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  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    I got a personal call today from a senior BF staff member advising me of their pending action. I applauded them for doing the right thing and taking action before any other network even admitted or knew of the issue..


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> New Predatory Advertising Discovery

    Be Free has recently learned of a software program that is generating misleading affiliate traffic to some merchant sites. This software is called IPinsight. Be Free performed a thorough analysis and determined that it generates artificial affiliate traffic and credits sites associated with it for the sales made on the merchant’s site, whether the end user came through a valid affiliate link or not. This is a clear violation of the fair affiliate marketing practices outlined in our Code of Conduct.

    It is very possible that you may have affiliates associated with this software in your own program.

    IPinsight is bundled with a number of free software downloads and is ostensibly used to collect anonymous Internet user data (i.e. connection speeds, neighborhood-level geographic locations, etc.) which is then sold for targeted marketing purposes. This software resides on the end-user’s computer.

    IPinsight occasionally opens a tiny invisible browser window while the end user is browsing on a merchant site. It is through that window that artificial affiliate impressions and click-throughs are generated. This can happen even if the end user’s navigation to the merchant’s site did not originate through a valid affiliate link. The effect of this is that an affiliate associated with IPinsight is credited for the purchases made by the end user. All of this occurs without the end user’s interaction, confirmation, or knowledge.

    Affiliates associated with IPinsight will be disabled from all Be Free merchant programs by May 5th, 2003, unless the merchant gives us explicit authorization not to do that for their program.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Congrats to BF and the team for having the integrity and the "cajones" to do the right thing, enforce the C.O.C. and clean up this industry !

    Please give BF a round of applause, they deserve it!!

    Andy Rodriguez,
    Online Advertising / Affiliate Marketing Manager

    TigerDirect.com
    P: (305) 415-2313
    E: andy.rodriguez@tigerdirect.com
    ICQ: 175010
    AIM: miamitigercub

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    WTG BeFree!
    We need more like you
    Cazzie

  3. #3
    "An Englishman In New York" TJ's Avatar
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    2nd that, thanks BF!!

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    Great catch, wonder what Cj is doing about it?

  5. #5
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    I agree completely. It's nice to see a network take on a responsibility that isn't necessarily theirs and make an effort to bring fairness to this industry. Our network will also be looking into this particular program and doing our best to make sure that it is not affecting our partners.

    Joe Flores
    "Profitman"
    Affiliate Manager
    www.affiliatefuel.com

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    This is great news for those merchants and affiliates using BeFree links. Funny how many BHO's are seeking devious ways to burrow into the network commission bank vaults. I applaud this move by BeFree's management who obviously are seeing some affiliate scumbags generating large commissions with Theftwarez on new domains. Imagine how many webmasters jump on the pennies to infect machines with BHO's via FREEBEE's.

    The porn popup hellholes sure help with drive-by downloads and IPinsight's invisable impression/click generator and sell-off of privacy info shows the CPC script kiddie crowd has not disappeared. Thye just devise and program BHO's.

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  7. #7
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
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    While this is welcome action by BF, I'm confused that it seems to be a direct contradiction of the repeated stance they have taken here and elsewhere that they are unable to terminate affiliates because they are not a "network" like the others (CJ, LS, etc) and you don't actually "join" BF, you join a merchant program.

    I'm not going to dig out any quotes for now, but I saw one of them just earlier today. Hopefully this means they won't "hide" behind that concept again, but it means I'm confused again about the relationship between affiliates, BF and merchants.

    Perhaps Scott will clarify for me (again )

    Are you Crazy?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    WTG BF. I hope this behavior is contagious. I'm actually curious why the Attorney General's Office doesn't investigate this larcency as companies like IPinsight are stealing no matter how you look at it.

  10. #10
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    Excellent news - I hope we can find if any merchants demand it be left on. I would be surprised since it seem to add no value, but then I am always surprised at these things.

  11. #11
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Hat's off to BeFree!!!!

    EXCELLENT WORK!!!

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


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

  12. #12
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    Yeah, but...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Affiliates associated with IPinsight will be disabled from all Be Free merchant programs by May 5th, 2003, unless the merchant gives us explicit authorization not to do that for their program.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well, hell... if they tell you not to, then you are enabling merchants to violate the very standard you are trying to maintain, and protect. If a merchant feels they are getting sales and targetted traffic from the likes of these thiefware companies, and doesn't want to "disable" the affiliate... let's see... oh yeah. Is it still not a violation?

    Clever wording, and a con job, imo. More bull shit rhetoric with a loophole.

    Big Chuck
    If you can't run with the big dogs, then stay on the porch!

  13. #13
    15 years and counting
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    Thanks Andy for sharing the good news, WTG BeFree! Show them the way!

    It's not the big that eat the small... it's the fast that eat the slow. Jennings & Haughton

  14. #14
    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 Big Chuck:
    Well, hell... if they tell you _not_ to, then you are enabling merchants to violate the very standard you are trying to maintain, and protect. If a merchant feels they are getting sales and targeted traffic from the likes of these thiefware companies, and doesn't want to "disable" the affiliate... let's see... oh yeah. Is it still not a violation?

    Clever wording, and a con job, imo. More bull shit rhetoric with a loophole.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Just to clarify, BeFree is NOT a network like CJ and Linkshare, their merchant/affiliate relationship is completely different, so they have to "ask" a merchant if they want the affiliate in their program, they can't just drop them from the merchant's program. The way the letter from Steve Pike reads is if you don't contact me and tell me why you'd want this type of affiliate in your program, there gone! And if a merchant were to contact Steve I'm 99.999999% sure he'd say why? Where is the value?

    Many complained about the CoC and it being too weak ... that maybe, but the important thing is the actions taken based off it. BeFree with this action is saying "We are completely serious about the CoC and will enforce it!"

    It is a great day for affiliates and the industry, thanks to BeFree!

    ========================
    I'm going to be copying this thread to the BeFree and Parasiteware Forums as well as the Café
    ========================

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


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

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    WTG Scott and the BeFree team!

    Akiva Bergstrom
    Affiliate Partner Manager
    <TABLE BORDER=0 cellspacing=2 width=500><TR><TD> <FONT SIZE=1>EssentialApparel.com
    CJ/6%/120 days/Datafeed/Parasite free
    Email: akiva@essentialapparel.com
    Phone: 973.696.6200 ext 751
    > Join now! < </TD><TD><FONT SIZE=1>SportsFanfare.com
    CJ/10%/120 days/Datafeed/Parasite free
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    > Join now! < </TD></TR></TABLE>

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Good job, BeFree! Keep the pressure on them, maybe they'll find a legitimate, ethical, legal business plan!

    OR MAYBE NOT...

    Andy

    "If you were born to be shot, you'll never be hung." -Unknown

  17. #17
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    Has anyone (besides me) noticed an increase in income from befree merchants recently??

  18. #18
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    I can understand the glee for this move on BF's part BUT . . . repeat BUT, have they gotten rid of Gator/Gain yet? I haven't had anything to do with BeScrewed in over a year so I can't say what's still scurrying about the sewer pipes over there.
    But, not to be a pooper on BeFree's scooper . . . here ya go
    But I do agree with this poop too...<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Clever wording, and a con job, imo. More bull shit rhetoric with a loophole<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>BF BS

    Brian
    aka Cyclone

    Get while the getting's good

    [This message was edited by Cyclone on May 05, 2003 at 12:54 AM.]

  19. #19
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    OOops

  20. #20
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    You are just on top of your toes Andy, and BeFree! Good Job well done! Glad to be alive and postin'!

    All I Ask Is A Chance To Prove That Money Can't Make Me Happy!

  21. #21
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>have they gotten rid of Gator/Gain yet?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, been like 6-8 mos now!

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


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

  22. #22
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    Okiedokie then . . . they get double the clap back for that one~!


    Brian
    aka Cyclone

    Get while the getting's good

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