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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Partnered with Software without knowing it?
    Merchants, do you know what your affiliates are up to? Do you know where they are distributing links? Are you partnered with a parasite or software applications without knowing it?

    http://www.lexdon.com/article/Shelro...dia/31711.html

    If you are parntered with Coupon Mountain, you are partnered with ActiveShopper. So CJ is parntered with a download application since ValueClick now owns MeziMedia?

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    People everywhere can't seem to see to whole picture FlamingoWorld, I'm glad you see it!

    It's amazing that CJ can do this to their merchant clients and still be trusted.

    Worse yet, now that CJ owns many web properties, they're extending their trashy ways to other networks - their coupon mountain site, among others, partnered with BHO theftware, poach merchants outside of CJ too - coupon mountain has merchants from many networks, including the clean networks.

    CJ's pimpled tentacles are being seen by growing numbers of the unblind, their trusted house of cards is wobbling a tad.

  3. #3
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Worse yet, now that CJ owns many web properties
    Is there a list anywhere of web properties owned by CJ that you know of?

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, it's ValueClick (who owns CJ) who owns those other companies. But the point is still the same.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    To help clarify things, ActiveShopper had a download that was/is called Dealbar. I had this on my computer a few times and was hell to remove.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...ealbar+spyware

    http://www.google.com/search?q=dealb...e7&rlz=1I7DKUS

    Dealbar has partners other than Coupon Mountain.
    http://www.exactadvertising.com/uninstall.html#dealbar

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    No, I don't know of a accurate, public list. And remember that CJ is owned by ValueClick, it's a list of VC's sites you want.

    I do know that the main sites they bought in the MeziMedia (aka MSA, Inc.) recent purchase include:
    Smarter.com
    MeziMedia.com
    CouponMountain.com
    MoreRebates.com
    LookMart.com
    CeleTopia.com
    ToseekA.com
    (and many others)

    They also have nationalized variants like:
    www.couponmountain.co.uk
    www.couponmountain.de
    (and many others)

    In addition ValueClick also owns:
    ValueClick.com
    CJ.com / CommissionJunction.com / BeFree.com
    PriceRunner.com
    MediaPlex.com
    ValueClickMedia.com
    Content-Depot.com
    Mediaplexsystems.com
    FastClick.com / FastClick.net / FastClickSearch.com
    WebClients.net / WebClients.com
    Search123.com
    ZMedia.com
    (and many others)

    Then there are domains that redirect that make me scratch my head...
    AdwareSystems.com --redirects--> MediaPlex.com

    And it gets lengthy, because they do things like this... ValueClick acquired WebClients, but WC still operates as independent label company... WebClients operates hundreds of freebie shit sites like Free2Try.com... tracking all 1,500+ of those down takes a long time... and none have any publically posted ties to the ValueClick name, so you gotta keep good notes as you discover them...

    Here's a good summary of the VC brands:
    http://www.valueclick.com/brands/

    Oops, forgot one... as they collect data on consumers (yes, they operate an aff network and have their code on carts everywhere!), it help under the hispeed media name...
    HiSpeedMedia.com
    "With over 150 enticing gifts to offer consumers itís no wonder why Hi-Speed Media has set a new standard in promotional marketing."
    "Our subscriber database, comprised of over 40 million consumer profiles, enables you to identify, reach, and build relationships with consumers using both incentivised and non-incentivised promotions"

    So....

    Gary, let's say InternetCouponDeals.com applies to your network. You'd have to DNS them to figure out they're a WebClients.net property. Then if you went to webclients.net, nothing on their public site says they're owned by ValueClick, so your research trail would likely end there...

    Or if a med supply company or network is trying to figure out who FreeDiabeticMeter.com is, they'll find some shell company registered in Miami and if they carefully research things, they can learn that it's a WebClients property owned by ValueClick.

    There are 1,000's of these...

    Then you can research backwards and find out that ValueClick bought an adware / spyware company in 2000 called ClickAgents, today that domain redirects to ValueClick. Learn more here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ClickAgents

    By the way, if you need to remove the ClickAgents spyware from your computer, find instructions here:
    http://www.spywareremove.com/removeClickAgents.html

    And this is your trusted network... well, a small look at it anyhow. It would take books to tell the whole story.

  7. #7
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Oh my.. it's like an episode of "Alias" -ha.

    As always from Donuts, very informative!

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    I would think that those merchants who have affiliate programs on the anti-BHO networks should reconsider whether or not they want someone in their program pushing toolbars on their customers.


  9. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Thanks for the head-up Gary, the alert Connie and the due diligence Donuts! This makes the decision for me and you will see another post monetarily related to that.

    I have asked other networks what they think about affiliates owned by competitors and they treat the affiliates like free standing companies. The tie-in with a download site is no different than a CPA network working with Zangro/180Solutions.

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Looks like they got the site shutdown on the press release but here is a copy of the Google cache: http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:...ient=firefox-a

    Another: http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0....html#abstract

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    PriceRunner (ValueClick company) also has their own toolbar:

    http://coupons.pricerunner.com/cgi/toolbar.plx

    See some merchants here listed there. Not sure the behavior or anything like that.

  12. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Is anyone able to show where Coupon Mountain and ActiveShopper are tied together?

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    http://www.activeshopper.com/coupons

    Scroll to bottom left:

    The coupons are provided by CouponMountain.com

  14. #14
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Is CM pushing any parasiteware upon visiting their site?

  15. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Thanks Connie, I completely missed that. I sent that info back to the network along with the McAfee SiteAdvisor alert.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    Thanks donut,

    i never knew this, when i first started affiliate marketing my main comp was coupon mountain, now it seems that the affiliate networks are buying these properties and cashing in.

    Is this the end of affiliate marketing? the rich get richer the poor get nowhere?

    cj is obvoiusly in this for themselve and could not give a dam about the affiliate model. Any great affilaite site will be boughtout by cj.com and the others....


    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    No, I don't know of a accurate, public list. And remember that CJ is owned by ValueClick, it's a list of VC's sites you want.

    I do know that the main sites they bought in the MeziMedia (aka MSA, Inc.) recent purchase include:
    Smarter.com
    MeziMedia.com
    CouponMountain.com
    MoreRebates.com
    LookMart.com
    CeleTopia.com
    ToseekA.com
    (and many others)

    They also have nationalized variants like:
    www.couponmountain.co.uk
    www.couponmountain.de
    (and many others)

    In addition ValueClick also owns:
    ValueClick.com
    CJ.com / CommissionJunction.com / BeFree.com
    PriceRunner.com
    MediaPlex.com
    ValueClickMedia.com
    Content-Depot.com
    Mediaplexsystems.com
    FastClick.com / FastClick.net / FastClickSearch.com
    WebClients.net / WebClients.com
    Search123.com
    ZMedia.com
    (and many others)

    Then there are domains that redirect that make me scratch my head...
    AdwareSystems.com --redirects--> MediaPlex.com

    And it gets lengthy, because they do things like this... ValueClick acquired WebClients, but WC still operates as independent label company... WebClients operates hundreds of freebie shit sites like Free2Try.com... tracking all 1,500+ of those down takes a long time... and none have any publically posted ties to the ValueClick name, so you gotta keep good notes as you discover them...

    Here's a good summary of the VC brands:
    http://www.valueclick.com/brands/

    Oops, forgot one... as they collect data on consumers (yes, they operate an aff network and have their code on carts everywhere!), it help under the hispeed media name...
    HiSpeedMedia.com
    "With over 150 enticing gifts to offer consumers itís no wonder why Hi-Speed Media has set a new standard in promotional marketing."
    "Our subscriber database, comprised of over 40 million consumer profiles, enables you to identify, reach, and build relationships with consumers using both incentivised and non-incentivised promotions"

    So....

    Gary, let's say InternetCouponDeals.com applies to your network. You'd have to DNS them to figure out they're a WebClients.net property. Then if you went to webclients.net, nothing on their public site says they're owned by ValueClick, so your research trail would likely end there...

    Or if a med supply company or network is trying to figure out who FreeDiabeticMeter.com is, they'll find some shell company registered in Miami and if they carefully research things, they can learn that it's a WebClients property owned by ValueClick.

    There are 1,000's of these...

    Then you can research backwards and find out that ValueClick bought an adware / spyware company in 2000 called ClickAgents, today that domain redirects to ValueClick. Learn more here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ClickAgents

    By the way, if you need to remove the ClickAgents spyware from your computer, find instructions here:
    http://www.spywareremove.com/removeClickAgents.html

    And this is your trusted network... well, a small look at it anyhow. It would take books to tell the whole story.

  17. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I am taking a stand that a coupon, loyalty or search company purchased with an affiliate network is not a good thing. I will not work with them. There are enough other choices out there.

    We may be a small part of the industry but if we can influence AM's to drop these acquisition partners then they me might see a trend. Affiliates can influence this by contacting those AM's that work with questionable affiliates and remove themselves from the program.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I am taking a stand that a coupon, loyalty or search company purchased with an affiliate network is not a good thing. I will not work with them. There are enough other choices out there.

    We may be a small part of the industry but if we can influence AM's to drop these acquisition partners then they me might see a trend. Affiliates can influence this by contacting those AM's that work with questionable affiliates and remove themselves from the program.
    I would like to agree with you but i can't first of all 1 out of 100 vaffiliates produce sales.

    By partenring with the scumware will produce great results, so why should the merchant alow us to market their services? when they can contact the scumware and produce better results?

    I think affiliate marketing is dying as we speak and before too long the merchants will only partner with the scumsuckers of the internet, besides they just want to make money and the ILLEGAL scumsuckers can do this for them

  19. #19
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netnow22
    By partenring with the scumware will produce great results, so why should the merchant alow us to market their services? when they can contact the scumware and produce better results?
    The reason they're called parasites is because they leech off of the traffic sent by legitimate affiliates and by the merchant's own brand recognition and marketing efforts. Without the legitimate affiliate traffic most scumware would only have the merchant's traffic to leach and wouldn't be able to produce much for the merchant that the merchant wouldn't have gotten without them. If they were driving legitimate traffic then I wouldn't have a problem with them. The fact that they are stealing our traffic is the issue, and the "ILLEGAL scumsuckers" won't be effective without it.


    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  20. #20
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I am taking a stand that a coupon, loyalty or search company purchased with an affiliate network is not a good thing. I will not work with them. There are enough other choices out there.

    We may be a small part of the industry but if we can influence AM's to drop these acquisition partners then they me might see a trend. Affiliates can influence this by contacting those AM's that work with questionable affiliates and remove themselves from the program.
    You already know that I concur with you Chuck, but in order to do it effectively, you need information that isn't public or even always made available to you as the OPM. And CJ isn't the only place where this is happening... if you have programs at Performics, try asking them about these issues and see how much information flows... networks should have policies about these issues, shoot, just ask about those and whether they are public or can be made public by you...

  21. #21
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I have a direct line with the VP of Affiliate Marketing and the Senior Director Network Integrity at Performics. Have contacted them when any questions were raised about affiliates joining my programs on their network. I asked them specifically about CM and they are treating them as a affiliates. I chose to remove them as I don't like the relationship to the network.

    I am open to network conversations about the acquisition partners. I doubt that we are going to influence that download affiliates until someone comes out with a lawsuit against one.

  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I asked them specifically about CM and they are treating them as a affiliates.
    Well, CM's owned by CJ so it's no stretch of things to inquire about how PFX treats them... I meant what you said, when a network also acts as an affiliate in their own network...

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