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  1. #1
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The Hidden Money Trail (Parasites / Adware EXPOSED!)
    The November 2005 issue of PC World magazine is about to hit the stands...
    and the shit is about to hit the fan!

    They name names! FindWhat / Miva. Direct Revenue. Aurora. A Better Internet. 180 Solutions.

    And, of course, they quote Ben Edelman!!!

    Story = The Hidden Money Trail
    (October 3rd, from the November 2005 issue of PC World magazine)
    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/...95,pg,1,00.asp

    EVERY affiliate should read it so they know what the hell Ecomcity has been babbling about for the last several years.

  2. #2
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Yeah! Thanks for posting the link Donuts. It's refreshing to see an entity not afraid to name names.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    It is rather long but affs should take a very careful read of it even though it's long. I read it last night. And read it from the perspective of someone who isn't completely familiar with the issues and AM. One thing that struck me was the frequent mention of 'affiliates' and the context in which 'affiliates' was used.

  4. #4
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    I agree wholeheartedly Kellie - it did put affiliates, as a whole lot, in a bad light... very unfortunate. On the other hand, it was a very informative article and definitely a worthwhile read. One thing I was shocked about was the amount of Venture Cap these companies get! Those VC firms know exactly what they're funding and are just as guilty. Perhaps I don't understand that side of it, but why are these companies getting so much VC if their revenues are in the millions already?
    Hi, I'm a signature.

  5. #5
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    EVERY affiliate should read it so they know what the hell Ecomcity has been babbling about for the last several years.
    That must have been one heck of a translation effort! :-)
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The parasiteware and adware companies try to legitimize their efforts by mixing and mincing terms, but keep this quote from the article in mind...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Between repairs and lost revenue from downtime, Smith says her adware debacle cost her close to $5000. "What really surprised me was that the ads were from reputable companies, names you'd recognize," she says. "I got really angry that legitimate businesses would advertise their products using a program like this."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Allison Smith (from the story), didn't ask fopr the software or want it - nor could she remove it. But that's a far different story from the one these bastards tell the press and unsuspecting partners they pursue.

    The big boys are driving the use of this crap BY FUNDING IT and perpetuating it on the wired world by doing so - see the article for the names used and the crooked paths the money flows down. Little 'ol one-woman show Lilly, or former programmer Steve, building websites from their spare bedroom (what we call an affiliate), is not a culprit, but is a victim many times over.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Affiliate programs are "where bad things happen," according to Direct Revenue's Maheu.

    So they seem to be blaming ROGUE AFFILIATES for the distribution of the Adware programs (using drive by installs) more so than the Companies that make them..

    It was a loong read but I really did not like the fact that they mentioned AFFILIATES over and over again..

    I would have also liked to have heard MORE from Ben Edelman in the article..

    Over All - I think the article was down on Adware/Spyware and AFFILIATES...

    -----
    BUT it is NICE to see some major Magazine or Company bringing more attention to the problems arising from Adware/Spyware programs..

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    So Allison's pain and cost of computer repairs - can be blamed by these folks (this is a quote from the article where we refers to the testing staff of PC World magazine):

    "When we installed various adware programs on test PCs, we saw ads from such well-known brands as Chrysler, Expedia, Microsoft, Priceline, and Travelocity."

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    "Direct Revenue's CEO, Jean-Phillipe Maheu, doesn't dispute that Smith had Aurora on her PC. But, he says, Aurora doesn't pop up as many ads as Smith complained about, indicating that she likely had more than one type of adware installed on her PC."

    His point? We can't blame Direct Revenue cuz it's likely they're not the only one's BENDING HER OVER AND FU%#$&NG her over!

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    And isn't it funny that just today, CJ sent us a revised agreement governing what we can do... they keep inviting download applications into their programs and chasing us with the ugly stick. This is a strategy common among the unethical - strike first and label and punish those around you that aren't dirty, it makes it confusing for others to sort it all out.

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The next time an affiliate here asks about second tier pay-per-click-cearch-engines (PPCSEs) like Miva (formerly called FindWhat - renamed ~1-2 months ago)...

    remember this...

    again from the PC World story...

    "However, when we clicked a CoolWebSearch link, it led us to the Dell homepage. But not directly: In the space of a few seconds, our browser loaded a series of Web pages automatically, jumping from a CWS search portal, through Abcsearch.com, FindWhat.com, and Resolution Media's site, before ending up on Dell's site. As each new page loaded, a server recorded the affiliate ID. URLs that contain affiliate IDs make it possible for affiliates to get paid for each click.

    We interviewed the companies involved to find out how the deal happened. Dell hired Resolution Media, a search-engine marketing firm based in Chicago, to purchase ads on Dell's behalf. Resolution Media placed ads with several small search engines, including Miva's FindWhat.com. FindWhat distributed the ads to its network of search affiliates, including Internext Media's Abcsearch.com. According to Abcsearch vice president David Senet, one of the site's subaffiliates (whom Senet declined to name) placed the Dell ad on the page that our CWS-infected PC brought us to.

    Following our discussion with Dell, the company said it terminated its relationship with FindWhat.com, and Abcsearch said it no longer uses the unnamed affiliate. All of the firms we contacted claim that when they detect fraud, the advertiser isn't charged and the affiliate isn't paid."


    FindWhat (now Miva) will take your money and pump yours ads ANYWHERE they are able to. They did it to Dell. They'll surely do it to you! The farther you go from Google AdWords / Yahoo Search, the higher % of your ad money that will go poof - FindWhat/Miva (and the like) don't host a hugely popular search portal, they spend all day looking for dirty holes to throw your money into.

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    more big names...

    "We also saw the Netflix logo appear--alongside those from American Express, Citibank, and Toshiba--in ads displayed by Metareward.com on Direct Revenue's ABetterInternet adware (a predecessor to Aurora that, according to Maheu, his company longer distributes).

    Netflix director of corporate communications Steve Swasey said the company forbids the use of adware by its affiliate partners; he confirmed that Netflix partnered with Metareward, but not Direct Revenue. Metareward did not respond to requests for comment; the company is a division of Experian (one of the big three credit reporting agencies)."

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see that from the perception of the end user, the reputation of companies doing advertising in this manner is being tarnished. When word gets out that being a participant in these gray areas, whether guilty or not, will have a negative effect on the advertiser, they will hopefully be smart enough to stop associating with the parasites.

    Problem solved. If the entities with the money no longer want to be associated with these things, they will go away.

    Andy

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    DoNuts - "And isn't it funny that just today, CJ sent us a revised agreement governing what we can do..."

    I was just about to say the same thing.. I just got it.. Funny how the timing of sending that coincides with the article..

    Think CJ is Shacking in their Boots...?
    Probably NOT -- they have the same "AFFILIATES" to blame for shady practices..
    We are the scapegoat for all things WRONG on the net..

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Experian - nice to know a company that is entrusted with so much CONFIDENTIAL information is involved in this! Scary!!

    Andy

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I heard their new division is going to be called LowerMyPants.com

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    LowerMyPants.com



    That is funny...

  18. #18
    I like traffic lights
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    Once again on the last page "spy free computing" they forget the "Buy a Mac" and "install Linux" options.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Honest affiliates should write to the editors of PC World, and let them know that the writers of this article, Dan Tynan and Tom Spring, have lumped all of us in with the bad guys, and that's just not fair, nor is it accurate.

    Here's the PC World Contact Us page.

    Perhaps they'll do a follow up article to clarify that affiliate marketing isn't necessarily bad.

    Andy

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    The November 2005 issue of PC World magazine is about to hit the stands...
    and the shit is about to hit the fan!

    They name names! FindWhat / Miva. Direct Revenue. Aurora. A Better Internet. 180 Solutions.

    And, of course, they quote Ben Edelman!!!

    Story = The Hidden Money Trail
    (October 3rd, from the November 2005 issue of PC World magazine)
    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/...95,pg,1,00.asp

    EVERY affiliate should read it so they know what the hell Ecomcity has been babbling about for the last several years.
    I used to write VAR articles for PcMagazine back in the 80's. They will tell it like it is... also see http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/...81,pg,1,00.asp showing the Adwhore at work on the P2P and Windows Media Player malware exploits.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  21. #21
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy
    Honest affiliates should write to the editors of PC World, and let them know that the writers of this article, Dan Tynan and Tom Spring, have lumped all of us in with the bad guys, and that's just not fair, nor is it accurate.

    Here's the PC World Contact Us page.

    Perhaps they'll do a follow up article to clarify that affiliate marketing isn't necessarily bad.

    Andy
    Let's do it. Don't forget to remind them all that crap started because companies like CJ and LS spent a lot of time promoting adware and spyware thieves using BHOs to big companies. All these crooked people are stealing from the REAL affiliates.

  22. #22
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    I've spoken with these PC World reporters and think very highly of them. I can tell you that they know that some affiliate marketing is legitimate. I don't think they believe anything the contrary.

    I agree that they could have included a paragraph saying "not all affiliate programs are adware ..." They could have given some examples of good, useful, honest, ethical affiliates. They could have explained why lots of small to medium-sized web sites find it useful and appropriate to be affiliates, and why none of this should cause users any concern. But, this is all a bit afield for an article that's basically about spyware. From their editor's perspective, why write about what the article is not about? If the term affiliate can apply to something else in some other context, well fine, great, but not relevant for a space-constrained piece on this subject.

    When I write about affiliates on my public site, I do try to include something positive about ordinary affiliate marketing. See http://www.benedelman.org/news/091405-1.html (first paragraph -- "an appealing promise for supporting free, independent content ..."), http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/180-affiliates/ (heading "Review of Affiliate Programs Generally"), etc. But it's not always easy -- and in drafting these articles, I've often come very close to cutting these sections as extraneous, irrelevant, needlessly cumbersome, etc. So I am sympathetic to PC World's difficulty here.

  23. #23
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    Let's do it. Don't forget to remind them all that crap started because companies like CJ and LS spent a lot of time promoting adware and spyware thieves using BHOs to big companies. All these crooked people are stealing from the REAL affiliates.
    Done! Thanks for the link.


  24. #24
    Marketing Mistress Lectrickitty's Avatar
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    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/...95,pg,7,00.asp

    There's a sentence in the paragraph at the bottom center that states, "Legitimate affiliates inform PC users that the software they're downloading includes adware. Rogue affiliates don't follow the adware company's rules."

    My interpertation of that sentence is that they assume that ALL affiliates use adware/spyware and the difference between legitimate & rogue affiliates is that legitimate affilates's inform users of the adware/spyware being installed.

    It totally ignores the fact that some affilates do not use adware/spyware. I feel like I've had my face slapped, now I'm standing here wondering why they hit me???

    Maybe us small timers need to abandon the name "affiliate" and leave it to the adware/spyware companies? We could be called CB's (consumer buddies) or some other user friendly name.
    [color=blue]"Those who give up their freedom for a little security deserve neither freedom nor security" - Benjamin Franklin[/color]

  25. #25
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    Lectrickitty,

    Good catch! Notice that in the page you link to, PC World is using the word "affiliate" to mean "software distributor"; they're using "affiliate" only within the middle section of their diagram, where they talk about how spyware and adware get onto users' PCs. I hadn't been thinking about this angle at all; I (and I think most of the messages above) were thinking about affiliate programs as a revenue source for spyware/adware vendors, rather than as a means for vendors to buy installs.

    To reduce confusion on this point -- to avoid using the single word "affiliate" for these two very different purposes -- I generally reserve "affiliate" for folks who refer users to web-based merchants, while I use "software distribution partner' for those who get paid to install software on users' PCs. This also emphasizes, rightly, the significance of software installation -- and the need for a deeper, more committed, more careful relationship when it comes to software installation.

    If asked, my recommendation to PC World would be to reconsider their choice of wording. I certainly agree that the diagram, as printed, gives an unduly negative view of affiliates -- fails to recognize the many other contexts in which affiliate marketing occurs.


    Ben

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