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  1. #1
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    The Swamp
    I specifically DIDN'T install CashBackBuddy yesterday when I got an ad for it because I was working on another project and didn't want any additional applications on the test box. I was attempting to replicate some pops today in order to capture an CJ PID, when ZA prompts me that CashBack wants access to the Internet!

    It would seem that CashBack was installed anyway on my computer. My best guess is that bargainbuddy installed it as an "update." This is not an update/upgrade to bb. This is a whole new application cb.exe. Bargains.exe is still there also.

    Upon further inspection, I see that CB is running more steathly than most adware programs. Guess they don't want you to know about those rebates you are going to get???? The exe only kicks in on broswer page loads and then evidently shuts itself down after each one. This is evidenced by the fact it calls out through ZA browser load as when a new program is started and the fact that it shows only briefly in Task Manager and then disappears after the page loads. If I did not have ZA, I would not have known it was there. It's hard to tell from the video, but sometimes it flashes so quickly in TaskManager you can't see what the file name even is.

    The attached video shows CB in action. It will do a very fast redirect with their affiliate tracking link in the same browser window. Again many times this is so quick, you can't even 'see' that it happened. It's more obvious on this particular video since I have my ActiveX set to prompt and the merchant site uses ActiveX. And of course their tracking cookie gets set.

    Honestly, I am not seeing it do auto redirects on affiliate links 100% of the time. Sometimes it seems to happen and other times not. I have not tested enough to see if there is any pattern or not. But once is enough for me as far as an affiliate overwrite.

    For the Merchant's sites they partner with, it is a whole different story! I'm referring to getting to the Merchant's site via any other means than an affiliate link. I'm seeing what is looking like if not 100%, than pretty dang close to 100%, automatic redirects with their affiliate cookie being set! Yes, that is right merchants. You are paying commissions to these guys on direct traffic to your site. Or what's even worse, possibly on traffic you already are paying someone else for. But then I bet the Networks didn't tell you about that did they when you heard what a Super Affiliate RealMedia/ExactAdvertising are.

    I wonder why that could be? Could it maybe have something to do with MediaMetrix report I posted here which shows the Top 50 Advertising Rankings (Table 4) with RealMedia placing 2 times? Above Gator/Claria and only 4 spots below the ValueClick Network. That seems like an awful lot of potential traffic merchants are paying for through the Affiliate Channel that normally wouldn't be an affiliate revenue cost.

    I was going to blast the Networks yet again regarding them not enforcing their own TOS and how they promote unfair trade practices. I've decided to beat that drum elsewhere more directly. I'll just say that when you put something in a legal document, it might be prudent to adhere to that legal document.

    Download Video

    [End ]

  2. #2
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    The Swamp
    Wanted to add that I've yet to check to see to what degree CB is being 'compliant' towards other affiliates links and to what degree they aren't auto redirecting because of protective measures the affiliate has coded into their sites.

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