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  1. #1
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Why are you CJ guys promoting Ebates to your merchants when they are so obviously NOT in compliance? see video Also why are you still allowing them to steal from us?

    An honest answer (not spin) would be much apreciated.
    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

  2. #2
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    I viewed the video but do not understand what it is demonstrating. It appears that a LinkShare link for Dell activated the Mo Money (eBates) application as a pop up. I saw no proof that a link was overwritten. The video provided no details on what occured (that I could see). This makes it difficult for me to respond.

    I am not trying to avoid the question or put any spin on the issue.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    quote:
    do not understand what it is demonstrating.


    .
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    .

    quote:
    It appears that a LinkShare link for Dell activated the Mo Money (eBates) application as a pop up


    and What is there not to understand? I think you answered it yourself.

  4. #4
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    Todd,

    "It appears that a LinkShare link for Dell activated the Mo Money (eBates) application as a pop up. I saw no proof that a link was overwritten."

    Why do you think eBates would generate the pop-up? Are they just doing it for the fun of it? Or do you think they're doing it to generate sales for eBates at the expense of other affiliates?

    The bottom line is ethics. CJ is well aware that what eBates and their like is doing is unethical. But because eBates generates significant revenues for CJ, CJ continues to choose dollars over ethics and doing the right thing.

    CJ continues to make excuses as in "The video provided no details on what occured..." without questioning why it occurred. Come on Todd, you're not dealing with 13 year old kids here. Are you telling us that what you just saw does not raise questions in your own mind as to why eBates would do something like that?

  5. #5
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I imagine it raises no questions in his mind for the simple reason he already knows exactly what they're doing.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    quote:
    From CJ's "Code Of Conduct" page:
    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").


    INTERFERE: To be or create a hindrance or obstacle (For instance, those Ebates windows popping up on top of the page...)

    INFLUENCE: A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort (For instance, those Ebates windows popping up on top of the page...)

    What you saw in the video, Todd, was Ebates violating the Code of Conduct. The pop ups both INTERFERE with and attempt to INFLUENCE the process of the end user making a purchase through an affiliate link. There is no denying this. It is a fact.

    KICK EBATES OUT OF THE NETWORK FOR VIOLATING YOUR POLICIES!

    Andy

  7. #7
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    I "think" I understand what Todd is saying and I "think" it would be helpful if we could all think like merchants for a minute.

    Please don't jump me, I am as anti-parasite as you are.

    I have a merchant (not a live client yet) who has had a long relationship with ebates and believes they are not overwriting any longer. He wants to see proof. And although this company is VERY high integrity and WANTS to be parasite free & has agreed to dumping the others, he BELIEVES Ebates is clean therefore needs to see it. I think he may say exactly the same thing Todd did.

    I can't load the avi to view it BUT if it's just showing an ad popping over a site then I think this is what merchants may think of the proof. They may think it's just like Gator and or contexual ads pop on sites. Granted they may not like it - but when Gator pops it's not overwriting a cookie or stealing affiliate commissions. The site that's getting popped on does not like it but they are not stealing commission.

    So I think we need to give merchants a step by step for seeing the cookie overwriting. If someone could give me any tips I would really appreciate it and you will too if it helps this merchant drop ebates. Just off the top of my head real quick cuz I need to run. Tell merchant to:

    1) Join ebates, 2) click this link, 3) look for cookie which looks like "this". 4) after the popup then check cookies and you will see a 2nd cookie that looks like "this". 5) Now bookmark site and leave. 6) come back an hour later and pretend you are ready to buy. Check cookies and you will see the only cookie set is the #2 cookie from ebates even though you never went to ebates and clicked the link. (OR WHATEVER, but some people just need to see it.(

    If you can put your self in the merchants shoes who has been told and believes a partner is kosher - it would be kind of like if I told you - YOU need to drop ADSense right away. Google is doing something dishonest and every honest affiliate needs to dump them immediately. You would not take my word for it, you believe Google is honest. You would need to see the proof right? Does that make sense that you would want to see it your self before cuttin off a large part of revenue from a company you trusted?

    You probably would not trust someone's screen shot or AVI. You would want to actually go through the steps, do it and see the problem with your own eyes before you would cancel an agreement with Google if they were making you 10,000 a month right??? And even if you saw the proof of some wrong doing many of you would still keep Google if they were making you 10K a month.

    So the better we can get at helping merchants "see it" for themselves to see specifically what it's doing wrong, the better off we will be.

    FYI, maybe the AVI showed stealing plain as day, but again I can't see it so I don't know what it is showing. I believe what all you you are saying - that's not the issue. I know you all and just take your work for it, don't even need to see it. But if it shows proof I would sure like to get it working to show this merchant, who does not know YOU but trusts ebates, just like you trust Google and needs to see it.

    I keep getting an error and can't open it.

    Opps edited to add after reading Andys comment. I agree with what you say about "interferring with and influencing the buyer" and see how the AVI (if what I visualize is correct) could show that happening. So I should be more clear about what I meant above.

    I was talking more about the other thread that is linked that talks about ebates overwriting cookies essentially rendering the original affiliate cookie down to just a session cookie.
    I think what this merchant was told is that ebates does not overwrite cookies any more. So any ammo or proof about cookie overwriting would be great.

  8. #8
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Linda,

    I'll only comment on your inability to open the file.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...d/download.asp

    Use that.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  9. #9
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Any way to make it so it's not upside down? I can't really figure out what's going on in the video. Tried it in Firefox and IE and it's upside down in both.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Linda,

    Even IF Ebates isn't overwriting cookies, they ARE still violating the CoC, useless as it may be. The code doesn't say you have to overwrite cookies in order to interfere or influence.

    Personally, I'm of the opinion that it shouldn't have to take something more serious like cookie overwriting, cookie stuffing, hidden windows, or anything else, to be a violation. When a window pops up on the merchant's site after an affiliate link has been clicked, that's enough.

    And any merchant who wants to operate a FAIR, ETHICAL, HIGH INTEGRITY program should not have any reservations whatsoever about dumping Ebates. It is an unfair business practice, and it is clearly prohibited by the network terms, cookie overwrite or no.

    Andy

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Video AVI files should never be capture at a resolution above 800x600. All text showing proof of the cookie overwrite or URL bar is unreadable.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    First, it's not upside down.
    Secondly it's at 1024X800 click alt+enter to view it full size
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  13. #13
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Yes Andy, I totally agree with you and thats what I was trying to say when I edited the last post.

    It's just that affiliates used to say ebates were overwriting and ebates told him they are not and that's the only part he knows about so he was focused on the cookie part. If they are still over writing and I can show him that plus the points you brought up, then it's just double ammunition.

    But again I agree with you that that's enough, I just want all the ammunition I can get. Some merchants think just like some pro-adware proponents think and even argue in the courts. (The user owns their desktop) If the user chooses to join a rebate program and downloads the software after reading the ULA then it's their right. If they want the deals they should get them. This isn't how I think but it's the line that's used many times when this type of debate somes up.

    So I just think we need all the ammunition we can get and if there is cookie over-writing proof on top of popup proof it's even better. If there isn't then yes, the point you made should be enough, but with a new potential client I just never know how much convincing and educating it will take until I try it. And I like to be as prepared as possible.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Haiko it IS full screen and the image quaility is fine it's just upside down in both browsers so hard to read what all the wondows are doing.
    Maybe some ones telling me to give up and take the rest of the day off.

    Maybe there was a glitch when I downloaded the windows media. I'll try it again tomorrow. Then I will probably wish I could take back everything I just said, once I can see what you are all seeing. I probably missed the whole point. I'm beat. Bye for now.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Linda,

    I understand what you're saying, but the fact is, even though the end user may own their desktop, basic contractural law is being violated. Merchants and affiliates have a contract between them, and that contract CANNOT be modified by a third party.

    And the terms of the networks clearly say there is to be no interference, so what the end user wants here is beside the point. The end user shouldn't even be involved in the equation, because they are not a party to the agreement.

    I think people intentionally make this more difficult than it needs to be; the more facts you drag in, the more confusing and argumentative it becomes. If the merchant is part of a network that abides by the CoC, a pop up is enough to be in violation of the network terms. And if a merchant is running an independent program, they need to advise all affiliates up front that they MAY NOT get paid for all of the purchases initiated on their sites, due to the ability of another affiliate overwriting their cookies with the permission of the merchant.

    At that point, I doubt too many (non-app) affiliates will be jumping on board that program, but it is the only honest and legal way to advise the affiliate party of the terms of payment.

    Keep it simple: you don't have to show multiple violations, you just have to show they are violating network terms. Enough said. A high integrity merchant won't need to hear any more to know they need to distance themselves from this type of activity.

    Andy

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    GREAT post Andy. This is exactly how it should be.

    Chris
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  17. #17
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    nice post Andy, shame it will be lost on the Networks.
    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

  18. #18
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    I agree, nice post Andy! I have been so lucky so far because I have not had to show or prove anything to any of our merchants. We just tell them who we want to expire and why and they say OK!

    This "potential client" is a big one, and they say OK to expiring all, except one, for the reasons I listed above and primarily due to a long standing relationship they consider to be honest and important, so I will just need to work on them!

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Linda,

    I know you and your team will do the right thing, you always have. I believe most merchants don't really understand the true pitfalls of their association with these entities. Being a part of the Wild Wild Web right now can be risky, and I feel most companies really don't want to put themselves in a compromising position, where they could be accused of cheating other affiliates out of commissions because of an agreement they made on the side with another affiliate.

    It just doesn't come off too well, you know, the big bad corporation taking advantage of a work at home widowed Mom just trying to earn an honest living to support herself and her two children...

    Andy

  20. #20
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Catalyst:
    I agree, nice post Andy! I have been so lucky so far because I have not had to show or prove anything to any of our merchants. We just tell them who we want to expire and why and they say OK!

    This "potential client" is a big one, and they say OK to expiring all, except one, for the reasons I listed above and primarily due to a long standing relationship they consider to be honest and important, so I will just need to work on them!


    Hi Linda,
    Please don't make an exception. You have such a clean record with all of the affiliates. We all have such respect for you!! ALL OF US!! I would hate to think that you would make an exception because they are a "big potential client"

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