Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    21,609
    Adware Called Too Cozy With Spyware
    WASHINGTON -- Even if Congress passes an anti-spyware bill, it will be ineffective unless lawmakers can untangle the frustratingly complex adware food chain. Absent that, spyware hustlers will be able to dodge liability through their murky deals with advertising affiliates.

    Ari Schwartz, the associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the Senate Commerce Committee today that the spyware problem must be addressed at the root level of affiliate marketing.

    "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."
    ...
    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.
    ...
    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."
    Source - http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news...le.php/3504411
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; May 12th, 2005 at 09:13 AM.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    It appears that the networks' lack of enforcement will have a detrimental effect on the industry as a whole. They let thieves run rampant for years and now all of us will pay.
    Affiliates have been saying this all along.
    Just wait until a precedent is set that allows affiliates to take the networks to court for allowing their commissions to be stolen by these rogue affiliates for so long. Sooner or later this will happen. That will be the beginning of the end for the networks.
    I look for a huge advertiser (and affiliate) exodus from the networks in coming months. The popularity of indie programs is already on the rise and will only get stronger.
    I have spoken with a few large merchants recently who said they are making plans to leave the network for either SAS or an indie program because they think the networks will be under the gun very soon.


  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    The CDT has pointed a finger at affiliates for a good while now. And with all the media frenzy on the Spitzer thing, I'm seeing more and more mention made of affiliates and specific Networks.

    What I'm not seeing in all of this reporting is are a couple of distinctions and points being made. One that although there are large sums of money involved through the adware business and adware is a pervasive problem, the affiliates engaging in the bad practices are a minority percentage of actual affiliates of the total affiliate pool. Second is mention that there has long (indeed longer than all the recent talk) been a core of affiliates who have opposed these practices nor condoned them and have worked towards the banishment of these practices within the Industry.

    For those of us within this Industry reading all the latest reports in the media, we understand what is and has been really going on. However, I'm not so sure about all those folks looking in from the outside including the reporters and lawmakers. In fact, I'm very doubtful. IMHO, there is a very good chance of 'affiliates' as a whole being connotated with all this bad behavior and publicity. What Haiko posted is a good example. If I don't know anything really about affiliate marketing, I probably walk away with the impression that affiliates in general are a sleazy group and to a large extent a part of the problem that something needs to be done about.

    All of us are already suffering the consequences of revenue loss due to all the adblocking and cookie blocking/removal software out there which is now being reported publicly to be upward to 40%. And that issue came about in a large part because of affiliate cookies showing through adware (notice I *didn't* say spyware!). Indeed affiliate tracking is already considered by many outsiders of the Industry to be spyware. What is happening now has an even greater potential of connecting affiliate marketing as a whole to bad behaviors. And I'm not hearing a strong, unified, consolidated voice of honest affiliates speaking out on their own behalf and distinguishing themselves from the bottomfeeders of this Industry.

    I know many are very excited and hopeful about recent events. I'm having very mixed feelings (one reason I've been somewhat silent) and seeing all of this as a probable double edged sword for joe blow affiliate. I've lived through government intervention within another industry to clean up all the abuse and fraud within that industry. Yes to some degree the abuse was curtailed by that intervention. However the fraud and abuse is still out there to no small degree. And I did see some rather large players engaged in that fraud go down (that is put out of business completely..they no longer exist today). But I also saw a huge burden also placed on the folks who were always honest. I also saw many of these businesses (many times small businesses because they were playing by the rules) not be able to stand up under the burdens of legislative reform and go out of business also. I'm having deja vu with the chain of events leading up to reform in this other Industry. I certainly hope things don't play out that way. But I'm not really anything going on to try and make sure that doesn't happen. The pendulum tends to swing dramatically in both directions before it finally settles somewhere in the middle. Then you have whoever is left standing all the way around.

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Just wait until a precedent is set that allows affiliates to take the networks to court for allowing their commissions to be stolen by these rogue affiliates for so long. Sooner or later this will happen. That will be the beginning of the end for the networks.
    I look for a huge advertiser (and affiliate) exodus from the networks in coming months. The popularity of indie programs is already on the rise and will only get stronger.
    I have spoken with a few large merchants recently who said they are making plans to leave the network for either SAS or an indie program because they think the networks will be under the gun very soon.

    And this will protect you as an affiliate from the possible overall detrimental effects you mentioned how?

    I've been saying for quite some time that I've been seeing a shift in what is going through the parasitic apps from Network links to 3 other areas: PPCSE listings, straight ad buys and idie programs. Fraudsters tend to quickly keep up and go where where the money is. The PPCSE's and Ad Networks (not affiliate links) names are already popping up in the recent news reports also. But do you seriously think that regulators if they address affiliate links showing are going to make the distinction that the affiliate link is a Network link or an indie program link? Or do you think if addressed they will just be saying an affiliate link? Personally I think it would be the later. Especially with the significant increase in indie links showing up through the adware.

  5. #5
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    And this will protect you as an affiliate from the possible overall detrimental effects you mentioned how?
    I never said that this would protect me from overall detrimental effects. We will all suffer from some detrimental effects due to the lack of responsibility of the networks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    I've been saying for quite some time that I've been seeing a shift in what is going through the parasitic apps from Network links to 3 other areas: PPCSE listings, straight ad buys and idie programs. Fraudsters tend to quickly keep up and go where where the money is.
    I would agree with this. The difference is that I would think most indie programs have fewer layers of beauracracy and corporate BS to sort through to keep the fraudsters out. They will be able to react faster. Furthermore, it is my opinion that (most) indie programs have the knowledge of what is going on around them, therefore the ability to track these rogues down and boot them quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    The PPCSE's and Ad Networks (not affiliate links) names are already popping up in the recent news reports also. But do you seriously think that regulators if they address affiliate links showing are going to make the distinction that the affiliate link is a Network link or an indie program link? Or do you think if addressed they will just be saying an affiliate link? Personally I think it would be the later. Especially with the significant increase in indie links showing up through the adware.
    Well, so far I have seen CJ, LS and PF named in articles. I have not seen a single indie program named. Not to say that I will not, but it seems that the law enforcement agencies and the media are zeroed in on the networks, as they should be since they are the source of the majority of these problems. I have also seen several individual advertisers named, but none of them are running their own program. They are all in a network.
    Is it possible that these people will go after affiliate marketing in general? Yes. All we can do is hope that their legal training has taught them to be more specific in the targeting of the problem because the courts are more likely to act on specific targets and specific instances rather than a broad sweep of affiliate marketing in general.

    In the past few days we have seen a trend of the media and the enforcement agencies targeting advertisers who fund this type of activity. It is my opinion that this will be the most effective avenue in stopping this. Once the stockholders of company X see their shares fall 25%+ because of a loss of market share and mounting legal obligations, not to mention the horrible PR, these stockholders will be dumping those stocks like yesterday's garbage. Furthermore, once this happens to company X, we can only assume that comapany Y and company Z will be ceasing all activity with adware/spyware companies immediately. It is just a matter of the system making an example of one national merchant and you will see revenues for downloadable apps dropping like a rock.

    Sometimes we have to take a little of the bad to reach the ultimate positive end. This will be a case of this. All we can hope for is that in the end the good outweighs the bad and I am confident that it will.


  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    3,810
    Want adaware to go away? Pay Salary to those reps who work for the ad agencies instead of giving them a peice of what they bring in. I remember a valueclick rep telling me once that some vc reps liked dealing with 180 because it brought them in good money.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,889
    One has to wonder if merchants and the public will one day associate spyware/adware with the networks who allow this to go on. If a network gets bad PR from doing business with spyware that will have to affect their sales and signups of new merchants. They'll be years trying to clean up their reputation while the merchants flock to the "clean" networks or go indie.

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Posts
    17,328
    Some may like to get involved in launching a network where none of this bad PR activity can take place. None of the merchants can take any flack for not reporting sales to the correct referring partner. Where merchant conversion ratios are published and BHO and cookie tricksters can't swim in the commission pool. www.ecomcity.com/safehaven-network.htm

    It would be absurd to think the old flawed advertising network model can't be skirted around or replaced with a Sales Network model.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    March 10th, 2005
    Posts
    155
    The 'General' public Needs to be educated about ecommerce/affiliate marketing. If that doesn’t happen, what Kellie alludes to will come to be.

    Mr. Joe Shmoe down the street doesn’t know the difference between Affiliate A or Merchant A. He sees it as Merchant A. Therefore, when he hears about all of this bad Adware/Spyware 'stuff' in his newspaper, he demands to get rid of these affiliates. When it comes to the general public and the internet, people are dumb... sad to say, but for the most part its true. Maybe that’s not true....Just not well informed.

    People (lawmakers included) don’t see a difference between Adware and Spyware and Spammers and Scammers AND the good affiliates like us.... I’m afraid they lump everyone together.

    But, if we can educate the masses, somehow, that it is not the industry as a whole and just a select group which are unethical then there is still hope for Affiliate Marketing.

    What Kellie is doing with Adware/spyware is fantastic! I believe if Share-A-Sale, a couple small networks which are 100% free of scumware, or maybe a couple Affiliate Managers who frequent ABW board would put out some ‘Good’ PR and educate the news outlets about what AM, that could certainly have a good impact on the Affiliate industry. Better yet, if Microsoft or some other company that the general public/news media believes has ‘clout’ in the PC/internet industry would say something about us good marketers..……

    I think I’ll write my congressman and educate him.

  10. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Adware/Spyware Setback
    By UncleScooter in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: June 1st, 2005, 02:43 PM
  2. Download.com Says No To Adware/Spyware
    By Kellie aka Ms. B in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: May 3rd, 2005, 08:20 AM
  3. Verizon - No Spyware! - But ADWARE IS OK!
    By Haiko de Poel, Jr. in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: July 27th, 2004, 04:23 PM
  4. adware/spyware/parasiteware
    By Steveinid in forum Suspicious Activity!
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: May 2nd, 2004, 10:33 AM
  5. The Campaign against Spyware/Adware
    By metalchick666 in forum Suspicious Activity!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: November 20th, 2003, 07:36 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •