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1 Cookie, 2 Cookies, 3 Cookies...Jail?

1 Cookie, 2 Cookies, 3 Cookies...Jail?

As many of you will have already read the article on 'Affiliates Indicted for Cookie Stuffing', there has been quite a few comments, thoughts, and concerns regarding the outcomes of these lawsuits.

How was this not forseen?

With scary commission amounts of $15 million and $5 million, you must wonder how this was not picked up on at the time. As their 1st and 2nd best affiliates respectively, surely there would have been some 'red flags', even with the sheer amount of commission being passed?!

eBay moved to their in-house network around 2008, which may have helped them monitor affiliate activity more closely.

There have been constant technological innovations made up to ensure regulation of the industry over the years and to answer any questions about where 'questionable' traffic comes from. The surprise is that this happened so recently, the activity in question was in 2006 & 2007, a time when we in the UK were fairly confident that the worst excesses of adware had been curtailed.

Was this an unfortunate case of bad programme management, or were they really raiding the cookie jar with complete ease?

Will the past really come back to haunt others?

Two years had passed until lawsuits were filed in these cases, which has me thinking there may well be a few other affiliates, who are now conducting themselves within the right boundaries, whose past life breaking Affiliate T&C;'s as a 'dodgy' affiliate may come back to haunt them over time?

How will misbehaving affiliates react to this?

As we contintually make progressions towards a self-regulated industry thanks to the great work that the IAB's Affiliate Marketing Council are conducting, will this news help cast an end to unlawful affiliate behaviour? Will the IAB be introducing the threat of legal action into comms with 'naughty' affiliates?!

The fact that the cases are now criminal trials as opposed to civil ones, would the same apply over here in the UK? Plus would a US affiliate operating on a UK network be subject to US law or UK law?

An impact on UK networks?

As these cases are seemingly being deemed as fraud, are networks liable if they fail to police it effectively, and do any UK networks currently have anything in place to monitor this?

Finally, have there been repercussions for other affiliates? Have genuine affiliate commissions been overwritten because of this?

Will you now think twice about breaking Affiliate T&C;'s?

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Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN. Based in Bristol & London.

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