I bring this up in the interest of fairness to publishers, and to give CJ an opportunity to take the "lead" in leveling the playing field on a largely unspoken issue that has plagued publishers in _all_ other networks I am aware of since the beginning this industry.

So here it is: we all pretty much agree on what a sale is, but I would suggest a lead is a much more amorphous concept. As it stands right now, advertisers are free to determine what a lead means for their particular program, and to change it at will.

For example, lead-based advertisers can determine how much and what kind of personal information is required from a prospective customer, and where that person must be from in order for a lead to be considered valid. And then, potentially unbeknownst to publishers, they can change one or all of these parameters, subtly or profoundly, at any time of their choosing.

I would argue that through so doing advertisers have as much scope to manipulate commissions paid to publishers as sales-based advertisers have through manipulating commission rates and cookie durations.

Todd, I think CJ could make this situation much more equitable for publishers (and for yourself) simply by requiring that advertisers define exactly what constitutes a lead, and publish this in a standardized way beside the lead payment amount on the advertiser's detail page. As well, as you do with commission and cookie changes for sale-based advertisers, CJ could require advanced notification to publishers for any changes in their lead policy, through the same mechanism now in place for cookie and commission changes.

- Rex