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  1. #1
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Expedia poaching LA Times website using Zango/180
    What gives Expedia the right to run ads that are triggered off of visiting the travel section of the LA Times website?

    movie of it happening:
    http://www.1source4.info/0505-latimes/latimes.html

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    It could be that a user of a 180 solution is an affiliate of expedia and was trying to redirect. I don't believe that expedia would deliberately redirect HOWEVER the LA Times and all newspapers online are reported to permit for a price for companies to "rent" their pages rather than just advertise on a page. I once asked a newspaper if they allowed this and I was told they did occasionally. The idea was put to me by another affiliate.

    When you click on then you would redirect to the merchant as the paper would conceivably have accepted payment for this to happen.

    There have recently been a spate of browser hijacks reported in the media. Could this in fact be such an episode? Particularly after the LA Times reported on 180 solution activity doesn't that make them a prime target for mischief?
    Last edited by John Jupp; May 15th, 2005 at 04:29 AM.

  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    John are you saying that maybe the LA Times has approved and is being compensated for the Expedia ads that popped on their site?

    Also there is nothing in that particular video to indicate to me the ad was from one of Expedia's affiliates using 180's software to run a campaign. Indeed it seems to indicate to me something completely different.

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Hi Kellie

    No.

    What I'm specifically saying is that there could be three possible explanations.

    The first is that the LA Times was hijacked. Considering that they did an expose on 180 solution bandits it would not be surprising.

    The second is that you can instead of placing a paid advertisement pay for a complete page for a day/week/month etc which when entering the specific url or clicking on a link will direct you to a merchant.

    The third is that it is nothing to do with the LA Times at all! I recently went on a casino site to look at the opposition. Then when I tried to go back to my own merchant casino site of which I am an affiliate I was browser hijacked to another affiliate site promoting other casinos.

    This disappeared after I reset cookies. Could this have happened to you and that you were directed to an affiliate link through to Expedia?

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    It wasn't me it was Donuts. But did you watch the video?

    Looking at the video, I see nothing to indicate that your second and third possibilites would be the case. Zango software is not programmed for what you describe in your third option. And even if the LATimes site, it wouldn't invoke Zango software. Nor would your second possibility cause Zango software to be activated.

    Again, there in nothing in URL for the pop up by Zango to indicate that this is a Network affiliate link. In fact, the URL indicates otherwise. That would be a direct relationship between Expedia and MetricsDirect (although the ad buys through 180 could be coming from an outside agency doing ad buys for Expedia). But it was definitely NOT a Network affiliate tracking link.

    I also know what causes Zango software to trigger a popup. It's the URL in the web browser matching their keyword list. It's the first thing Zango looks at in determining whether or not to display an ad...the URL in the web browser. The URL was www.latimes.com/travel so it was some or all of those words which triggered the pop up.

  6. #6
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    After checking the LA Times Media Kit, they sell all types of advertising including pop-ups and unders, as well as interstitial ads.

    Here is what they say about the interstitials:

    Ads that appear between two content pages. Also known as transition ads, intermercial ads, splash pages and Flash pages. Interstitial ads must be hosted and delivered by a third party.

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Wow.

    I think that answers it.

    The LA Times allows complete pages for advertising! That's why it redirected.

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    The LA Times allows complete pages for advertising! That's why it redirected.
    No it's not. And nothing redirected either. Something popped but nothing redirected.

    You work for 180Solutions or something? Or maybe you just advertise through them yourself. Something is up here because the density factor is just being too high in your posts.

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    It wasn't me it was Donuts. But did you watch the video?

    Looking at the video, I see nothing to indicate that your second and third possibilites would be the case. Zango software is not programmed for what you describe in your third option. And even if the LATimes site, it wouldn't invoke Zango software. Nor would your second possibility cause Zango software to be activated.

    Again, there in nothing in URL for the pop up by Zango to indicate that this is a Network affiliate link. In fact, the URL indicates otherwise. That would be a direct relationship between Expedia and MetricsDirect (although the ad buys through 180 could be coming from an outside agency doing ad buys for Expedia). But it was definitely NOT a Network affiliate tracking link.

    I also know what causes Zango software to trigger a popup. It's the URL in the web browser matching their keyword list. It's the first thing Zango looks at in determining whether or not to display an ad...the URL in the web browser. The URL was www.latimes.com/travel so it was some or all of those words which triggered the pop up.
    Confirming that Kellie's understanding and explanation of what she sees as likely happening here is EXACTLY what I saw and recorded.

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    No it's not. And nothing redirected either. Something popped but nothing redirected.

    You work for 180Solutions or something? Or maybe you just advertise through them yourself. Something is up here because the density factor is just being too high in your posts.
    Again Kellie is precisely correct here.

    It makes no sense for the LATimes to pay money to metrics direct to take visitors from their site's travel section to Expedia via Zango popup. If the LATime made an agreement with Expedia, the linking mechanism would not be via parasitic popup - especially given their recent article.

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    One more point. As a merchant, Expedia is responsible for the conduct of anyone that advertises for them regardless of method, mechanism or content used. Each has signed a contract with Expedia (or is Expedia themselves). There's no viable excuse for this activity. Expedia needs to implement and enforce an anti-parasite policy across all channels. If they choose not to, Spitzer will convince them.

    As a public company...

    Expedia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI).

    their directors are risking their stockholders investments by being a party to activity under investigation by Attorney Generals, the FTC and ignoring the causes behind, and eventual repercussions of being on the wrong side of pending / proposed federal and state legislation.

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    You'd think that companies tied directly into sales of airline tickets would be overly sensitive to anything remotely tied to HIJACKING. Boy can I not read the minds of the Adwhores nor understand their jehad form of advertising.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  13. #13
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    One more point. As a merchant, Expedia is responsible for the conduct of anyone that advertises for them regardless of method, mechanism or content used.
    Very true. But I predict a whole lot of finger pointing in the future and 'we didn't know' coming down the pipes from a lot of folks. Already seeing that happen. Just as a side not, I see Expedia ads frequently in adware, not just Zango.

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    You work for 180Solutions or something? Or maybe you just advertise through them yourself. Something is up here because the density factor is just being too high in your posts.
    No I do not work for them. I work on the railways. As for my density factor. Well I bow to your infinite wisdom. Of course has anyone bothered to actually ASK Expedia?

  15. #15
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp
    No I do not work for them. I work on the railways. As for my density factor. Well I bow to your infinite wisdom. Of course has anyone bothered to actually ASK Expedia?
    To my knowledge Expedia's AM has never posted on any board as they are a pure play branding operation. Unless you e-mail spam -use BHO's to browser spam millions, or run a CPM banner serving operation your not worthy of a personal session with this mysterious Adwhore enity. Maybe He/She, or Shim, juggle Dell.com and the other major merchant LS losers as they do their nails.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    The Aff Mgr may not bother coming on this board but that doesn't stop people calling them. I just looked at their customer support page on the US site and the UK site and there are phone numbers for people to call.

    If Expedia are doing wrong then phone them and tell them. If they won't take the call go through the network they're with. In the UK they're with TD.

    It's still better to try and contact them about their marketing than ***** on the site, which serves no purpose other than to alert others to what is going on, yet fails to address the issue of the initial grievance.

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Just take down you direct Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia Ads and replace them with EasyClickTravel and a mix of Adwords & Overture. I had to do that for 2 client speciality group Travel Agency sites who couldn't convert worth a hoot on thousands of monthly clicks. Way to much cookie washing in the travel industry.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp
    It's still better to try and contact them about their marketing than ***** on the site, which serves no purpose other than to alert others to what is going on, yet fails to address the issue of the initial grievance.
    Like calling a pickpocket thief, calling them and asking them to stop is a childish wish. They know EXACTLY what they are doing. One difference from the thief is that they don't think there's anything wrong with it. Rudderless and without remorse or a sense of right and wrong - you'll get nowhere discussing it with them. This has been tried. Think about their behavior and their sense of permission and righteousness to do it - compare them with these traits:
    http://home.datawest.net/esn-recovery/artcls/socio.htm
    Uncanny how close they are are many fronts. What makes people go to work without their morals? Greed. Or maybe they didn't leave them at home - they left them behind years ago as an obstacle to "success".

    Your idealism is refreshing, but IMO the tactic of asking them to cease has proven itself many, many times to be an exercise in futility. When the reasonable attempt to reason with criminals, to explain the repercussions of their negative actions, the only learning going on isn't in the crimnal's mind -they already know what they're doing. The reasonable person realizes that they've been made a fool by compassion and assumption of innocence. Call me jaded or whatever, by I have been talking to these people and those who aid it or idly stand by and allow it to grow - they have already chosen cheat over compete.

    Public pressure leading to forced enforcement is the only solution imo. As a source of leverage, demonstrating what they are doing and telling and showing the LA Times (having just carried their story) is a good way to increase the pressure.


    We all know how computers around the world have been completely SCREWED up by adware and parasiteware. The people at these companies have neighbors and family too. They know what they are inflicting on people. They have chosen profit above the pain they cause - even to people they know. To them, "compunction" is a bunch if jumbled alphabet characters, "remorse" is a word that rhymes with horse, and "ethics" was a class they had to take (twice, maybe three times) to get their degree. They reason that a download app is desired, yet anti-spyware remains the most popular download of the day and their apps are the #1 problem at help desks worldwide. They design their app to be installed through security holes in our basic operating systems -and- they design their apps so they're impossible to remove - see sociopathy traits above.

  19. #19
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    I see that msn has just set up a co-branded site with expedia. Click on the travel section of msn and it takes you to msn travel; a co-branded deal with expedia.

  20. #20
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    That is different from what was happening on the LATimes site though. MSN is
    linking directly to the expedia site from their home age. Donuts movie clearly
    showed the Zango Search Assistant popping up and redirecting.

  21. #21
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp
    I see that msn has just set up a co-branded site with expedia. Click on the travel section of msn and it takes you to msn travel; a co-branded deal with expedia.
    This is not new... it's been this way for a LONG time... here's their agreement from 2001:
    http://cobrands.contracts.findlaw.co...001.06.29.html

    This is not the original agreement - and I doubt it's the current one either - it's one that was modified and ammended from the original. So the co-branded MSN Expedia travel page is pre-2001 date in this agreement.


    Note that Expedia pays a % of sales to MSN, among other payments.

    Guess what? That's a % of Expedia sales credited to coming from the MSN co-branded site. See section 4.3 there to see what the percentage is.

    Now ponder with me... if Expedia pops there at the MSN-Expedia site (or pops anywhere an MSN-Travel page user is navigated to in order to comsummate the Expedia sale), the sale will not be registered and credited to MSN.

    Wonder if MSN is testing their partners tracking... I've tested it... I'll say it is very interesting stuff...

    Consider also that part of the deal is for the MSN search engine to show Expedia results as a premier listing in the search engine results for travel keywords... makes sense in a solid partnership - MSN search engine is showing people to their travel partner - and rightfully expecting a slice of that revenue pie to be paid back to them per 4.3...

    Wouldn't you love for MSN to post your PPC ads on their site in this way? Would you love it more if you knew you could manage, through use of a parasite, to under report the amount you'd owe MSN in return?

    I'm glad you brought up this situation! MSN has the manpower and technology to "check up" on their partners practices and reporting and to quickly determine any financial impact it has on MSN's finances via this agreement.

    Furthermore, MSN has an ongoing and pre-existing fidiciary responsibility to their shareholders, to review the situation here and ensure the revenue they should be earning from this deal are rightfully reported and paid.

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Now your adding fact with friction Donuts. The friction coming from the Expedia Adwhores getting spanked by their publisher victims and maybe getting told to take a hike and let an honest Travel merchnat take over their spot.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  23. #23
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    long time back, Expedia was a new division of MSN... then was spun off into a separate company and subsequenbt IPO.

    Today - MS isn't even listed as a major shareholder of Expedia. Expedia was merged with IAC a while back. So today it's:

    from: http://www.expedia.com/daily/service/about.asp
    Expedia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI

    from: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=IACI
    REUTERS ABRIDGED BUSINESS SUMMARY
    IAC/InterActiveCorp operates a diversified portfolio of specialty and global brands in the travel, retailing, ticketing, personals, media, financial services, real estate and teleservices industries. IAC consists of eight segments: IAC Travel, which includes Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire and Interval International; Electronic Retailing, which includes HSN U.S. and HSN International; Ticketing, which includes Ticketmaster; Personals, which includes Match.com; IAC Local and Media Services, which includes Citysearch, Evite, Entertainment Publications, TripAdvisor and ServiceMagic; Financial Services and Real Estate, which includes LendingTree, as well as its affiliated brands and businesses, and Teleservices, which includes Precision Response Corporation (PRC). On December 14, 2004, the Company acquired Home Loan Center. On September 1, 2004, IAC completed its acquisition of ServiceMagic Inc. In April 2005, the Company acquired Cornerstone Brands, Inc.

    But there's a deal afoot (and being questioned) about an IAC - Ask Jeeves merger.

    IAC plans to split itself - travel and the rest - with the rest merging with Ask Jeeves (if approved). The travel spin off is supposed to leave expedia as a separate company...

    From: http://biz.yahoo.com/e/050510/iaci10.../iaci10-q.html

    On December 21, 2004, IAC announced its plans to separate into two independent public companies in order to better achieve certain strategic objectives of its various businesses. We refer to this transaction as the "Spin-Off" and to the new company that will hold the travel and travel-related businesses of IAC as "Expedia". Following the completion of the Spin-Off:

    º •
    º Expedia will consist of the travel and travel-related businesses and investments that IAC currently operates and/or manages through IAC Travel (other than Interval International and TV Travel Shop, which IAC will retain); and

    º •
    º IAC will continue to operate and/or manage its remaining businesses and investments, which currently comprise its Electronic Retailing, Ticketing, Personals, Local and Media Services, Financial Services and Real Estate and Teleservices segments, as well as Interval International and TV Travel Shop.


    Recently, Spyware - Spitzer - Intermix press also included references to where the Ask Jeeves - InterActive merger involved some issues regarding spyware... or least some questions about it... hmmmmmm....

  24. #24
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Might be an excellent time for MSN to ask an independent party (Ben!) to review the situation.

  25. #25
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    i think the original co-branded deal was a 5-year exclusive - almost time to review the situation anyhow...

    and with planned split of Interactive and subsequent merger with Ask Jeeves also announced, surely MS has to be wondering if spun-off Expedia is the right way to go.

    maybe after spinoff, MS would consider Expedia a better option than before - if the rest of Interactive runs off to be merged with Ask Jeeves, maybe skid marks are only dirt left behind...

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