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  1. #1
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    Exclamation A Warning...
    Just a warning, do not contact any merchant and ask if they have a program outside of CJ or if they would be interested in a direct relationship with you.

    I did not realize that it was against the CJ Publisher Service Agreement or against CA law to contact merchants or the merchants affiliate managers I have a relationship with and ask that question.

    I just got threatened with legal action from CJ for doing so if I contact any of my/their merchants from this point on.

    Off to re-read the Publisher Service Agreement in depth again I guess.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  2. #2
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    All the more reason to leave CJ. It just keeps getting better and better.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    What? How's that even possible. My partners are the merchants, I should be able to ask them anything I want. If that is a law or in the agreement, it's ridiculous.

  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    It's not a law, I can tell you that... Wouldn't surprise me if it was in their agreement though.
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  5. #5
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    Watch them pull a Linkshare and start asking for exclusivity for merchants.

  6. #6
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    what's about telling merchants that we are considering switch to other networks if things getting worse. Is that against the CJ law too?

  7. #7
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    Send them a direct e-mail and dont use CJ's mail interface.

  8. #8
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I sent direct email. I didn't use CJ's interface to mail any of the merchants I contacted.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  9. #9
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    seems like the snowball is getting larger

    I understand where CJ is coming from, but this whole thing is so outa control. I wonder if the PSA needs to be updated based on the new CJ format?

  10. #10
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    So isn't that some type of violation by the merchant? You send them an email, they contact CJ and somehow they get your info, I'm guessing from the merchant. To me that's a violation, not how partners are supposed to act.

  11. #11
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Hmmm. That's really curious Michelle.

    The merchant must've forwarded it?
    Kevin Webster
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  12. #12
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I had a merchant who agreed with my concerns expressed about LMI (which was my reason for asking about an outside program).

    They asked if they could forward the email on to CJ to keep the pressure on and I agreed because I don't have anything to hide, had expressed the same concerns directly to CJ and I did not know it was against their publisher agreeement.

    I suspect that is how they know I contacted merchants.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    If it isn't against any law or the PSA then it comes off as chilling effects type stuff

    http://www.chillingeffects.org/

    I would be interested in exactly what law they think you're violating or what part of the PSA you're violating. I should be able to talk to the merchants I partner with and have discussions on the best place to have business relations without any outside party getting in the way. It's none of their business if I want to partner with a merchant elsewhere and them at this point having an open policy, letting merchants open up elsewhere, kind of goes against what they're telling you now.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Sounds like a certain network is feeling the heat and getting worried.

    You all realize though, don't you, that there are dozens if not hundreds of posts here over the years suggesting to merchants that they open at another network.

    It will be very interesting to see how this pans out.

    Does anyone have a link to the CJ rules that state this?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador La_Valette's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised it's in the PSA. Network self-preservation kind of thing. Any network that brings 2 parties together would want to reap the benefit of that relationship, and not see those 2 parties go off and do their own thing alone.

    I think ebay had some issue like this some years back, when auctioneers were asking customers if they'd like to go off-network to conclude transactions and split ebay's fees between them...
    Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try. -- Homer Simpson

  16. #16
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    Here's the PSA, reading it now, trying to find something:

    http://www.cj.com/psa.html

  17. #17
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    They mentioned:

    Breach of contract
    Interference with contractual and business relations (between CJ and its advertisers to be exact)
    Unfair business practices

    And that is has specifically come to their attention that I was soliciting CJ customers to terminate their relationship(s) with CJ and enter into direct relationship(s) with me.

    First off, I never asked anyone to terminate their CJ account. Here is exactly what I said in reference to that:

    "The reason I am writing you is to inquire whether or not you have an In House affiliate program or a relationship with a publisher other than Commission Junction? If so, could you please send me the information. If not, would you consider either an in house program or maybe setting up your program with a second network such as ShareaSale (here is link with program details: ShareaSale Merchant Program ). I suggest them because they are inexpensive, easy to use, parasite free and very popular among affiliates."

    In addition to that question, I outlined my concerns with LMI, mentioning that I had tested it out and detailing the problems I had found.

    Guess we just all need to be careful with what we say to who.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Well, Michelle, I just read the entire PSA and unless I missed something, I see nothing worded like that nor do I see anything referencing it.

    Do we have any lawyers out there that would like to take a look at it and see if what CJ is saying is accurate?

    Hey folks, if you have not noticed, CJ is now showing us their teeth. They have just demonstrated their intentions.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  19. #19
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Thanks Michelle. In retrospect, I would suggesat, and I'm sure you'd agree , that sharing that email with CJ was not a good idea.

    An email about LMI is one thing, but that really does play into their legal hands the way it's worded... IF and ONLY IF it's brought to their attention, such as it was.

    You are perfectly within your rights to ask a merchant about other alternatives. That's not the point here at all, although CJ may disagree. I'm not sure they could make it stand in court, but in essence, they wouldn't need to.

    Simply banning your CJ account would probably have the same net effect.

    At the same time, I agree with all the above that CJ is hyper sensitive right now, and that 3 months ago, you probably wouldn't have gotten contacted by them about it at all.
    Kevin Webster
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  20. #20
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I take it that this notice was a warning because they said:

    "if you continue to attempt to < Illegal Activity Description ex: solicite CJ advertisers>, or interfere with the contractual relationship between Commission Junction and its advertisers, CJ will have no choice but to pursue litigation against you."

    So at this point in time, as long as I am a good girl, I should have nothing to worry about.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  21. #21
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Nope. And that's good news.

    Truthfully, CJ can't afford to lose you
    Kevin Webster
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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Michelle
    ...or interfere with the contractual relationship between Commission Junction and its advertisers...
    Given that statement, is it possible then that everyone on this forum who has said anything negative about CJ or any of its advertisers is guilty?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  23. #23
    Member Voxman's Avatar
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    The law they referred to is "Unfair Business Practices" which is a very vague CA law that covers just about anything. The problem with this law is that it has also been litigated in many other states effectively. It's also a very controversal law in that it opened the doors to a lot more nuisance cases. Big companies use it to squeeze their competition by going to court until the small companies money runs out.

    However, being Canadian, I couldn't care less about US civil or corporate law. They try that stunt in our courts and I woudn't even bother getting a laywyer because our Judges would laugh them out of court and all the way back to the US.

    With that said.... no one here wants to jeopardize their relations with CJ just yet. I also contacted eBay directly (via our personal rep) by email and phone but only to tell them that we'd be leaving if they enforce the LMI only initiative.

    Our eBay rep said they have virtually flooded with complaints and they are aware of the seriousness and consequences of losing many of their top affiliates. She feels it won't happen and that at least eBay will be allowed to use HTML links and continue to allow their ads to be on our servers (to avoid having a crashed pic when their servers are down). I have a feeling eBay will leaving CJ if they push the point

  24. #24
    Member SALocalcom's Avatar
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    I doubt they would consider litigation, their policy does state it's reason for termination, which I'd think they'd do. At the moment I think they're trying to keep affiliates.

    I'm beginning to "expire" my merchants, down to just a couple of the more profitable. I don't care if I lose some income at this point, I'm highly deversified. I have limits in dealing their bs.....and all the attention it takes to keep up on all this is blowing my cost effectiveness.
    Last edited by SALocalcom; July 11th, 2006 at 05:39 PM.
    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin-1752[url="http://www.salocal.com/goldwing/goldwing_tech.htm"][/url]

  25. #25
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SALocalcom
    I doubt they would consider litigation, their policy does state it's reason for termination, which I'd think they'd do.
    Quick question, what does their policy state is reason for termination? I am lost here....
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

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