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  1. #1
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    LA Times Attacks Spyware Companies
    After The Times asked about the practices of Exact Advertising and 180Solutions, Commission Junction said it was going to stop doing business with both.
    LA Times Attacks Spyware Companies

  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
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    But BHO's are still allowed as advertisers.
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...593#post434593


  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Mercedes-Benz USA and Travelocity said their pitches were placed in violation of company policies.

    "We would not authorize anything installed in such a manner," said Mercedes Internet marketing manager Lisa Cooper. She said the company had been testing a new ad network and hoped that the spyware appearance wouldn't be repeated.

    Travelocity spokesman Joel Frey said his company didn't know about the incident until contacted by The Times.

    "We can assure you that it is against our policies for ads to appear in unwanted software," Frey said. "We're working fast and hard to get to the root cause."
    And the lions begin to eat their young...

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Other companies don't seem to care, said Elizabeth Cholawsky, a vice president at affiliate network Commission Junction, which had about $60 million in sales last year.

    "Some advertisers," she said, "just want a big program."
    Introspection?

  5. #5
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Introspection?
    Poor choice of quote IMO. We obviously provided more comments than what they printed - they choose what to include (unfortunately).
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddCrawford
    Poor choice of quote IMO.
    I actually find it quite apropos.

    they choose what to include (unfortunately).
    We can say the same for CJ !
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  7. #7
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    Quote:
    they choose what to include (unfortunately).


    We can say the same for CJ !
    Amen!
    Rick M.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than have a frontal lobotomy!
    Does your bubblegum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

  8. #8
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    I bet the boardrooms from Santa Barbara to NYC have been abuzz in the past days as all of those who have been profiting from this theftware are figuring out how to cover their tracks and distance themselves in record-breaking time.

    It does amaze me that CJ still allows BHO's as advertisers. I would think distribution partners will be the target immediately following (or even concurrently with) the advertisers like Mercedes and others. If this is the case, all the authorities need to do is come to ABW and read this thread to see that CJ clearly has turned a blind eye to the illegal distribution of BHO's via deceptive bundling. Not only is CJ turning a blind eye to this, but CJ is profiting from it. Whew! That is quite a risk for less than a quarter per occurence.


  9. #9
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    I hope the added attention will get not only big business involved in removing this type of advertising, but lawmakers as well. It's just high tech stealing.

  10. #10
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Not only is CJ turning a blind eye to this, but CJ is profiting from it. Whew!
    They also promoted the hell out of the bigger ones and tried to encourage their merchants to allow them to do these tricks.
    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

  11. #11
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    "The affiliate issue has become a central aspect of the spyware epidemic," Schwartz said. "Finding ways to effectively reform affiliate relationships will remove a linchpin of spyware purveyors' operations."
    ...

    "In addition, any legislation must take care to ensure that the use of complex affiliate relationships ... will not enable responsible parties to avoid liability."
    http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news...le.php/3504411

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Oh so true as any effective laws have to look for the money trail enabling the system hijackings. It's all funded by advertizers willing to turn a blind eye to sleazebag affiliates as long as they get to bombard their competitors sites with POS influence Ads.

    "....While adware companies, advertising brokers and others involved in the online advertising supply chain deny engaging in deceptive practices, Schwartz said, they encourage bad behavior through their affiliate arrangements and lax oversight of the networks of affiliates acting on their behalf.

    "Advertisers, too, should be pushed to take greater responsibility for the companies they advertise with," he said.

    Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), co-author of the Senate bill along with Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), also took aim at the advertising affiliate relationships, saying much of the spyware and adware infecting computers travels as "imposters" piggybacked on legitimate Internet advertising.

    "Companies enter into advertising arrangements with legitimate Internet ad buyers who, in turn, go to advertising networks that can use thousands ... [of] affiliates, some of which are not so legitimate," Wyden said.

    Schwartz applauded the anti-spyware efforts under way by Congress, but added that there is only so much any new legislation can actually do to curb spyware. Legislation, he said, should complement industry self-policing, consumer education, better anti-spyware tools and aggressive law enforcement. "In addition, any legislation must take care to ensure that the use of complex affiliate relationships ... will not enable responsible parties to avoid liability."
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  13. #13
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    Exclamation Write to the author of the LA Times Article!!
    I emailed the author of the article, Joe Menn, to thank him for addressing this issue and to urge him to followup with a more in-depth look at the issue and especially the fact that CJ has actively been promoting parasiteware companies (see thread http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=4388).

    I happen to be good friends with a director at one of the companies mentioned in the article, and was venting to said director about how these parasiteware companies were hurting my business of affiliate marketing. Said director said that their company advertised on WhenU, etc, and that it was too profitable for them not to do so. Someone else from that same company was quoted in the article and claimed the company had no knowledge that their advertising dollars were being used in such a manner. I know for a fact that is a lie, but cannot prove it without revealing what my friend told me in confidence.

    Mr. Menn wrote me back almost immediately, saying, "Thanks very much for the feedback. I spent a great deal of time on abestweb while doing my research. I included some of the parasiteware issues in earlier drafts of my story, but the spyware issue is important to more people than the commission-stealing, which is crucial only for affiliates. I am keenly aware of the plausible deniability issue and am interested in following up. I appreciate the tips below, please send me other ideas and leads as they occur."

    As our livelihoods remain at stake due to the increasing problems with parasiteware, I urge every member of ABestWeb to contact Mr. Menn both to commend him for bringing this issue to light in the press (as that seems to be the only way we may have of forcing companies to like CJ, etc, to stop working with parasiteware) and to ask him to further explore the issue, address the matter of parasiteware, and provide him with any and all links, references, etc, that you have that can either A) show that CJ has known about 180Solutions, etc, all this time and has always been pro-parasite and B) that the companies listed in the article, and many others like them, use the excuse of 'we hired an outside ad agency' as a means of plausible deniability when they flat out know their ad dollars are supporting spyware/adware/parasiteware products because they make lots of money from it.

    Mr. Menn's email address is Joseph.Menn@latimes.com (it is listed on the latimes website). He is eager to get more ideas and leads with regards to this issue, and I know many of you have done much research in this area, so please forward all you know and your findings to him. This is our best and first chance at actually getting somewhere with this issue. Look how quick CJ was to say they will no longer be working with 180Solutions and Exact Advertising when approached by the press (although I'm hesitant to believe CJ). The press is our best way of putting pressure on these big companies to promote fair business practices, as it's too profitible for them to listen to the complaints from any one affiliate about their hard work being stolen right out from underneath them.

    PLEASE, email Mr. Menn at Joseph.Menn@latimes.com to let him know that you appreciated his article and look forward to more like it, and give him and and all leads and ideas you have with regards to this issue.

  14. #14
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Mailed.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  15. #15
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    thank you, haiko!!!

    We need to band together as affiliates and take advantage of this rare opportunity that someone in the press is aware of this issue and actively interested in getting to the bottom of it and cleaning up the behavior of companies, so every email to the author helps. Let's not let this article lose steam - let it be the first in a series that helps bring parasiteware to a halt for good!

  16. #16
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    LA TIMES - 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.
    It sure looks like it would be hard to argue about this.

    It looks like the cat is getting out of the bag now.

  17. #17
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    Do you think the merchants give a truck where there sales are coming from?

    Just something to ask yourself, yes it sucks, but merchants want sales.

    d

  18. #18
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    A lot of these merchants are big brand merchants that have spent millions on developing their brand and wouldn't want to associate with anything that would damage their brand image. 75%+ of people don't like Adware. I don't know anybody who likes it. I wouldn't associate with it.

  19. #19
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Diddy
    Do you think the merchants give a truck where there sales are coming from?

    Just something to ask yourself, yes it sucks, but merchants want sales.

    d
    I think that the real issue here is that some people are honest - and some people are dishonest.

    I want sales too but not to the point of going out and screwing people - installing adware on there computers - spyware - and etc.

    It does look like that is the only way that you can make money now days though.

    However - so far I have not been able to tell myself that it is OK to become a cheat and a thief, and etc., just to get money - although I need it too.

    Some people have morals - some people do not have morals.

    Some companies have morals - some companies do not have morals.

  20. #20
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    Very true....but we are talking about CORPORATIONS and bottom lines...

    At the end of the day....do you honestly think they care?

    Money makes the world go round....yes I can go to sleep everynight knowing that I havent corporately screwed anyone.....maybe its the mentality...

    I personally dont think anyone cares....otherwise they would have blacklisted the parasites ID's etc

    D

  21. #21
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Diddy
    At the end of the day....do you honestly think they care?
    I'm not disagreeing with you - I know that they don't care.

    I'm just saying that it is a shame what the world and big business has turned into.

    They had just as soon stab you in the back as anything else - and it doesn't bother them at all.

    They can go home at night and sleep like babies and they are so corrupt that they don't even know that they are doing anything wrong.

    I guess that is what happens when there is a lack of morals.

    The idol that they worship is money - and it doesn't matter what they have to do to get it.

    Don't you think so?

  22. #22
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    This is a technicality as it involves the internet and it is soo new

    So many corporations play the ignorance card, and are ignorant to
    what is going on.

    On the net it isnt theft as there are no net police, and unfortunately no net real rules.

    It is so new.....hopefully this will set a precedent

    So yes and no

  23. #23
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    I guess what the real point is - isn't it a shame that affiliates have so much trouble finding networks that are driven and owned by people with morals - that do care what affiliates think and that will do their best to help the affiliates, and be honest with the affiliates - and have some good big merchants that are honest also.

    That combination is really hard to find though - if it is possible to find it at all.

    If there was a network like this they could probably put all of the other networks out of business.

  24. #24
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    Do you think that somewhere out there is someone who just loves their Zango Search Assistant? I can only imagine, "All I have to do is type in something and I get pop-ups from merchants who want to sell to me. Sometimes they even pop-up when I am searching for information on otters and racoons. Isn't it soooo cute?"
    I guess that person exists somewhere. That would also be the person who enjoys paying full sticker for a new car.


  25. #25
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Do you think that somewhere out there is someone who just loves their Zango Search Assistant? I can only imagine, "All I have to do is type in something and I get pop-ups from merchants who want to sell to me. Sometimes they even pop-up when I am searching for information on otters and racoons. Isn't it soooo cute?"
    I guess that person exists somewhere. That would also be the person who enjoys paying full sticker for a new car.
    Have you heard the old saying - There is a sucker born every minute.

    That is what allows the networks and big business to be able to keep finding new victims.

    They are just like any other predatory animal - they prey on the weak and not so smart that will always be with us.

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