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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador meleemel's Avatar
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    Thumbs down couturecandy.com Cookie Cleaning Toolbar
    www.couturecandy.com

    I was looking through this merchant's site and noticed they offer a Toolbar:

    EDIT--This from their website:
    Includes cookie cleaner, history cleaner, and cache cleaner
    Ummm...anyone else notice this? The kicker is stated in their program description:

    Edit: this is from the CJ site:
    Many of our employees here at CoutureCandy used to work at Commission Junction so we are very familiar with the needs of affiliates.

    Just an FYI!
    Last edited by meleemel; December 19th, 2006 at 09:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    wow, it actually says that in the toolbar? damn!

  3. #3
    Internet Cowboy
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    Yep. And they also support lots of affiliate sites on their link page
    I wonder whose sites those are?

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador meleemel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Yep. And they also support lots of affiliate sites on their link page
    I wonder whose sites those are?
    DOH! I need to go look at that!

  5. #5
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    i don't see a toolbar mentioned on their site???

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    How much do you wanna bet that these cats are ex-cj employees....

    hint hint....I push my chips all in

    "Copyright 2006 © CoutureCandy, All rights reserved | 430 Chapala St. Suite A, Santa Barbara, Ca 93101 | 866-399-CANDY"


    PI-Diddy.

  8. #8
    Newbie Mitch's Avatar
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    M_Diddy, you are right on the money. It says so in our CJ program description.

    Many of our employees here at CoutureCandy used to work at Commission Junction so we are very familiar with the needs of affiliates. If you have suggestions or comments on how CoutureCandy's affiliate program can be improved then please let us know. We'll try our best to help you grow your program.

    As for the toolbar, it was something we played around with a year or so ago through conduit.com. We were hoping to push products and news RSS feeds through it to our shoppers.

    The sites in our link directory are simply link exchanges. We do not run any of those sites.

    --Mitch

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    More info on the Conduit toolbar here:
    http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/con...loads/3121708/

    "We were hoping to push products and news RSS feeds into it to our shoppers."

    You "were hoping"-- does this mean you will discontinue providing this toolbar, and discontinue supporting past downloads? Whether or not SiteAdvisor reports that its a "green" download, its still a very spooky thing for affiliates...

  10. #10
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Mitch,
    So why promote a cookie-cleaner toolbar anyway? Seems anti-affiliate to me. not only would I lose my commission to your site, but I'd lose all commissions for any site that user may go back to.

  11. #11
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    Here is a couple more thoughts after "winning the world series of detecting bullshit" for you to ponder.

    1. Ex CJ employess
    2. They had access to information on everything we do, so they implement it on their own.
    3. They understand how tracking works and just maybe.....how to cheat us from what is rightfully ours...hint hint

    in saying that.....two more lil itty bitty thoughts

    1.Couture Candy is official a M Diddy Ghetto Site of the year winner
    2.Anyone still working with them can get a free pass to your rehab clinic of their choice, cause with toolbars like that....you'd have to be smoking crack

    All in, always wins.

    Diddy

  12. #12
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    A toolbar with a cookie cleaner from a program run by ex-CJ employees. There are plenty of other merchants out there.

  13. #13
    Newbie Mitch's Avatar
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    GearAffiliate and ReallyBigGuy:

    The toolbar was created long before we had an affiliate program. The verbiage on http://www.couturecandy.com/newsletter-thanks.jsp (particularly the part to do with cookie cleaning) was copied from the Conduit site. CoutureCandy isn't pushing the practice of cleaning cookies and if anyone has any evidence that Conduit's toolbar negatively impacts affiliates then we will immediately remove links to it from the site.

    M_Diddy: Some of us worked at CJ. While we were there we had better things to do than watch your every move. I'm not sure what sort of a threat you think we pose to you, but simmer down with your conspiracy theories. CJ is an open network. If CoutureCandy were cheating our affiliates out of their commissions our EPC would suffer and no one would want to work with us. I fail to see your logic.

    --Mitch

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    "CoutureCandy isn't pushing the practice of cleaning cookies and if anyone has any evidence that Conduit's toolbar negatively impacts affiliates then we will immediately remove links to it from the site."

    What do you mean? Removing cookies negatively impacts affiliates. So if you have a toolbar that still does that, it's negatively impacting affiliates. Pretty basic.

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    "if anyone has any evidence that Conduit's toolbar negatively impacts affiliates then we will..."

    are you sure it's ex CJ...

  16. #16
    Newbie Mitch's Avatar
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    Removing affiliate network cookies impacts affiliates. Since Conduit isn't clear on the degree of cookie cleaning, I conducted my own test. With the toolbar installed I clicked on an affiliate link. Cookies from a-p-m-e-b-f.com, e-m-j-c-d.com, and q-k-s-r-v.net persisted on my computer. It looks like it's CJ-safe, althought a one-click test isn't exactly exhaustive research.

    Regardless, if the affiliate community isn't happy with the toolbar, CoutureCandy will discountinue it. It will be off the site by the end of the day.

    --Mitch

  17. #17
    Internet Cowboy
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    Thumbs down
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch
    CoutureCandy isn't pushing the practice of cleaning cookies and if anyone has any evidence that Conduit's toolbar negatively impacts affiliates then we will immediately remove links to it from the site.
    Quote Originally Posted by From Your Own Web Site
    Includes cookie cleaner, history cleaner, and cache cleaner
    HELLLLOOOOO????????? DUHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    Former CJ employees claiming to not know that the toolbar they push on their merchant site deletes cookies when it says it does right on their own web site.

    Too much for me. I removed them from my apparel sites and coupon sites.

    Edited to say: I saw the post above where they are removing it. Sorry, but you have lost my trust. If I have to keep an eye on you, I can't afford to have you around.

  18. #18
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    But scooter, they just tested it with a click!! Come on, that shows they care! They clicked!!!!!!!!!!

    Would have been better maybe to have done more extensive testing before pushing the toolbar, not some pathetic one click test after you were caught?

    But we know the rules... OH!! We didn't know... lets all forgive the merchant's ignorance...

  19. #19
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Not to jump off the bandwagon, but Mitch does seem to be listening at least. I think it's clear that the affiliate community doesn't like toobars (even seemingly innocent ones), partially because in the past they have mostly been evil, but also because users aren't completely clear what they're doing with them.
    So that said, I think the consensus here is that we'd rather you not have it on your site.
    I have made decent $ with your site this month so far (a few transactions, but they were big), and would be happy to continue with your program once the toolbar is removed.
    RBG.

  20. #20
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    Seems to be listening? Because he is knew to the industry and didn't know better... or because he was caught?

  21. #21
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    Seems to be listening? Because he is knew to the industry and didn't know better... or because he was caught?
    I can't say for sure, but it sounds like that toolbar thing was there forever and meleemel just saw it today, and alerted us, so maybe it was overlooked. By their willingness to remove it, seems like it is probably rarely used anyway.

    But that's just my opinion.. I'll keep 'em for now(as long as the toolbar goes away), but if everyone else wants to drop them, that's okay by me

  22. #22
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    (new by the way, not knew) - but so it is being removed because it was a failure, what if it was a success? Affiliates have really had this beaten into them... merchants are complete clueless newbs and everything they do is just because they didn't know better, never because they tried to get away with something... I am so freaking sick of this lack or responsibility and the bullsh*t rolling over affiliates do to let it continue. Accepting such bullsh*t is not helping the problem, it is only making it worse, and every year it is worse and worse, and every year people will post, "Ahhhh little, merchanty wernty, little baby didn't know it did bad, ahhh, little baby poop itself, isn't that cute, because it knowsy woszy that it did bad now and little merchanty pooh will never wevah do it again!"

    STOP TREATING MERCHANTS LIKE FREAKING BABIES AND START EXPECTING THEM TO ACT LIKE ADULTS!

    Do you really think you are that much smarter than merchants? Because you aren't. They are smart enough to get you to eat their crap and thank them for it.

    And no, this isn't for 90% of the merchants, but when a merchant run by ex-cjers tries to play ignorant and people eat it up? Give me a break, you aren't helping, you aren't being supportive, in the long run you are hurting the industry.

    Chet

  23. #23
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    The fact that it was on the confirmation page displayed after signing up for their newsletter is what did it for me. Sneaky! No room for sneaky merchants in my world.
    I mean, if it was all good and there were no sneaky intentions why hide it on a page that 99.9% of affiliates will never see?

  24. #24
    Newbie Mitch's Avatar
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    Let's recap:

    1. We created a branded Conduit toolbar with 2 things in mind: pushing new products and messaging out to our customers and allowing them to search CoutureCandy from outside the site. Cookie Cleaning was not a "feature" that was even acknowledged at this point.

    2. We promoted the toolbar on our site with a screenshot of it and the feature list from Conduit's site. At the time the main concern was that it wasn't installing malware, but some research showed it was a safe extension as GearAffiliate pointed out. The person who drafted the toolbar promotion had no affiliate marketing experience so "cookie cleaning" didn't send up a red flag.

    3. CoutureCandy started an affiliate program with CJ. Since our tracking is gateway pixel with redirect (a more advanced integration) we were very thorough in testing it under various links, browsers, OSes, etc. We probably tested tracking with the toolbar at this time since it was installed on some of the computers in the office, but I can't say for sure.

    4. The ABW thread was started prompting me to investigate the "cookie cleaner" "feature" of our toolbar. I've poked around on Google and haven't found any information one way or another as to whether it affects CJ tracking. I have found that there are some publishers creating their own Conduit toolbars with publisher links embedded directly into them which would seem silly if the toolbar just went on to delete the cookies essential for tracking their commissions. The bottom line is that the jury is still out on whether Conduit's toolbar affects CJ tracking and as such I removed it from CoutureCandy. Did I do this because I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar? No, I was just made aware of it this morning when I read the thread and as such made a best effort to get to the bottom of the issue.

    --Mitch

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    LOL... people around here are PARA---NOID.....

    There is nothing wrong with the Conduit Toolbar....
    People just hear the word TOOLBAR and FREAK........

    Your cookies are never safe so get over it.... Most anti-virus programs clean cookies automatically... at least WEEKLY... depending on the user settings...

    I have had the Conduit Toolbar for awhile now and it is a pretty handy tool...
    As an affiliate it helps me out... I can load up RSS feeds from the networks and view info about the programs I associate myself with.. I have never used it to clean cookies... seeing as I have Norton Internet Security which cleans them weekly anyway... I do not use the toolbar to clean them... It is easier to click on TOOLS > INTERNET OPTIONS > DELETE rather than using the toolbar any way...

    Just because it is a TOOLBAR doesn't mean that it is EVIL... LOL...
    It doesn't do anything but allow CoutureCandy to communicate to their customers... and you could use it to communicate to YOUR Customers if you would look around at it's potential.. BUT nooooo... it is a TOOLBAR and that is THAT... it's EVIL...

    Personally I like the Conduit Toolbar and have no problems with any merchant that uses it....

    LOOK at the link that GearAffiliate posted..
    http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/con...loads/3121708/
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    (In our tests, this download was free of adware, spyware and other unwanted programs.)

    Nuisance Score - "0"
    How does it modify my system?
    • The following programs were registered in our Add/Remove Programs: micro2media Toolbar
    • Buttons, toolbars, or other modifications were made to our browser.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    It doesn't do anything but allow for immediate communication between the merchant and the end user .. period...

    It has a cookie cleaner YES... but it doesn't automatically delete cookies on start up or some crap... the user has to manually clean their cookies... The toolbar doesn't PROMOTE cleaning cookies and neither dooes CoutureCandy.

    There is no way for CoutureCandy to modify the toolbar other than adding RSS feeds or sending DAILY/Weekly Sale Messages.....

    Now if CoutureCandy had their OWN toolbar written specifically for them I would question it... But this is a THIRD PARTY toolbar that is not a known threat of any kind....

    If you are really really worried about cookies... then hang up your affiliate hat and get a day j*b... cookies are deleted all the time... rarely will a cookie last it's full duration set by the merchant... they probably rarely last a week on any given PC... if you think that cookies make sales for you weeks later... you are sadly mistaken....

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