Example Cookie-Stuffing Targeting a Commission Junction
The Effect of 180solutions on Affiliate Commissions and Merchants - Ben Edelman
As discussed in Affiliate Code Replacement via Popup "Double" Windows within The Effect of 180solutions on Affiliate Commissions and Merchants, 180 has implemented a system that can set affiliate tracking codes by showing a user a duplicate copy of a merchant's site. These popups set affiliate codes that, in the ordinary course of events, cause 180 (and its advertisers) to be paid commissions otherwise payable to other affiliates, and cause 180 (and its advertisers) to be paid commissions even if no commissions would otherwise be paid. For a listing of affected merchants (as of tests of June 2004), see merchants targeted with double windows. See also merchants I previously found to be targeted with silent cookie-stuffing.
This page shows specific network transmissions that implement 180's double-popup cookie-stuffing, targeting a request for lillianvernon.com made at approximately 11am (Eastern) on October 7, 2004. See also a video (WMV format, view in full-screen mode) confirming what took place, including showing my Cookies folder before and after receiving the 180solutions popup. The thumbnail at right shows the final on-screen display -- the motherwear.com site, covered in part by the double popup that reached motherwear.com through a Commission Junction affiliate link.
Index of Annotated Packet Logs (details)
In this example, I sought to document how 180 (and its advertisers) can set affiliate codes even when users merely type in a site's domain name (such that affiliate commissions would not ordinarily be payable). My testing proceeded in the following way:
Consistent with the rest of my site, the network logs below omit my DUID (my unique 180solutions user ID number) as well as the 180 affiliate publisher ID.
In my testing of October 2004, motherwear.com is but one of many merchants that remain targeted by 180solutions double popups. Some targeted merchants use affiliate networks; others run in-house affiliate programs. Some double popups reach affiliate links through redirect servers, while others (including this one) entail 180solutions sending users directly to an affiliate link via no other intermediaries.