Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Impact of Contextual Adware in Affiliate Marketing
    I just finished up a case study looking at the broader picture of the impact of contextual adware on major online retailers and the role of affilliate marketing. Some of the findings may be a bit surprising for some. Affiliates doing third party adware buys can be one of the toughest areas to monitor on a large scale and it's reflected in the numbers. All in this industry should probably take this practice more seriously and work towards getting it under control. There is no real value in the practices and the degree it's going on is far to high IMHO. The full report is here.

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 10th, 2005
    Location
    Washington D.C. Metro Area
    Posts
    11,798
    Interesting study. Thank you, Kellie.

    It has been indeed surprising to see Performics beat CJ on the "# of Occurrences" by 18.4%.

    ...We appreciate the challenges associated with detecting affiliates using third party contextual advertising. However, networks and merchants should be actively pursuing such activity by their affiliates and acting upon the occurrences swiftly and decisively. As an Industry, it is our responsibility to protect the integrity of our businesses and livelihoods. All members of this Industry, from networks to affiliates, should expect and demand a certain standard in delivering performance-based marketing. Practices and behaviors which diminish the overall value of affiliate marketing should receive a zero-tolerance from the majority within the Affiliate Marketing Industry.
    And amen to this, Kellie.

    Geno

  3. #3
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    6,121
    That's a pretty dense report, Kellie. Tks.
    All in this industry should probably take this practice more seriously and work towards getting it under control.
    What's the solution? Zero-tolerance should be the rule.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov
    It has been indeed surprising to see Performics beat CJ on the "# of Occurrences" by 18.4%.
    Yes, I agree. I thought the number would be quite a bit higher.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 18th, 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,436
    Nice report! It goes to show how complex the situation can be. That data about the number of networks involved and ad syndication really makes this thing look like a multi-headed monster.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  6. #6
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 17th, 2005
    Location
    Bayou Country, LA
    Posts
    3,432
    That report really helped my understanding of the problem. It's also rather depressing to get slapped by the truth.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,889
    Excellent report Kellie. I see some of this is running through SAS and have to wonder how quickly it will stop now that you're working with them.

    I'm waiting for that day when someone launches a class action lawsuit and wipes out these companies and affiliates doing this crap. It's just a matter of time.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Post
    It has been indeed surprising to see Performics beat CJ on the "# of Occurrences" by 18.4%.
    I don't think there was really that big of a spread between the top 3 Networks in % and actual number of pop-ups. The thing to keep in mind is that I used Internet Retailers list of Top 500 Merchants. I can't say which Network was represented more on that list.

    I think what is more surprising is that PFX, CJ and LS altogether account for 42% of the pop-ups related to affiliates. That's less than half. "Other" tied CJ in percentage at 14, coming in at #3. "Other" was primarily CPA Networks. Being that I was testing top online retailers, you may have expected the bulk of the activity to come through the top 3 Networks, which turned out not to be the case at all. And in-house programs came in at #5. If I had done this 2 years ago or so, the picture may well have looked different. I have to wonder if there would have been a total of 42 Networks in the picture.

    The other point I just want to make sure is clear is that although there were 192 pop-ups related to affiliates, that doesn't mean there were 192 different affiliates. Some affiliates showed up more than once.

    I see some of this is running through SAS and have to wonder how quickly it will stop now that you're working with them.
    I believe there was once incident involving a SAS link. Some SAS merchants did make the Top 500 list (woohoo!). Brian does a good job with monitoring. Thing is, with buying third party ads, they have to do it before you can address it (barring any past history). I'm just an extra set of eyes for Brian. What I reported was just one adware application and really only a small part of all the merchants with affiliate programs on all the networks. The breadth and depth that requires is rather large to say the least. Which was really my main point. We've got to have better methods for detection, monitoring, policing, etc.

  9. #9
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2006
    Location
    Vegas, Baby!
    Posts
    977
    Which CPA networks were in the "other" list?
    Joseph Lilly
    PartnerWeekly, LLC 702.407.0707 joe.lilly at partnerweekly.com
    PartnerWeekly

  10. #10
    Internet Cowboy
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,662
    I am subscribing to this service as an affiliate right now. I am not sure what it costs but it is affordable. Any network and/or OPM who is serious about being fair to their affiliates should join too.

    Kellie has laid this information out for us for years. Now she has a service and is laying the information out for everyone to see and the next move is up to those in the industry who can control it.


  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    what? cpa networks are making up a large portion of the cheating... who woulda guessed that... if you divided cheating occurances (in that group) by number of players (in that group), the ratio of "bad guys / good guys" (or "bad clicks / good clicks") has got to be enormous at cpa networks... again, who woulda guessed that...

  12. #12
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2006
    Location
    Vegas, Baby!
    Posts
    977
    I think what she said is that cpa networks make up the bulk of the "other" category. The category as a whole is tied with CJ, below Linkshare, according to this report.
    Joseph Lilly
    PartnerWeekly, LLC 702.407.0707 joe.lilly at partnerweekly.com
    PartnerWeekly

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    yes, and i made the point that the number of affs in cj is surely more than the number in the "other" category, so they likely have a disproportionately high number of cheats.

    the same view can be assigned against the sample lot - cj has a couple more top 500 merchants than the average cpa network. and of course, they're so transparent that we can all just go count them...

    and if we pretended for a second that everyone is trying to play fair... i think we can also agree that the policing and enforcement resources at cj and ls go a tad deeper than the average cpa network... so cpa networks overcoming their small size to rank on the cheating scale alongside the big boys is no surprise to me.

    and joe, you're not the usual cpa network - in fact, your focus isn't on subaffiliate crapola at all. personally, i don't lump you in with the "cpa networks" even though that label technically applies to you and is one you use yourself. as we have discussed before, the term "CPA Networks" most often applies to subaffiliate networks... azoogle, clickbooth and the usual cross-publishing adware pounders obfuscating their identity through layers of redirects and holding the convenient excuse card (a rogue affiliate that we just fired) in hand.

    joe, you're none of those things - so knock the defensive stuff off - you don't wear it well. you may have a cheater in your org, so may sas - your business is not seeking them out to sign them up and also being a cheater yourself.

    i am again slapped with the notion that we need to redefine the term CPA Network and its use - it's literal meaning isn't applicable and it's use as a label is far too wide for the activities that Kellie is reporting.

  14. #14
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2006
    Location
    Vegas, Baby!
    Posts
    977
    Not being defensive, my friend. Just trying to make sure the report is correctly understood, since I'm sure not everyone read it. (In fact, I skimmed it, then I read your post, then I went back and took another look.)

    For a plug to AFP - you don't really NEED extensive policing and enforcement budgets. You just need to hire Kellie!

    And I agree with you re the cpa network definition. Open a thread and lets discuss!
    Joseph Lilly
    PartnerWeekly, LLC 702.407.0707 joe.lilly at partnerweekly.com
    PartnerWeekly

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lilly
    And I agree with you re the cpa network definition. Open a thread and lets discuss!
    we did...

    start around post 25 or so here:
    "Should CPA Networks have a place on ABW?"
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=86802

    this one also touches on it quite a bit:
    "How a CPA Network is also an Affiliate"
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=74766

  16. #16
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2006
    Location
    Vegas, Baby!
    Posts
    977
    damn your memory.

    Have another, Joe.

    Joseph Lilly
    PartnerWeekly, LLC 702.407.0707 joe.lilly at partnerweekly.com
    PartnerWeekly

  17. #17
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    the next move is up to those in the industry who can control it.
    Yep. Hopefully there is a core base within the industry who expect (dare I say demand?) from our industry than forcing clicks through adware.

    True too. Quite surprising considering the predominant affiliate attitude to CJ and LS at ABW.
    Not sure what you mean by this.

    It would be interesting to see the list of (if not all, then) at least the CPA networks that made the top 3.
    All Networks that showed in this testing are listed in the report. Not sure what you mean by the CPA Networks that made the top 3. ??????

    From the report:

    "The category "Other" represents all Networks who showed three times or less in our testing."

    That means 3 incidents of a pop-up or less.

    And...

    "Networks under the "Other" category include:"

    And then I list them all. That's all right below the table that lists the Networks by Occurrences.

    The category as a whole is tied with CJ, below Linkshare, according to this report.
    Above Linkshare.
    3. Other
    4. Linkshare

    But the thing to take away I think is the number of different Networks which showed up. If I tested a different sampling of Merchant domains, I would most likely get a somewhat different results as far as number of occurrences and which Networks showed most frequently. I would also probably some Networks that didn't show in this particular test.

    There has been a surgence of new Networks over the last few years. What we see in this report reflects that fact. The behavior isn't related to just the top traditional networks, even when looking at top retail merchants. The activity is spread out over a much broader range of networks. When talking about compliance, monitoing and policing bad behavior (and sorry forced clicks through adware is bad behavior in my book), this fact is problematic. Let's say CJ, LS and Performics all terminate an affiliate for adware use. That affiliate now has a broad range of other networks they can turn to and continue their activities. Activities which can still divert traffic away from a Merchant, which can impact the merchant and their affiliates.

    Along with that is the fact that an increasing number of retail merchants also run some type of offer/campaign on CPA Networks. And yes I know, I see people saying all the time that retail merchants don't run to any degree on CPA Networks. One supporting line of reasoning for that statement is that CPA Networks don't do product datafeeds. That may be true to a large extent, but a product datafeed isn't needed to promote a retail merchant nor for them to run an offer on a CPA Network. I gave a couple of specific examples in the report where a forced click happened via a CPA Network affiliate link for a retail merchant who runs their primary affiliate program on one of the major traditional networks. If those pop-ups had happened on traffic from an affiliate on the primary traditional network, which "click" would the merchant credit for the sale? Both or last in? I call this kind of potential scenario a Network overwrite and not just an affiliate overwrite.

    The lines between traditional and cpa networks aren't as cut and dry in practice and reality as it seems many seem to think they are.

    i think we can also agree that the policing and enforcement resources at cj and ls go a tad deeper than the average cpa network
    But if you are going to be a Network (any kind of network), then it's your responsibility to make sure you can monitor the activity within your network. There's more to being a network than just having the cash to buy a copy of DirectTrack. Merchant's need to chose their Networks looking past the marketing efforts of the network. Ultimately, companies are being held responsible for where and how their ads end up being displayed.

    For a plug to AFP - you don't really NEED extensive policing and enforcement budgets. You just need to hire Kellie!
    LOL and EEEKKKSSSS! Thanks for the plug...but cough. I'm not and can't be the compliance team for all networks and merchants. As I tell them straight up (and hope they understand), what I do and may be able to offer is and should be considered an adjunct to their own compliance efforts.

    IMHO, I strongly feel that both networks and merchants (many merchants depend way too much on their network) need to devoting more resources to compliance. That's part of the problem. As a youngish Industry, we haven't gotten up to speed on compliance and quality assurance aspects.

    since I'm sure not everyone read it
    I can only put info out there. I can't make people read or even read it closely.

  18. #18
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2006
    Location
    Vegas, Baby!
    Posts
    977
    Supply and demand, Kellie. Price follows increased demand.
    Joseph Lilly
    PartnerWeekly, LLC 702.407.0707 joe.lilly at partnerweekly.com
    PartnerWeekly

  19. #19
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,550
    I can only put info out there. I can't make people read or even read it closely
    Don't worry about that too much Kellie. Many of us that understand and know what you're talking about, and know the effects of adware, specially those that have been in the computer support industry like me for years and see it everyday, do our part and keep on relaying, educating and forwarding your message and service to all who need it.

    It's still a young industry like you said, but keep insisting and educating the industry and it's effects of adware and bad players, as down the road those that do implement "Fair Practices In Affiliate Marketing" will be the real winners, and they will thank you again.


  20. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Contextual Adware (PPV) Activity On PepperJamNetwork
    By Kellie aka Ms. B in forum Suspicious Activity!
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: December 16th, 2010, 06:11 PM
  2. Contextual Adware (PPV) Activity Discussion
    By Kellie aka Ms. B in forum Suspicious Activity!
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: December 4th, 2010, 10:28 PM
  3. Does PJN Allow Contextual Adware?
    By Kellie aka Ms. B in forum eBay Partner Network
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: November 19th, 2010, 10:46 PM
  4. Big Brands, CPA Networks and Contextual Adware
    By Kellie aka Ms. B in forum Suspicious Activity!
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: April 4th, 2010, 02:38 PM
  5. Some more contextual adware companies
    By Kellie aka Ms. B in forum Suspicious Activity!
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: March 26th, 2010, 10:41 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •