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  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Most affiliates feel that they are the only losers in the parasite battle because the Merchants, Networks and parasites still make money. Most affiliates also feel that they don't have much clout with the networks and that it takes a Merchant who takes a stand to get changes made.

    I am a Merchant and this parasite thing is costing me big time too!!! It is costing a lot of extra time (which is money) and it could cost us our hard-earned good reputation, if we accidently approve a parasite and get put on a "Bad" merchant parasite list.

    Copied and continued from Midnight Cafe....
    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=9816086321

    As an Anti-parasite-paranoid Merchant I have to say I am enraged by all of this. It's time consuming enough to try to manually approve GOOD affiliates while trying to filter out adult or other objectionable content. To try to outwit and 2nd guess all this parasite stuff is unreasonable.

    Merchants must have help from the networks to filter out or identify this scum.

    Deelz wrote:

    "All the bastards need to do is set up a dummy site, get approved, then add another site to their account without the merchant knowing a thing about it. "
    -----------------------------------
    Here are some other ways AM's could innadvertantly approve a parasite.
    -----------------------------------

    1) Some legit affiliates sign up who have 20 or more web sites. I assume most AMs like me spot check a couple. It would be impossible to check every site. There could be a parasite hiding in the middle.

    2) What Deelz said above

    3) I signed up 1,000 affiliates that looked legit BEFORE I found ABW and spent hours trying to research this parasite thing. How do I know I don't already have a theif in the group?

    4) Sites that are down - I spend a ton of time trying to approve sites that are down or where the affiliate did not enter their URL correctly. I put these on hold til I can check the site. But I'm sure a lot of AM's approve sight unseen if it sounds like a legit URL."familsavings.com" sounds safe - but could be a parasite front.

    5) Pop-ups - I get stuck on affiliate sites all the time that have too many pop-ups, try to trap me into staying on their site,etc. They always make me nervous. But how do I know if it's an agressive affiliate trying too hard to make some $$ or someone who's trying to give me a virus or trying to download scumware on my system.
    I don't have time to be a fulltime detective.

    6) Incentives - CJ warns us about incentives so that does throw up a caution. But most incentives I find APPEAR to be legit... 25 cents to charity or shopper rewards programs. What if they are new version of scum? How do you know unless you spend a ton of time trying to analyze.

    7) As we speak there are probably 10 new scumware schemes being invented. Some just reinvented by the same scumlords coming up with new names. Some brand new that we have not even discovered yet.

    As both an affiliate and a Merchant I see this awesome WIN-WIN business model we are all involved with being in serious danger. I feel this scumware issue is bigger than each of us and although there are a lot of dedicated and focused individuals here trying to fight it - I think the networks need to be held responsible for protecting both the merchants and the affiliates.

    I'll copy this thread for Todd at the CJ forum.
    Haiko, may be you should post it also at the Merchant & AM forums. (I don't want to be accused of crossposting.) But I really don't feel most AM's are aware of some of these issues when they are busy trying to get legit affiliates approved.

    I hope CJ will become active in helping us find a solution to protect our affiliates.

    Linda
    Ecommerce & Affiliate Manager
    ProSound and Stage Lighting
    www.pssl.com
    Email & Search Engine Marketing
    www.catalystEmarketing.com

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Linda,

    I feel it is the A.M.'s JOB to do this kind of due diligence.

    You are ultimately in control of who you partner with and the impact that will have on your other partners.

    -wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Wayne,

    I agree it is "the A.M.'s JOB to do this kind of due diligence." I am just trying to support the affiliates position by letting CJ know this is not a one-sided problem that only affects affiliates. It is taking it's toll on everyone.

    Linda
    Ecommerce & Affiliate Manager
    ProSound and Stage Lighting
    www.pssl.com
    Email & Search Engine Marketing
    www.catalystEmarketing.com

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    I feel it is the A.M.'s JOB to do this kind of due diligence.
    You are ultimately in control of who you partner with


    Is that all you can say?

    Do you not have the courage to say that the networks have some obligation to honor their own words and enforce their own terms of service? The fact that conscientious affiliate managers would have less crap to wade through would be just one benefit among many.

    I would encourage you to read "Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity" by Francis Fukuyama.

    In a nutshell, he demonstrates that societies where people can trust each other become more prosperous than societies where people can't -- partly because people have more confidence to make investments and also because they are simply more efficient. Linda's concerns show exactly why!

    The crisis of trust we're facing right now is a colossal waste of everyone's time, and has the power to strangle the potential of the whole affiliate marketing industry. We need more than just pat answers.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Elisabeth,

    "Is that all you can say?"

    shucks- I tried to be succinct and without superflous additions just for your sake. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Yes,that is all I can say. It is the A.M.'s job to look at each application and to manage each and every relationship. That is one of the reasons it is a tough job!

    Maybe it is just me, but I can smell potential fraud 99 times out of 100. Click clubs, traffic laundering, whatever they try to pull if an A.M. is good they will catch it.

    Elisabeth said, "Do you not have the courage to say that the networks have some obligation to honor their own words and enforce their own terms of service? "

    Courage? I think I have taken the most hard-line stance of all.

    I urged affiliates, in no uncertain terms, to depart from contracts that they feel have been violated.

    Affiliates have the power to choose their own courses of action even if that means departing from a network! Merchants also have the power to choose their own course of action. To do or not to do business with people.

    The networks KNOW they have to address these issues, and I am confident they are in the process of doing so. Therefore I am willing to wait and see have TRUST in their abilities. I truly believe that most people are good and want to see a mutually beneficial solution.


    So again Elisabeth, if affiliates feel violated and used they can act by seeking legal recourse. If their contracts won't let them do that (read them carefully) then I urge them to stop doing business with people they openly call thieves.


    regards as always,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    Once again, I see you NOT ACTUALLY SAYING that networks should enforce their own terms of service.

    You're talking a hard line in one direction but not the other.

    quote:
    It is the A.M.'s job to look at each application and to manage each and every relationship. That is one of the reasons it is a tough job!


    Wayne, what do you think the networks' job is in all this?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    Elisabeth!

    Do I need to say that networks should enforce their own agreements?

    C'mon. An agreement is an agreement.

    Yes the networks should enforce their own agreements. If you feel they are not enforcing them...you know what I am going to say.

    As for the network's job? I have always felt that a networks primary job is to minimize the work related in executing performance based relationships and faciliating the technological exchange of data.

    In this particular saga I am not sure what their job is. I really have no answer, but I am sure they will have one soon.

    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    I would add based on my quote:

    "It is the A.M.'s job to look at each application and to manage each and every relationship. That is one of the reasons it is a tough job! "

    Why not ask the network's client services teams what THEY do in this case. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Just because a merchant is on a network, does not mean the merchant's program is directed by that network. Especially in the case of BeFree where individual terms for each program are executed.

    In some cases merchants contract directly with the network for OPM (outsourced program managment) or Client Services which is an in-house team that works for the network that runs and manages a program. When merchants pay to access a network that does mean they get access to management! There are lots of other fees they have to pay to get that.

    Therefore Affiliate managers who need direction might contact their respective networks and ask them how their Client Service teams are responding to this situation.

    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Linda the networks need to assist their merchants by marking Duperaffiliates or all "incent" affiliates on a merchant only page. You can lighted your review load by doing cursery inspections and every single month actuall check out the sites who earn more than 200.00 form your program. Very simple then to spot the ones who a hijacking other affiliates traffic or are involved in UCE spamming activities. If you wouldn't trust buying a 500.00 Pro Sound item presented on the site under review chances are no one else would either.

    Don't worry ..the "darkside" copycats along with all those at www.parasiteware.com will show hefty sales activity ..some with no impressions.

    WebMaster Mike

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    Yes the networks should enforce their own agreements.


    Okay, thank you for that. I had been getting the feeling that you thought sleazy or sloppy behaviour was fine if they could get away with it.

    quote:
    to minimize the work related in executing performance based relationships


    A rather significant advantage of ethical behaviour is that it does exactly that.

    .

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    No. I don't feel that way at all.

    I would suggest affiliates read their agreements very closely though.

    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    I feel it is the A.M.'s JOB to do this kind of due diligence.

    You are ultimately in control of who you partner with and the impact that will have on your other partners.



    I do and don't agree.

    With the current setup with Cj, and their affiliate agreements with affiliates.

    If the information the merchant gets is the exactly the same as what the affiliate applicant fills out, then no where does the merchant know that the affiliate is costing them money on their "bookmarks, search engine terms, " etc that can be harmful for their business.

    Only when having "all the information" of potential problems and potential profits, can some make a well informed decision.


    In other-words I feel that the merchants don't get enough information to decide what a good affiliate is and not. When the issue first came about or even this time,

    At anytime did Cj tell them that some of the more questionable companies were able to earn commission from their search engine terms or bookmarks?

    Who's then due diligence is then of alerting the merchants that some affiliates are costing them money on what is not rightfully earned?

    Edited for spelling.

    "Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open." Thomas Dewar

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