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  1. #1
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Return On Affiliate Drama Continues......
    PART ONE of the ROA Drama

    This part is by way of background as some here are probably not aware.

    About 2 weeks ago I stumbled across a rather disturbing event rather by accident. I had been doing testing, so I was on my test computer. During a pause in my testing but while still on the test box, I went to AffiliateSummit web site to check something. Lo and behold what do I get but a pop up on Shawn's site of the spam (henceforth ROA) web site. Certainly not I said to myself as I know that Shawn has helped support Richard's endeavor with launching the ROA community and was one of the first members over there. But there was the pop up and sniffer files don't lie.

    So I wondered who else if anyone else was being targeted by ROA for popups of his site. Since the pop had originated with mygeek, this is a pretty easy thing to check. And check I did because checking is what I do most of my days.

    It wasn't pretty. The domain target list was long. Not only that, web sites which I don't think it's the brightest idea to target to pop on were on the list. Other notables were forum.abestweb.com, amwso.com, shareasale.com, shareresults.com, commissionjunction.com, affiliateboards.com, revenews.com, ecomxpo.com, revenuetoday.com, incentaclick.com. That's some, not all of the sites that were being targeted. But you get the picture.

    There are occassions in which I chose to deal with these types of things in more of a private manner than a public one. For me to goal is to change behavior, rather it be of an individual or more global policy. This was a case I decided to take a more private approach.

    The first person I contacted was Richard through the contact form on his web site. I then contacted Shawn via IM in the hopes that Richard might listen to him more than he might me since I hadn't had any real contact with Richard (outside of IM spam..but that's another story). Shawn did indeed contact Richard to let him know his own displeasure and just how much of not a good thing this was for him to be doing. Realize that many on the target list are participating members on ROA. Shawn also contacted some others I was not aware of, but that was certainly his right. I also contacted Michael Nunez as he participates over there for the same reason I contacted Shawn. Michael immediately contacted Richard again telling him how this was not a good thing to be doing.

    I received several emails from Richard that night saying he didn't realize what he had been doing, he was sorry, he had turned the ads off, etc. I checked and he had indeed turned the campaign off.

    It was not until early the next morning that I had the opportunity to let the other folks know what had transpired. Even though the ads were turned off, I felt strongly those people who had been targeted had a right to know what had been happening so they could make their own decisions. Again many of the people were active members of the ROA community. I emailed those parties invovled explaining and I did let them know the ads were now turned off.

    I can't say that anyone who contacted me back about the situation didn't care. Lisa P. from Revenue was the first to blog about what had happened. Chris Sanderson has blogged now also. Others contacted Richard directly.

    At Richard's request I also contacted him. I spoke with him for 2 hours on the phone. I, myself, went into great depth about how using adware to target others web sites is not a good thing. I discussed adware in general with him. He assured me several times he understood, it was wrong, he had stopped the campaigns and he wouldn't do it again. He had learned his lesson. He thanked me for bringing it to his attention. He asked me to join his community to discuss these issues. He asked me to be a gues Mod. To those requests I said he would now have to prove himself even though he had been given a second chance. He said he was going to do a 2 week discussion on 'badware' and asked me to consider stopping by to share my knowledge on these issues. I told him I was very slammed with preparing for Andy's seminar and getting ready to put my new service in beta testing. So although doubtful I would participate with scheduling and what I just happened, I would consider it.

    So this ends Part One of The Drama. Part Two to follow.
    Last edited by Kellie aka Ms. B; April 12th, 2006 at 08:06 PM. Reason: fixing thread title..forgot about that filter....

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    What, there's no honor among thieves? Holy cow!

    Kellie, I'd figure a poacher would be smart enough not to poach in these places you frequent so often yourself, like ABW itself... but you've proved me wrong, this one ain't that smart... keep up the excellent work!!!

  3. #3
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Go get 'em Kellie!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    http://www.revenews.com/bethkirsch/archives/001530.html

    It's funny in that thread my 2 comments were deleted after I said they should go to Andy's seminar and look who gets mentioned:

    "The issue is who to run this initiative. Here is my public hint. Return on Affiliate, run by Richard Lewis, is a new social network in this community that is busy connecting us to each other. It seems to me that a mentor program might fit well with Return on Affiliate’s mission."

  6. #6
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    PART TWO of the ROA Drama

    While I may keep things less public at times and give people the opportunity to change their behavior, I have been doing this for too many years to be completely naive or stupid. Once bad behavior is seen, it's a matter of proving yourself. And I do follow-up and keep an eye out to make sure claims made happen. And I'm usually only good for one chance. And afterall, I was very upfront with Richard on the phone saying I would be keeping an eye out to make sure he did indeed stop utilizing adware. And others told him he would now be being watched.

    I was aware of an affiliate web site that was popping on merchant's web sites through domain name targets in which the aff used a framed web page on the aff site to force click their affiliate URL. This affiliate site belongs to Richard. No doubt it belongs to him, it's in the WHOIS and he lists it in his blurb on Revenews.

    So I check mygeek today and sure enough THOSE ads are still running. Then I go check to see if that 'badware' discussion is indeed happening on the ROA site and it is. Now I felt this was just a tad on the disingenious side as he had just been caught playing the 'badware' game and was continuing to do so via his affiliate site and setting forced clicks.

    You know the saying be careful what you ask for you just may get it? Well I decided to join the discussion as Richard had requested several times. So I posted in the badware discussion thread about him doing merchant trademark campaigns through adware automatically setting his affiliate link on merchant's own traffic. And what about the times those cookie sets might overwrite other affiliates cookies? Maybe the 2 affiliates he had asked to lead in his discussion on 'badware'. And why oh why, when he had agreed the practice was bad, said he stopped his campaigns on mygeek, etc were there still campaigns running on mygeek?

    Well, it didn't take long for my post to be deleted. And the 'informed' discussion started by Richard continues on ROA. And knowing several of the folks who have posted in that discussion already, I'm sure they'll be feeling just a tad foolish and betrayed when they hear about all of this.

    I also received an IM from Richard after my post. Again he claimed he didn't realize he had such campaigns running. Hmmm...ok. He asks me what were the campaigns (as in who were the merchants). This time I chose not to tell him. I figured he should know who which merchants he is running campaigns for?????????????? Additionally, I was not giving the opportunity for him to shut off the ads that I knew about and leave running something he thought I didn't know about. Which certainly appears to be what happened.

    Since the mygeek ads for that affiliate site are now turned off, I suppose he was able to figure it out. And no I do not and will not 'approve' ad campaigns for other people as Richard asked me to. ?????????????? I am not responsible for other people's ad campaigns for Pete's sake. You are responsible for your own actions.

    But here the thing...if you are going to engage in certain practices within this Industry then do what you will. Someone is most likely eventually going to find it, so know that. If you feel that what you are doing is acceptable, then you have nothing to worry about. But DO NOT try to play both sides of the fence. Because that one will come back to bite you worse than just getting caught in doing whatever.

    Richard you wanted to know if I was going to keep this just between you and me or go public. Here's your answer. If you had left my post on ROA and had at least been upfront with your members there, that would have been all I would have said about it.

    Sometimes good advice given freely by those with much experience in this Industry should be listened to. And yes, I will still be watching......

  7. #7
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Trust I read somewhere (can't remember where now) that he is nominated for LS's Most Vocal Advocate Award this year. Since LS is just taking nominations now and has not made final selections, I guess that means he nominated himself. Which anyone can do.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    Here's the Revenue Magazine blog about it, second one on the bottom:
    http://www.revenuetoday.com/blogs/index.php?m=200604

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    Richard that night saying he didn't realize what he had been doing, he was sorry, he had turned the ads off, etc.
    Too funny really, this is the whole group of bad actors who just keep accidentally doing wrong or just happen to always be associated with the wrong side of affiliate marketing. Oh such bad luck!

    And to just now find out that adware is bad or that he didn't know he was running it? And he is going to mentor who?

    Repeat after me.

    If shawn collins supports it, promotes it or even coughs the name out - run. ABW being an exception because it was here first.

    To any AM, if I find you were mentored by shawn collins or these other clowns, I will drop your program. Instantly. I am sick of what certain people have done and keep doing to this industry and will not support it. I have not seen one positive thing being done for the industry by this group.

    Chet

  10. #10
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Chris' blog http://www.amwso.com/affiliate_blog/

    No one can afford NOT to know about adware/parasiteware anymore. There are too many potential consequences for NOT knowing. No one can afford to NOT know who they are partnering with. But then the mygeek site had a flash demo showing popping up on someone else site. They don't hide who or what they do like some other companies. No sugar coating of what is being bought.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Here's the Revenue Magazine blog about it, second one on the bottom:
    http://www.revenuetoday.com/blogs/index.php?m=200604
    Quote from that article:

    Lewis goes on to note that, “It was due to my error in not understanding the difference between CPV and CPC marketing that this occurred. ReturnonAffiliate.com makes no income from any portion of its website and is provided free as a service to the affiliate marketing community. It was my ignorance of the issues at hand that lead to this problem. ReturnOnAffiliate.com does not condone the use of badware/spyware or any other negative behaviors. ROA Plans to hold a week long conversation in the week following eComXpo on the topic of badware and discuss ways to inform people about the dangers of CPV marketing. We will be suspending all advertising to the site until I am convinced that no further problems exist. We are very sorry, and we made a mistake in our advertising, it's fixed now and won't happen again."
    One of the merchant's Kellie makes reference to is one of my merchants, ChecksUnlimited.com. He was setting cookies via his BF affiliate account. The program on BF was parasite ridden before I took it over hence the swift move to SAS and the quick ramp up of the SAS program on our part.

    Richard was targeting my merchant and stealing revenue from my SAS affiliates on the program. Due to contractural obligations, BF will be live until the end of the month, but I will be happy when the tracking code is gone from our merchant's site....

    Another reason we won't join ROA, no matter how many times you contact us or contact our merchants to join .... we don't play that game ....
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  12. #12
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    mygeek as in mygeek.com?

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    Yeah, there is a demo here:
    http://www.mygeek.com/public/login.jsp

  14. #14
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    HG yes.

    mygeek.com. Mygeek.com which is the AdOnNetwork.

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    One would hope that when you are having an open discussion on a forum entitled "What you don't know about Badware will cost you!" that the owners of that forum were not using the very same tactics being discussed. I am a bit perplexed at the moment because it seems a really stupid thing to do. Not that I doubt Kellie's information in the slightest, I just don't "get" the mentality of, to paraphrase Donuts, poaching in your own backyard.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
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    Richard has been fairly aggressive over trying to get me over to ROA to set up an account and I haven't found time to go there. He approached me in a way that pretty much annoyed me since I am active here and know about other affiliate forums and communities and he stated he had "a very popular community for affiliate marketing". Well, if I hadn't heard of it then I guess it isn't all that popular, correct?

    I had decided to wait and see what happened... guess I am glad I stayed away....

    Still watching....
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    I'm sooo pissed, im hunting down the BF affiliate account on BF. Once I find it, any commissions will be reversed... and donated to AFP !!
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  18. #18
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I signed up before I knew about this $#%# I just tried to use the contact us form on the bottom of the homepage and it leads to revenuetoday whats up with that!!
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  19. #19
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Andy I appreciate that but don't need it and I shy away from anything that has a bounty feel to it. I say put it towards something at your next seminar. Maybe we can come up with some type of contest and use it as a prize.

  20. #20
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    I signed up before I knew about this $#%# I just tried to use the contact us form on the bottom of the homepage and it leads to revenuetoday whats up with that!!
    Ok, now Brian is really confused.

    ??
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez
    I'm sooo pissed, im hunting down the BF affiliate account on BF. Once I find it, any commissions will be reversed... and donated to AFP !!
    Got ya !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You have successfully disabled the site ***** Now! for **** Now!.
    This site will no longer earn commissions for your program. Your links will remain on the site until the affiliate removes them; however, the affiliate will not earn commissions for any activity through those links after the disable date.
    Very sneaky the way it was playing here, your are outta here dude...you can also forget about your $297 bucks...

    Am also alerting CJ and BF network teams....

    Adios...
    Last edited by Andy Rodriguez; April 12th, 2006 at 09:50 PM.
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  22. #22
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    NY,

    I've no idea. It went to their contact form for me just now and that's what I used to initially contact Richard.

  23. #23
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Yeah, there is a demo here:
    http://www.mygeek.com/public/login.jsp
    see I was considering signing up with them. Cause Im a GEEK ya know but now Fudge That.

  24. #24
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Still watching - this is good!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  25. #25
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Thumbs down
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    Trust I read somewhere (can't remember where now) that he is nominated for LS's Most Vocal Advocate Award this year. Since LS is just taking nominations now and has not made final selections, I guess that means he nominated himself. Which anyone can do.
    Well it's a friggin fact I'd never nominate him for that coveted Award ... Anyone riding the theftware train at MyGeek is also stuffing cookies and popups at the other NETorious PPCSE's fueling 180Solutions, Whenu, Claria, Coolwebsearch, MyWebSearch, findwhat, Knoodle, eXact Advertising etc etc.

    It really takes a sleazebag to make Ms.B go ito second gear as she's more then just fair ... she's gratious and meticulous. I've been front and center in every movement for defining affiliate best practices since 1998 and never recall the name Richard Lewis stick out in the hundred thousands of posts I've read in various forums. I'm sure vocal ...but I practice what I preach as both an affiliate and merchant AM. Someone needs to do some serious explaining how desperate marketing moves ever get's someone to the top of the heap!
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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