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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Outing trademark bidders
    Is AbestWeb an appropriate place to out trademark bidders?

    I'm sure we collectively see the same jerks hopping from program to program. We need a blacklist for these people.

    Your thoughts? If not ABestWeb, where?

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager Brent E.'s Avatar
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    Justin,

    There is a new feedback section for each affiliate in the SAS interface. I would recommend doing it right in there. I am going to go through all of the affiliates I have booted from CSN and write what they have done in this section.
    Brent Elias
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  3. #3
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    My thoughts are that there is and are threads and they are where they belong in private forums and managers forums so it isn't blown out of proportion...

    You are forgetting that trademark bidding has advantages as well as disadvantages and for some merchants it can be a good thing.....this is why it is kept in managers forums so the managers can decide how to react towards these practices and discuss them with others going through the same decisions without the pressure from the affiliates.

    Also, some trademark bidders also run other terms besides the trade marks...they can be easy to contact and erase their trademark bids almost instantly, while leaving the other non trademarked bids running....if they are outed here, it could be very bad for a merchant to instantly ban them because of affiliate pressure without realizing they also do legitamite PPC.

    Managers often fear posting when affiliates can see because it is very easy to get shut down and branded bad even though they have good intentions....it also happens if someone misreads what you say. This also happens vice versa when an affiliate is ousted in public even though they could be clean....in various merchant groups I belong in; I have seen affiliates be kicked out of multiple programs for doing nothing but being wrongly accused of something...that is just my opinion.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
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  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager Brent E.'s Avatar
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    Good points Liquidate. make sure to be clear in explaining exactly what they have done. wrong doings vary from merchant to merchant and will not be consistant up and down the board.
    Brent Elias
    Affiliate Manager/Acceleration-Partners
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    "God Grant That Men Of Principle, Shall Be Our Principle Men" - Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent E.
    Justin,

    There is a new feedback section for each affiliate in the SAS interface. I would recommend doing it right in there. I am going to go through all of the affiliates I have booted from CSN and write what they have done in this section.

    As usual, SAS is one step ahead of us in designing features and functionality. Great feature! We'll definitely be using it to log this sort of thing, and checking for feedback when approving new affiliates as well. I hope other merchants will make a point of logging this too!

  6. #6
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Justin,

    Haiko runs this board and he sets the rules (along with the mods) on whether or not to "out" an affiliate... I would suggest contacting him or some of the mods to get a better read on current policies, etc...

    Posting Affiliate URLs, from my understanding, is specifically against policy...

    We do have a feedback system you can use which could help you share your insights with other merchants as well.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  7. #7
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    "Is AbestWeb an appropriate place to out trademark bidders? "

    (nevermind)

    While I'm here since you mentioned TM bidding:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...0&q=Jenson+USA

    Why don't you just shut that down completely like other merchants do? You have competitors bidding on your TM. If you don't want to shut it down, wouldn't you rather see your affiliates there instead of your competition?
    Last edited by Trust; October 24th, 2007 at 05:58 PM.

  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jchristopher
    Is AbestWeb an appropriate place to out trademark bidders?

    I'm sure we collectively see the same jerks hopping from program to program. We need a blacklist for these people.

    Your thoughts? If not ABestWeb, where?
    Justin, trademark bidding in and of itself is not an offense unless a merchant has specifically prohibited the practice in their TOS. It doesn't appear that Jenson USA has a policy on trademark bidding listed in your program description. Since you are using the standard SaS TOS, you need to define your PPC policies separately, as each merchant has different PPC policies, SaS does not address these in the standard TOS.

    If I've somehow missed you PPC terms, could you direct me to them?

    Thanks

    -rematt

    (BTW, I am not in Jenson USA's program and I don't bid on trademarks, just want to make sure that before you out the "jerks" that you have a legitimate reason to do so.)
    "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

  9. #9
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    They have a policy on it under Merchant provided Terms of Agreement:

    "If you elect to participate in pay-per-click marketing, we ask that you refrain from bidding on trademarked keywords such as "Jenson USA", "JensonUSA.com" etc."

    So not sure if you had that problem before with affiliates doing it, right now looks like just your competition.

    "Please note that no affiliate commission is paid on orders for gift cards or gift certificates. Jenson USA does not pay commission on "self referral" for your own purchases. Thank you!"

    Why not?

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    PPC affiliates are tough to publicly out (at least for other affiliates) because all you get is an affiliate ID. I think it's perfectly reasonable for merchants to out bad affiliates on the merchant-exclusive forums here on ABW. If they do so, I hope that the merchant clearly states the cause, because different merchants will have different lines that they draw.
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  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    You have competitors bidding on your TM. If you don't want to shut it down, wouldn't you rather see your affiliates there instead of your competition?
    Not sure what you're getting at here. Of course I would prefer if my competitors could not run PPC ads triggered by our trademark, and would love to shut that down. But it's my understanding that Google no longer polices this - you can make the ad triggered by any term that you want - only the use of the trademark itself in the display text is restricted/policed by Google.

    Maybe I'm missing the point of your message...

  12. #12
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    Is that something extremely recent? Because merchants have been able to shut it down and have only themselves bid on their own TM if they wanted or nobody at all. Some other merchants here have posted about it. Kohls looks like a merchant who has shut it down:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...ls&btnG=Search

    But if you can't shut it down, wouldn't you rather have your affiliates there instead of your competition?

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt


    If I've somehow missed you PPC terms, could you direct me to them?

    Thanks

    -rematt

    (BTW, I am not in Jenson USA's program and I don't bid on trademarks, just want to make sure that before you out the "jerks" that you have a legitimate reason to do so.)
    Sure, the terms of no trademark PPC bidding appear in the merchant agreement, from the affiliate side, you would see them here:
    http://www.shareasale.com/a-viewmerc...erchantID=7588
    and as far as I know, those terms have been there since the launch of our program. Nothing new.

    In hindsight I should have started the thread with a more clear title: "Outing trademark bidders (who do so despite clearly stated program terms)"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    But if you can't shut it down, wouldn't you rather have your affiliates there instead of your competition?
    How would allowing affiliates to bid on our trademark displace my competition?

    Google allows many display ads per keyword, so I don't see how this would stop or displace my competition from running ads triggered by our trademark. All those ads would still be running, except I'd also now be paying affiliates to bid on my trademark.

    Regarding Kohl's - on the link you sent, I see ads for Macy's triggered by the keyword "kohls"...

    Can you clarify?

  15. #15
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    "How would allowing affiliates to bid on our trademark displace my competition?"

    Bump their ass down or off page 1 or off completely. I'm not a merchant but if I had to choose between the 2 on who I would want to see there, I'm picking affiliates.

    "Regarding Kohl's - on the link you sent, I see ads for Macy's triggered by the keyword "kohls"...

    Can you clarify?"

    I saw that once too but now not seeing it or rarely. I believe there is a way to shut it down. I think sometimes one might get thru but not for long. A merchant like that or some other big ones, if it was open, you would have a whole bunch bidding on them.

    As far as shutting it down I believe Eathan from Black Cat Mining knows how to do it based on past discussions of TM bidding.

  16. #16
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    "How would allowing affiliates to bid on our trademark displace my competition?"

    Bump their ass down or off page 1 or off completely. I'm not a merchant but if I had to choose between the 2 on who I would want to see there, I'm picking affiliates.

    Trust, I like your reasoning. Exposure is everything. If you are unable to protect your trademark terms from the competition, you should let affiliates bid in order to level the playing field. If after a couple of months you see the competition finds it uneconomical to bid on the TM terms, then you have crushed their tactics. Rock on!

    -sfcom
    Last edited by sfcom; October 24th, 2007 at 05:46 PM. Reason: added quote

  17. #17
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    And you can always give them a little taste too, turnaround is fair play. Bid on their TM's since they're bidding on yours. Except I've heard of Jenson before but not those 2 that are bidding on your TM. So that might not work out as well.

  18. #18
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Justin,

    To answer you question directly, if you want I'll set up a separate subsection within the board specificly to out any / all trademark bidders where people will be able to post the affiliate url or merchants with access can continue with some of the existing postings in the Manager's only forum. ... Your choice.
    Continued Success,

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  19. #19
    Newbie ~ Pakiha ~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    "Please note that no affiliate commission is paid on orders for gift cards or gift certificates. Jenson USA does not pay commission on "self referral" for your own purchases. Thank you!"

    Why not?
    The Gift cards are a cash equivalent and we had to decide whether to pay on purchase or redemption and chose the later to keep in line with everything else we do. if we we're to pay commission on both transactions we'd be double dipping to pay commissions.

    As for Personal purchases, let me make sure this does not mean that you cannot make a test purchase. If you do call in and cancel within 4 hours. That should give you time to make sure that everything is tracking properly. For truly personal purchases if you are an affiliate that is performing and I or Justin have a personal relationship with you, call Justin and we'll give you a discount that is more than your commission.

  20. #20
    Member KirkMcD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    "Regarding Kohl's - on the link you sent, I see ads for Macy's triggered by the keyword "kohls"...

    Can you clarify?"

    I saw that once too but now not seeing it or rarely. I believe there is a way to shut it down. I think sometimes one might get thru but not for long. A merchant like that or some other big ones, if it was open, you would have a whole bunch bidding on them.

    As far as shutting it down I believe Eathan from Black Cat Mining knows how to do it based on past discussions of TM bidding.
    You can't stop trademark keyword bidding in the US and Canada on Adwords. You can prevent the use of the trademark term in the displayed text though.

  21. #21
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    "You can't stop trademark keyword bidding in the US and Canada on Adwords."

    Yes, you can. I've started some campaigns and there are some words where you just can't bid on such as:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...US230&q=amazon

    The Kohls example I gave above. Try starting a campaign with those two and if you get it live, not for long before it gets zapped. Those are 2 very popular brands, there is a reason you don't see a bunch of ads when you search on them.

  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    We really need to talk about direct-to-merchant (dtm) ppc versus land-on-an-aff-site ppc, they're separate value judgements. Jenson is seeing some affs poach their domain name via dtm, disdplacing jenson's own ads - only one ad for a domain can show. The Trust points out advantages of having other spots occupied by your competitors, true, but irrelevant to the lost roi the merchant's suffering from the dtm poaching. Whether or not you allow affs with sites to bid on your domain name is a choice that can go either way depending on many factors, but allowing aff who do nothing else but bid directly, using dtm ppc, on jensonusa and jensonusa.com, is a total waste of money for the merchant.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Although it is not my niche, I spent time with a DTM player at Think Tank. I am not so sure they do not bring extraordinary value to merchants.

    I disagree with Donuts on that point. These people make sure the merchant is covered for a gigantic variety of terms that they might never think of themselves and only pay when those terms generate sales. From what I see many merchants cover the most basic terms while the DTMers cover every minute detail.

    Merchants just need to decide how much help they want from their affiliates and then let their merchant partners work within their guidelines.
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  24. #24
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    Also I'm sure affiliates could bid on Jenson USA have landing pages to one of their competitors. There's advantages to having your own affiliates there instead.

  25. #25
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitourmall
    Although it is not my niche, I spent time with a DTM player at Think Tank. I am not so sure they do not bring extraordinary value to merchants.

    I disagree with Donuts on that point. These people make sure the merchant is covered for a gigantic variety of terms that they might never think of themselves and only pay when those terms generate sales. From what I see many merchants cover the most basic terms while the DTMers cover every minute detail.

    Merchants just need to decide how much help they want from their affiliates and then let their merchant partners work within their guidelines.
    Did you read my post?

    Or do you just think that, jensonusa and jensonusa.com, as a keyword list is a gigantic variety that covers every minute detail?

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