Parasitic Marketing
AMWSO Extended Support

Parasites, Parasitic Marketing and Cookie Stuffers.

Let's not mince words here, people who operate their marketing through the use of parasitic practices are stealing value from their merchant "partners" and other affiliates. People who create cookies through Iframes and other hidden commission tracking cookie creation systems (Cookie Stuffers) are just as bad.

So with that said, what is a parasite in Affiliate Marketing. AMWSO defines a parasite and parasitic marketing as follows :

ParasiteWareTM / Parasitic Marketing.

  1. An application that through accidental or direct intent causes the overwriting of Affiliate Partner and non Affiliate Partner commission tracking cookies through any other means than a customer initiated click on a Qualifying Link on a web page or email.
  2. An application that intercepts natural searches to redirect traffic through an installed software, thereby causing, pop ups, commission tracking cookies to be put in place or other commission tracking cookies to be overwritten where a user would under normal circumstances have arrived at the same destination through the results given by the natural search. (Natural search engines being, but not limited to, Google, MSN, Yahoo, Overture, AltaVista, Hotbot, and similar search or directory engines)
  3. The setting of commission tracking cookies through loading of Merchant site in IFrames, hidden links and automatic pop ups that open the Merchant site.
  4. An application that targets text on web sites, other than those web sites 100% owned by the application owner, for the purpose of contextual marketing.
  5. An application that removes or replaces or blocks the visibility of Affiliate Partner banners with any other banners, other than those that are on web sites 100% owned by the owner of the application.

AMWSO's stance is that these practices are unethical and effectively steal revenue from honest affiliates as well as creating misleading and fraudulent commissions on a Merchant's affiliate program.

How can you help?

As an Affiliate : Educate your merchants, tell them how they and you are being robbed, if that should fail, then, don't work with merchants who support parasites, don't work with affiliate management teams that support parasites and try avoid networks that have no clear stance against parasites. AND promote and support software that protects your revenue such as STOPZilla!

As a Merchant : Educate your affiliates. Ensure your affiliate program is clean of parasites, if you are not sure, email us, we'll check your program for parasites at no cost. Promote software to your consumers that protects their freedom of choice and your revenue.

As a Network : Educate your merchants and affiliates. Don't allow affiliates to sign up and abuse your affiliates and merchants, educate, and if that fails remove those who are signed up.

As an Affiliate Marketing Team : Ensure you're merchants are fee of parasites and continually educate new clients on what parasites are and how they effect other affiliates as well as creating fraudulent commission claims. Get your affiliates to promote and support software that protects your and their revenue such as STOPZilla!

To learn more about ParasiteWareTM please visit the ABW Parasites Forum and Affiliate Fair Play and this excellent article on 180 Solutions by Ben Edelman