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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Publisher against bidding policy
    Hi all,
    when I run SAS affiliate program , I set up a bidding policy.
    It is very clear that I list some key words that my publisher can not bid.
    Now , I found lots of orders is from bidding the keywords in the list.
    I would like to take some actions !
    I really want to know which one is the best solution for me, may be your guys can give me some idea.

    solution A: banned their account
    solution B: warnning them , let them to put down the SEM campaign immediately.

    solution C: warnninbg them , let them put the SEM ad and punish them !

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    big0707, there have been some recent debate here on Trademark bidding. One recent thread is Handling PPC Affiliates who bid on your trademark. Do a search on Trademark Bidding and domain name bidding and you'll find plenty of other threads on the topic.

    You'll have to decide what approach is best for your program.

    -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

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Just setting up a policy isn't sufficient. You still have to police it. While there are many ethical PPC affiliates, others just go for the quick money and will do whatever they can get away with.

    I would also recommend complaining to Brian at ShareASale.com. If enough merchants complain about trademark-poaching affiliates who ignore the posted policies, perhaps they'll take action.
    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

  4. #4
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    This may be harsh but if you have a stated policy, then ban the affiliate. While I dislike restictive PPC policies, as an affiliate I have to abide by a merchant's rules. It's a merchant's right to do what they want with their brand integrity.

    For me, I hate unethical affiliates. there's no palce for it. Why warn the affiliate? It gives them another opportunity to earn income, to outbid and outrank ethical affiliates.

    That's just my opinion.

  5. #5
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Don't pay commission on those sales and then contact the affiliate and give them a warning. Some affiliates are stupid and don't realize that you prohibit it, and still may be able to promote you other ways.

  6. #6
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    How are people policing their trademark bidding policies?

    Is it all manual?

    What tools are people using?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    For my programs, it depends on who the affiliate is. If they are someone who joins all my progams and poaches trademarks in all of them, they get 1 warning that they will be removed.

    If they don't have a history with me as poaching, I kindly warn them (because many do not read the rules or terms) and give them 3 days to reply. If they don't, I send 1 more warning and another 3 days. No reply=dropping them.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  8. #8
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I'd reverse the transactions, send a warning and leave negative feedback via the new feedback tool at SAS. In the warning I would also give a time frame for compliance, example: "Please pull these ads within 24 hours. New transactions on prohibited words will continue to be reversed for 24 hours after which your commission rate will be set to zero until the ads are pulled."
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  9. #9
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    One point I will make, only because I've had less than experienced AM's accuse me of poaching before...


    If I bid a broad match generic term, and you search for " ", theres a very good chance my ad will come up.

    Even though I'm not bidding the brand, unless you require your affiliates to negative match your terms, there are plenty of ways an affiliate's ad can legitimately show up with your trademarked terms as part of the search.

    Example: Lets say I bid on "coupons" and someone searches "yourname coupons". My ad will possibly come up for this, but because of the "coupons" part, and not your brand name.

    How to tell the difference? If the Display URL or ad text seems targetted specifically to your company or your trademark, then it may be very obvious that the affiliate is poaching. On the other hand (with the example above), if you just see ad text about finding coupons and the affiliate's site as the display URL, then its probably a broad match and has nothing to do with your trademarks.

    My recommendation, unless the affiliate has a history of abusing trademarks, and is obviously doing it again, contact the affiliate first and get an explanation (or an apology or non-response, etc), and deal with that person accordingly.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    There is a program you can use to see what keywords are being used by PPC ads in Google, Yahoo, MSN, Overture and Miva. They have a 30 day free trial. Do a search for Competition Dominator, I don't want to post the URL.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thank you for all your reply!

    re matt ,
    thank you for this important info.

    Michael
    I very agree with your point. I think I should educate the publisher before a final extreme measure.
    I also get some feedback from Brian.

    Greg
    Thank you for your sharing.

    Eathan

    T_T I do not know I can leave feed back via SAS until you told me.

    T1 & 2 busy

    Thank you for your info! I will make sure I kill the right one.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager JusticeforGirls's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for this thread. I recently dealt with this problem and anticipate dealing with it more in the future.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Last night I just broove on T1 master`s point,
    I ask my self the following questions :
    1 how can I prove the publisher bid on the baned keywords
    2 how should I avoid this happen again ?
    ~~~

    Then I came to realize that the publisher is using redirect method! And its ad show my website`s name , instead his or hers.
    This is enough for me to cancle all the orders !

    I think I should prepare a news letter to clearify some implict point in the bidding policy . We , merchant , should take the respoonsibility for explaining our stand to our business parnter . Bidding policy , is not just mean to ban some keyword`s bidding , but a approach to sperate affiliate from SEM : Affiliate AD should not be turns up on the search pages related with our trade mark.

  14. #14
    Member KirkMcD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big0707
    Then I came to realize that the publisher is using redirect method! And its ad show my website`s name , instead his or hers.
    Do you state that you are not allowed to use direct linking in your terms?


    Also, where did you put the keywords that you are not allowed to bid on. In the PPC Keyword Guidelines section or buried in your terms? If I don't see anything in the keyword section, I'll assume all keywords are ok.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager JusticeforGirls's Avatar
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    I am having major issues with this right now. I just took over a (neglected) program. I recently started manually checking our brand keywords on google. I only found one problem affiliate. Then I checked Yahoo: I'VE FOUND 10 affiliates in voilation today alone for bidding against our brand words or derivaties or mispellings of our brand words. In our policy, we even require affiliates to negative broad match brand words; Clearly not a well-followed policy. I'm frustrated... I'd like to hear how people think I should handle this. Warning and temporary suspension of commission until bidding is turned off? Temporary Removal from program with the option to reapply after bidding is turned off?

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodwind&Brasswind
    I am having major issues with this right now. I just took over a (neglected) program. I recently started manually checking our brand keywords on google. I only found one problem affiliate. Then I checked Yahoo: I'VE FOUND 10 affiliates in voilation today alone for bidding against our brand words or derivaties or mispellings of our brand words. In our policy, we even require affiliates to negative broad match brand words; Clearly not a well-followed policy. I'm frustrated... I'd like to hear how people think I should handle this. Warning and temporary suspension of commission until bidding is turned off? Temporary Removal from program with the option to reapply after bidding is turned off?
    Unless I know they are a trademark poacher, I assume they are not aware of the PPC policy and treat them as such. Be nice, kindly remind them of your policy and include it in your email. Most will apologize and stop as requested. Some will remain as productive affiliates, some will disappear. Give them the benefit of the doubt if you do not know their true intentions.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodwind&Brasswind
    I am having major issues with this right now. I just took over a (neglected) program. I recently started manually checking our brand keywords on google. I only found one problem affiliate. Then I checked Yahoo: I'VE FOUND 10 affiliates in voilation today alone for bidding against our brand words or derivaties or mispellings of our brand words. In our policy, we even require affiliates to negative broad match brand words; Clearly not a well-followed policy. I'm frustrated... I'd like to hear how people think I should handle this. Warning and temporary suspension of commission until bidding is turned off? Temporary Removal from program with the option to reapply after bidding is turned off?
    This is actually one of my pet peeves. It is one thing to require that we not bid brand names. Thats a fairly easy policy to follow as long as you're aware of it. Its another thing entirely to require negative keyword lists, as this is a much bigger pain in the ass to keep up with if you're marketing for a lot of merchants and bidding generic terms not targeted at specific merchants (like I do).

    Think of it this way... say you have a superaffiliate who has relationships with hundreds or even thousands of merchants. If said superaffiliate bids on generic terms for himself, its ridiculous to expect him to go through each and every merchant looking for negative keymatch requirements. On the other hand if said affiliate is building a campaign aimed at a specific merchant, that affiliate is much more likely (and should be expected) to research that merchant's specific PPC policies.

    I've had merchants gripe because some generic phrase pulls my ad in conjunction with one of their negative terms. I'm happy to add those in if I'm told about them, but I have neither the time nor inclination to go through 2000 merchant's PPC policies if I'm buying PPC keywords to promote my own site and not a specific merchant's site.

    My advice would be to first ask the affiliates who aren't negative matching your terms to comply first, and just keep an eye out on your terms periodically.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager JusticeforGirls's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight. I agree that it is a royal pain to negatively match keywords. I didn't create the policy; it was already in place. Unfortunately, I have to enforce it to be fair to all my affiliates. But thankfully we really only have two brand words.

    And most of the affilites who I spoke with were sincerely apologetic and either a) were completely unaware of our PPC policy or b) having a third party manage their bids and we were just dropped off the "do not bid" list. They each wanted to make sure that I would be enforcing this poilcy with all my affiliates. Fair is fair, right? I've tried to make an extra special effort to post our policy in more places.

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