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  1. #1
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    LA Times Article
    It looks like the fight against spyware is becoming more and more targeted on the press radar. Here is an article that was the main story on the front page of the Times Business section today.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...-home-business

    A couple of interesting things of note:

    In this article, no group involved with internet advertising came off well (except Ben ) The article cast blame on the Fortune 500 companies advertising, the networks (particularly FindWhat) and affiliates. It doesn't look like the press has designated a "bad guy" on this issue yet, but everyone including affiliates is a candidate.

    It seems that the press is narrowing down the field and finally starting to figure out the players involved in this issue. Once they figure it out, I bet they really go after the networks.

    Here is what they said about CJ:

    "Just as not all merchants care how they get their business, not all affiliate networks are equally strict. Take Commission Junction, which is owned by Westlake Village-based ValueClick Inc. and drives computer users to Citigroup Inc.'s Citibank, Home Depot Inc. and IBM Corp.

    Until this month, Commission Junction's 70,000 affiliates included 180Solutions and a firm called Exact Advertising, which makes a "Bargain Buddy" pop-up that has been installed through a security flaw in Web browsers. Bargain Buddy recently carried ads for 1,000 merchants, including Dell Inc., British Airways and Gap Inc. After The Times asked about the practices of Exact Advertising and 180Solutions, Commission Junction said it was going to stop doing business with both."

    Another interesting note - there was a big article in the LA Journal yesterday about Spitzer. I just skimmed it, but it looks like he is making the political rounds in LA to lay the groundwork for a run at higher office in a few years (president?)

  2. #2
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    Commission Junction said it was going to stop doing business with both."
    Going to stop? I believe Todd said in another thread that both had already been deactivated. Sounds like Todd and whoever it was that talked to the Times needs to get on the same wave length.

  3. #3
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    After The Times asked about the practices of Exact Advertising and 180Solutions, Commission Junction said it was going to stop doing business with both.
    Just goes to show you the complete lack of ethics exhibited by CJ. They only decide to do the right thing once it become clear that they may receive negative press for continuing to allow scumware to steal from both merchants and affiliates.

  4. #4
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    Just a matter of time before this gets some Prime Time TV coverage. Since most people have some sort of adware/spyware on their computer there would be a wide audience. Can you imagine 60 Minutes or 20/20 doing some preview commercials for a show. Slow computer? Pop ups when you surf? Tune in and we'll show you how to get rid of it, how you got it in the first place and we'll also show you how some of your favorite merchants you shop at contribute to it. Boom.

  5. #5
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Just a matter of time before this gets some Prime Time TV coverage. Since most people have some sort of adware/spyware on their computer there would be a wide audience. Can you imagine 60 Minutes or 20/20 doing some preview commercials for a show. Slow computer? Pop ups when you surf? Tune in and we'll show you how to get rid of it, how you got it in the first place and we'll also show you how some of your favorite merchants you shop at contribute to it. Boom.
    This Wednesday, the NBC affiliate in Orlando is doing a special on spyware. I am just afraid that the media is going to scare the hell out of the American public and make them think shopping online is foolish.


  6. #6
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Market Watcher
    Just goes to show you the complete lack of ethics exhibited by CJ. They only decide to do the right thing once it become clear that they may receive negative press for continuing to allow scumware to steal from both merchants and affiliates.
    This was an incorrect statement on the part of the author. Unfortunately, once it is in print, it is assumed to be fact.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  7. #7
    Internet Cowboy
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    So I guess we have to decide who to believe.


  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Be a great time for CJ to announce they've severed all ties to any S/W affiliate, who performs or rewards others to do drive-by installs or hidden bundling. Also bar commissions to BHO's who can't be uninstalled from a standard Window's one step routine. Then find a kick ass anti-spyware/adware package vendor, that doesn't screw with CJ cookies by default, and give them free exposure from the frontpage as a consumer treat and peace offering.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  9. #9
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Be a great time for CJ to announce they've severed all ties to any S/W affiliate, who performs or rewards others to do drive-by installs or hidden bundling. Also bar commissions to BHO's who can't be uninstalled from a standard Window's one step routine. Then find a kick ass anti-spyware/adware package vendor, that doesn't screw with CJ cookies by default, and give them free exposure from the frontpage as a consumer treat and peace offering.
    Or just continue promoting the screensavers.com BHO bundle.


  10. #10
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    or declare certain commissions as paid in error or subject to retrieval. what am I drinking?

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Be a great time for CJ to announce they've severed all ties to any S/W affiliate, who performs or rewards others to do drive-by installs or hidden bundling. Also bar commissions to BHO's who can't be uninstalled from a standard Window's one step routine. Then find a kick ass anti-spyware/adware package vendor, that doesn't screw with CJ cookies by default, and give them free exposure from the frontpage as a consumer treat and peace offering.
    That would be good PR...
    (Hey, how come the center of the Earth suddenly started radiating frigid coldness? H&ll froze over because I agreed with Ecom? Oh, that explains it...)

    Another interesting note - there was a big article in the LA Journal yesterday about Spitzer. I just skimmed it, but it looks like he is making the political rounds in LA to lay the groundwork for a run at higher office in a few years (president?)~Kip
    He's running for Governor of NY in 2006, according to an article I saw the other day... Google News has a few confirmations.

    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddCrawford
    This was an incorrect statement on the part of the author. Unfortunately, once it is in print, it is assumed to be fact.
    From what I've seen over the years, I do know that reporters tend to badly misquote people they interview, screw up technical facts, add their own bias, etc.

    I think I've yet to see a reporter, when I knew the facts, get them all correct in an article.

    That someone from CJ was misquoted wouldn't surprise me in the least.

    -- Mike
    A joy shared is a joy doubled.
    A burden shared is a burden lightened.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Marketer Rogi's Avatar
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    I disagree with that last comment in the article.

    I don't think users/consumers will get used to pop-up ads. If they were getting used to them, would there be so many downloads for pop-up-blockers? Would repair shops have so much business (because people want adware/spyware removed)? Would anti-spyware/adware/parasiteware companies and their software be in such demand?

    The more I speak with the 'average' user, each and every one of them talks about how much they hate the unwanted ads etc. I think the exact opposite will happen rather than what that article concludes with. Just my opinion though.

  14. #14
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Here's another interesting article:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/stor...F4706092225%7D

    Excerpts:
    Companies like Intermix, are a dime a dozen. Even if you swat one or two down, it seems to me that they'll just emerge again in some variant form and strike again.

    Assuming that's true, the question becomes should Spitzer go after the sources of the money that feeds the Intermixes of the world -- the big advertising networks -- the online advertising gravy train?
    ...
    Still, having a code of conduct seems like a simple way to pass the buck.

    For instance, why should Yahoo be exonerated if it's partnered with Claria, which has partnered with Kazaa, which allegedly pushes spyware applications onto desktop computers? Should Google be culpable if it partners with Ask Jeeves, which also uses Kazaa to get its toolbars distributed? Why isn't ValueClick held accountable for the practices of its former partners, like 180Solutions, which ironically blamed its partner for not complying with the proper code of conduct?
    ...
    So, will Spitzer go after the ad networks?

    "They're the money," said Kramer. "But before you can go after the advertisers you have to go after the makers to demonstrate in court that this method of ad distribution is unlawful because it's deceptive. After you've demonstrated that, you can say to the advertising community: Don't support that method of distribution."

    After that message is sent, then "hopefully, the money dries up," he said.

  15. #15
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    It is getting really cold over here too, even right on the equator. I agree with Ecomcity totally on this.

    Originally Posted by ecomcity

    "Be a great time for CJ to announce they've severed all ties to any S/W affiliate, who performs or rewards others to do drive-by installs or hidden bundling. Also bar commissions to BHO's who can't be uninstalled from a standard Window's one step routine. Then find a kick ass anti-spyware/adware package vendor, that doesn't screw with CJ cookies by default, and give them free exposure from the frontpage as a consumer treat and peace offering."

    Well, how about that Todd. Come on. We WANT CJ to survive this mess and that seems like the best way to counter all that negative PR. Don't forget. We regular affiliates still want our CJ checks.

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Cool
    ...."The other question is what is an advertising network's obligation to police their network? Is it enough that ad networks cut off distributors after violating policies, or should they have a more aggressive policing policy?

    If the advertiser knew and aided the software company's deceptive downloading/installation, it could theoretically be charged with "aiding and abetting" liability, Kramer said.

    To be sure, most advertisers would claim that they had no idea how the adware got installed on end-user's computers and/or believed that it had been installed legitimately.
    Kramer thinks it would take a lot of work for a prosecutor to show otherwise.

    That's why he suggested that advertiser liability for adware is an issue that might more easily be addressed by a state legislature or Congress, rather than by a court considering the matter for the first time.The other question is whether Spitzer will be satisfied prosecuting Intermix? " ... http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?page=2&guid={6C24AE35-B3AB-4C17-937E-AF4706092225}&siteid=mktw

    Well both the networks, and the advertising merchant's DO KNOW they ARE financing the Adware/Spyware BHO's, as 100% of the infestation perps receive commission rates above those offered to honest value-add affiliates. Forward that monitizing "factoid" to your State AG's and legistators to raise some eyebrows.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  17. #17
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    If the advertiser knew and aided the software company's deceptive downloading/installation, it could theoretically be charged with "aiding and abetting" liability, Kramer said.

    To be sure, most advertisers would claim that they had no idea how the adware got installed on end-user's computers and/or believed that it had been installed legitimately. Kramer thinks it would take a lot of work for a prosecutor to show otherwise.
    Ignorance may be bliss, but it usually isn't viewed as a valid defense in a court of law.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Just as not all merchants care how they get their business, not all affiliate networks are equally strict. Take Commission Junction, which is owned by Westlake Village-based ValueClick Inc. and drives computer users to Citigroup Inc.'s Citibank, Home Depot Inc. and IBM Corp.

    They might not care now. They will care when this happens

    Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Just a matter of time before this gets some Prime Time TV coverage. Since most people have some sort of adware/spyware on their computer there would be a wide audience. Can you imagine 60 Minutes or 20/20 doing some preview commercials for a show. Slow computer? Pop ups when you surf? Tune in and we'll show you how to get rid of it, how you got it in the first place and we'll also show you how some of your favorite merchants you shop at contribute to it. Boom.

    CJ has some big retailers as merchants and if you think they will set back and get dragged thru the mud with any legal action you are wrong! As soon as the s*it hits the fan watch the Big Boys jump ship. They will divorce them self from CJ in a flash.
    I know this for a fact because I work for one of them and I know our company policy.
    If I were CJ,I would start to clean up my act before it's to late!

  19. #19
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Ask Jeeves sees the handwriting on the wall:
    In Ask Jeeves' latest 10-Q filing released late Tuesday, the company said it faces risks should New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer widen his investigation beyond Intermix, an Internet marketing company sued by his office last week.

    "We face a risk that other lawsuits might be initiated or that federal or state legislation might be drawn so broadly that it would make distribution of any downloadable application more difficult. Such legislation and litigation could impact our ability to distribute our toolbar products and could result in material cost and liability to us."
    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/stor...EAE66C847B0%7D

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    What a tangled web the Adwhore BHO's play to infest consumers systems with Adware and Spyware. Seismic Media mates up with OPTinTrade and Mindset Interactive to run the infestation game and plant backdoor trojans for the affiliate network's funded BHO's seeking shady distribution partners. When the legislators find out the BHO's get less then 5% of their installs from their own domain downloads they'll be getting a hint at how the networks play the "hide the salami" game of their double-dipping partners.

    No BHO out there isn't playing the drive-by and hidden bundling game, as not a one has a real fan club once their popup Ad and e-mail spam victims get a taste of their Gorilla marketing efforts. Shit heal merchants riding this forced cookie cannon train need to get derailed.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  21. #21
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Damn good post Mike. I loved thisL
    "Shit heal merchants riding this forced cookie cannon train need to get derailed."

    You ever bring that bird down to Central Florida, PM me and I'll buy you lunch including all the crackers the lil dude can munch.

    Your passion continues to inspire me!

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