do get around to saying just where they're getting the traffic, and "parasitically" isn't the possibility that I would have guessed (usually I figure that the email spammers that offer such things intend to spam the URL to a huge diskful of names).

    On the other hand, if the person was aware of the company's tactics, they are not only no better than a parasite--they ARE a parasite!

    It's the most wonderful time of the year!~Old Christmas Song

    [This message was edited by Leader on December 29, 2003 at 10:26 PM.]

  8. #8
    Just Lurking
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    Spill it Ms. B something has you ticked off.

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    "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." -- Mahatma Gandhi

  9. #9
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    First of all it's not me

    I say fry em even worse than you would ebates. There is nothing worse than someone pretending to be your allie while twisting the knife in your back.

  10. #10
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    @Poon..you know my feelings regarding the COC. Although it falls short, it does put some safegaurds (such as they are in place). One important point here, at least with CJ, is that the apps are sending out notices to the merchants of what they do and how they operate. So merchants can't claim ignorance. This company falls outside of the COC since they aren't an aff themselves. The affs aren't notify either. This is almost impossible for any merchant to detect on their end with the way it is happening unless they have the software installed themselves. My point was more whether or not these affs should treated overall like a parasite themselve. Right now for all appearances they are just joe blow aff.

    @Sondra I'm looking at one company, multiple affs who are offenders. Possibly some merchants. I'll full disclose when as much as possible has been adequately documented.

    @Leader The company clear states from where and how the traffic is generated.

    @Buddha Yes it has ticked me off. That's why I'm here posting.

    @Heyder "Those who protest the loudest.." Only joking.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    ...and just when you think you've heard/seen it all...just when you think it can't get any worse than it already is...

    IT DOES!

    Whoever or whatever is involved in this is without question a parasite. They are doing things that give affiliate marketing a bad name.

    Andy

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    <font color="red">Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!</font>

  12. #12
    Just Lurking
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    Oh I think I get it now.

    Joe Blow affiliate hires Ad Company X to get it some traffic.

    Ad Company X imploys Parasite like software to redirect to Joe Blow affiliate.

    Joe Blow thinks HOLY SH!T this ad company is great so why check on ads.

    Networks can't tell because all the traffic is coming from a legit affiliate.

    I'm I close Ms. B?

    ------------------------------
    "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." -- Mahatma Gandhi

  13. #13
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Buddha,

    Joe Blow aff pays Ad company to run Joe Blow's ads through Ad companies parasite software.

    Joe Blow does not have to develop their own parasite software or distribute it.

    Joe Blow can not think HOLY SH!T, because Ad company makes it very clear on their site they do contextual marketing and utilize said software.

    Joe Blow also has to tell Ad Company what specific keywords and URL's (not theirs) they want their ads to pop up on. Ad Company takes this info and integrates into their software. Joe Blow's site and/or aff merchant coded URL pops on another affs site or merchant click through.

    Merchant's and networks don't know because in many cases it will show just as coming from Joe Blow's site. At most there just want be an http referrer which can happen legitimately. But Merchant and Network do NOT know Ad company parasite software is being used because if they go and review Joe Blow's site, there is no software download there.

    Affiliates, merchants, and other Ad agencies are running campaigns through this Ad Company's software.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  14. #14
    Just Lurking
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    Gee thanks Ms B it's EVEN worse than what I was thinking! And in that case I'll get a rope, you find a nice tall tree. Someone needs to be linched!

    ------------------------------
    "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." -- Mahatma Gandhi

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    I think I would do a complete 180 and go look for other solutions.

    I look for the day, when every affiliate from every nation can climb to the mountain top and yell,
    'Free again, Free Again."

    Today is a national day of parasite free shopping.

    [This message was edited by Gearshopper on December 30, 2003 at 12:01 AM.]

  16. #16
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gearshopper:
    I think I would do a complete 180 and go look for other solutions.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    LOL, yep!

    Networks and major cos like Amazon are wise to this horsehockey and are deciding ... let's make this poll do the work!

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heyder:
    First of all it's not me

    I say fry em even worse than you would ebates. There is nothing worse than someone pretending to be your allie while twisting the knife in your back.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Exactly my opinion...

    Nobody, and I mean nobody that is a member of ABW can tell me that they do not know what the Ad Company or what themself's was doing. If they are caught doing this they should be banned and "Beat the Daylights" out of them.

    I can understand maybe somebody "newbie" that has just started in Aff. Marketing and maybe they do not know what BHO, Parasies are and got scamed by Ad Company but after coming here, like myself and learning about these things and then still doing it, really needs attention.

    Please reveal to us who it is soon so that we can make their life miserable.

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    This Rogue Ad Whore company, uncovered by our very own Ms. B, must be very adept at reading the greed factor and playing the unethical dis-cords of certain ABWers. I assume this parasitic program personally vents & invites sleezeball affiliates and works with merchant 3rd pary AM's who adore creative theftware.

    Poon said..."The COC's primary purpose IMO is for preventing parasites from stepping all over each other and ruining the game for networks due to consumer backlash all together."

    So true as deception & diversion is the name of the advertising game. Networks are adept at smoke and mirrors hiding and automating the activities of their preferred parners. Problem is the preferred partners have no ethics, morals and would eat their young for the almighty buck. So the networks end up taking the poisoned knife in the back by satellites of the very same group they protect from prying honest affiliate and merchant eyes.

    Poon, Buddha and Ms.B all understand, like me, that the ultimate illusion is to keep the enduser shopper/incented member duped into infecting their system from blowing the whistle to the the Feds, DA's Cybercrime units and the media. Who ever is running this application does not want their captive membership (Ala... Gator/WhenU/Upromise etc.) to find out they are party to outright fraud and theft.

    Just like recruiting is the achilles heal of the networks ....tricking endusers into Ponzi schemes or becoming direct parties to dishonest practices will offend the majority of the online public. It sure would piss off DA's like NYC's Mr Spitzer seeking the sources of who monitizes the spammers, identity thieves and phisher site operators. Thanks Ms.B. This makes a great vehicle to focus the spotlight on the entire underbelly of the affiliate industry.

    Looks like this should move to the private topics forum and Ms.B should inform haiko of who the rogue ABWers are who are willing to cut the throats of their fellow affiliates.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  19. #19
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Let me get this straight, some one is paying a solution like Gator/WhenU etc to run adds for an affiliate partner who is then directing traffic to a merchant who potentially has no idea where the traffic is really coming from but says "wow look at this great Partner"?

    So while the merchant is potentially clean and green the affiliate is hooked into the parasites...sounds like a rather acute new angle on parasitic marketing...

    Cheers

    chris


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  20. #20
    Just Lurking
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris - WSO:
    Let me get this straight, some one is paying a solution like Gator/WhenU etc to run adds for an affiliate partner who is then directing traffic to a merchant who potentially has no idea where the traffic is really coming from but says "wow look at this great Partner"?

    So while the merchant is potentially clean and green the affiliate is hooked into the parasites...sounds like a rather acute new angle on parasitic marketing... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Actually this is the line that really worries me:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ms B:
    Affiliates, merchants, and other Ad agencies are running campaigns through this Ad Company's software.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>This could explain alot. Makes you wonder WHO those merchants are?

    ------------------------------
    "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." -- Mahatma Gandhi

  21. #21
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I hope to be able to fully disclose the info by the end of the week. I need a bit of time to stringently document and investigate further. All the info I've gathered (including videos, domains, aff ID's, etc) will be made available to the respective parties involved if they want them. Whether or not the offending affs are 'outed' publicly here is a decision to be made by Haiko regarding ABW's privacy policies and any possible legal considerations. The information will be forwarded to the infringed upon affiliate to do with as they will. If a network or merchant who's cookie has been overwritten requests the information that is specific to them, it will be provided. I will let them know something has happened and they can let me know if they want the documented information.

    If I document merchants who have their own affiliate programs directly popping on affiliates sites or on an affiliates click thru to the same merchant or another merchant, I will make that information public to the board as a whole.

    As far as if the offenders are ABW members. I'll just say for now that no, I haven't at this point with just a couple of hours of testing, seen an aff site pop up that made me say "Holy moly that's XYZ on ABW." I have seen other factors which lead me to believe that it is quite possible some of the advertisers are affs who are members here which could mean silent lurkers. I am not focusing my energeries trying to connect offenders with a specific ABW name. My focus is to thoroughly document and track down the aff ID's.

    I know curiosity is king right now. But I ask folks to please be patient and try not to speculate on the software and/or parties involved. You won't have to speculate in a few days. We know from prior history that this technology can be altered to perform differently rather quickly after posts here which will only hender my abililty to document the culprits. Affs could easily pull their campaigns. Nor am I naive enough to think that this is probably the only software company running this type of set up.

    The point of the poll and this thread is bring out a discussion as to how as a community we feel about affiliates outside of what has been normally considered the duper or parasite affiliates engaging in such practices. And to send a loud and clear message to the networks, merchants, and offending affiliates how we feel about it. AFAIK, the fact that Joe Blow is engaging is such practices to the extent I'm seeing has not been discussed either much or at all publicly. I am aware that the networks, merchants, some affs are aware that this particular company and software exist. I don't see how the networks could be tracking the affs participating in it though since that could change daily. I want to be able to provide them with specific proof and the network aff ID and then see what they choose to do with the info. From the merchant's end, I don't see how they could know an aff is utilizing this company for marketing unless they are running the software themselves. More than likely they just think they have themselves a productive partner as Chris has indicated.

    To date I have seen the following ABW members sites infringed upon in one of the 3 ways listed in my first post by either another affiliate or a merchant:

    myself on 2 sites
    cazzie
    cditty/linda
    ssanf
    connie
    happypoon
    fatwallet
    haiko (no video but popping the hell out of abw though not by another affiliate)
    gordon (sorry no video as it was a delayed pop and I had just turned the video off...but I'll get one for you)

    The only member's site I've checked and DIDN'T have something happen is EcomCity's. I think his site just confuses the heck out of the software and it doesn't know what to target for a pop. Maybe that's a form of site protection we haven't looked at yet.

    Merchant's that have been hit with an aff overwrite or a competitor popping on their site or on an aff's page specific to them (this is not the merchant using the software to their own promotion!):

    TD (aff overwrite)
    EA (competitor on EA site from an aff click thru)
    Super Electronics (competitor on SE site from an aff click thru)
    Ashford (aff overwrite)
    Mondera (aff overwrite)
    BDS (competitor on aff page specific to BDS)

    All documented info I have will be forwarded to the affiliates and merchants involved by the end of the week.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  22. #22
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Buddha,

    Merchants is who you would normally expect to see whether associated with on affiliate (such as the TopMoxie programs)or just directly for their site (such as Gator) with a parasite.

    Testing for some specific merchants is WHY I installed the software yesterday. What I didn't expect to see were aff's sites popping up.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  23. #23
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Please keep on top of this and forward any information you get to me!

    Can you tell me now if it is happening on my Pagan sites or my mundane sites or both? If on my Pagan sites, Pagan or mundane products?

    I get most of my mundane products from SAS and I think if it is the mundane stuff, Brian will find this affiliate of great interest since he really tries to run a parasite free program.

    I really appreciate your efforts.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    Farewell, CJ! I loved you when you were young and pure. I will try to remember you that way. Disclaimer: Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

    [This message was edited by SSanf on December 30, 2003 at 09:06 AM.]

  24. #24
    Just Lurking
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BLFH (Ms. B):
    Buddha,

    _Merchants_ is who you would normally expect to see whether associated with on affiliate (such as the TopMoxie programs)or just directly for their site (such as Gator) with a parasite.

    Testing for some specific merchants is WHY I installed the software yesterday. What I didn't expect to see were aff's sites popping up.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>So merchants aren't overwriting Affiliate cookies? I mean in this case.

    [Edit - never mind if you ask me to do one little thing: "I know curiosity is king right now. But I ask folks to please be patient and try not to speculate on the software and/or parties involved." I guess I'll go play with perl. ]

    ------------------------------
    "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    [This message was edited by Buddha on December 30, 2003 at 09:06 AM.]

    [This message was edited by Buddha on December 30, 2003 at 09:50 AM.]

  25. #25
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi

    We'll be more than happy to push all recorded overwrites, and other data directly to our LS rep and have both the system and the person using them investigated fully for COC violations.

    Just fill up my mail box.

    Cheers

    Chris


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