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  1. #1
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    What is considered unethical?
    I really like the idea of this new forum. I think we can point merchants here and hopefully get some of the bigger ones to clean up their programs.

    Without naming names, can we come up with some guidelines of what's considered unethical.

    Here's some things I've noticed from reading here...

    What is unethical for Affiliates/Publishers?
    1. Posting coupons where not allowed by merchant.
    2. Posting other affiliates exclusive coupons.
    3. Promoting non-existant coupons. (including forcing click to get non-existant coupon)
    4. Promoting expired coupons as if they're still active.
    5. Bidding on trademarked terms where against merchant policies.
    6. Blackhat SEO/SEM techniques
    7. Scraping competitor sites for content (coupons, forum content, blog text, etc).
    8. Using Toolbars, or other applications to replace already set cookies.
    9. Sending users to merchant site without a click (unclicked popups, frames, iframes)

    What's unethical for Merchants with affiliate programs?
    1. "CALL FOR BEST PRICE" type advertising on site. (where not tracking aff)
    2. Leaks to other merchants (like price-comparison inclusion, or affiliate links)
    3. Non-paying merchants
    4. Tracking always down??

    anyone else have anything to add, or that you don't like here?

  2. #2
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    What is unethical for Affiliates/Publishers?

    1. Posting coupons where not allowed by merchant.
    Only the merchant or affiliate manager would know that for the most part. I've seen a lot of affiliates get this part wrong since it varies between the merchants.


    2. Posting other affiliates exclusive coupons.
    That's unethical to me.

    3. Promoting non-existant coupons. (including forcing click to get non-existant coupon)
    That's unethical to me.

    4. Promoting expired coupons as if they're still active.
    That's just stupid. If they're doing that just to get the cookie, unethical too.

    5. Bidding on trademarked terms where against merchant policies.
    Only a merchant would know that. Sometimes there are general rules, other times they let select affiliates bid, that varies between each merchant.

    6. Blackhat SEO/SEM techniques
    That's all over the plac. The forum would drown in that stuff.

    7. Scraping competitor sites for content (coupons, forum content, blog text, etc).
    That's unethical to me.

    8. Using Toolbars, or other applications to replace already set cookies.
    That's unethical to me, dumb for merchants.

    9. Sending users to merchant site without a click (unclicked popups, frames, iframes)
    That's unethical to me.

  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust

    4. Promoting expired coupons as if they're still active.
    That's just stupid. If they're doing that just to get the cookie, unethical too.
    Many affiliates post coupons in blogs and it is not always easy to find the expired coupons in the archives.

    Are you suggesting that bloggers comb through all their past archives?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  4. #4
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    That's up to you. If it's a click to see coupons to set a cookie and it's expired, it's unethical to me. If it's just out there and expired, you're not likely to get a sale becaue the coupon isn't going to work. I don't think the forum is made for that kind of thing. I'm sure there is no shortage of expired coupons out there, abandoned sites etc. I probably have some on some site/blog I don't update anymore that gets little or no traffic.

  5. #5
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    Many affiliates post coupons in blogs and it is not always easy to find the expired coupons in the archives.

    Are you suggesting that bloggers comb through all their past archives?
    No, if it's dated some old time, then the user should recognize that it's old, and that's the nature of blogs, so there's no real way to remove those.

    I'm saying the ones who promote an expired code prominantly to get the click.

  6. #6
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    If it's a click to see coupons to set a cookie and it's expired...
    How do people figure out how to program stuff like that?

    The only cookies I can make are chocolate chip

    I don't insert coupons that load cookies -- I don't know how to do that and frankly even if I did know how there are negatives involved and a case against doing so could be made. I just thought of an exception and playing "devil's advocate" is so much fun

    Quote Originally Posted by ReallyBigGuy
    No, if it's dated some old time, then the user should recognize that it's old, and that's the nature of blogs, so there's no real way to remove those.

    I'm saying the ones who promote an expired code prominantly to get the click.
    Great summary, ReallyBigGuy
    I hate it when I promoted a dress in a blog entry from 2003 and now finally someone is interested in the dress and clicks it (I've promoted merchants who originally were with CJ and now they flip-flopped to LS so that happens often).
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  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    8. Using Toolbars, or other applications to replace already set cookies.

    These belong in the parasite forum. The intent here is to cover other questionable tactics.

    In my opinion, the posting of expired coupons is to get shoppers to click through and set a cookie. Knowing that the shopper is going to buy soon and trying to get the last cookie set.

    I do understand that affiliate are not always able to keep coupons updated and that merchants screw up to. What we are working on are the blatant violators.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    I don't know that ethical or unethical is the argument. I remove affiliates from my program because they don't follow the terms and conditions that they agreed to when they became affiliates. Simple as that. If you don't want to play by the rules, then don't submit your application.

  9. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    The purpose is to discuss and/or disclose so others can make that decision. Not every AM/OPM catches all the offenders but if they were better informed they might. Then we can drive the unsavory types out of the industry and make room for the honest/hardworking affiliates.

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