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ValueClick and Commission Junction Class Action

financial literacy

Okay, this is the earliest blog post I have ever done, but it was just too interesting and I must be out of the loop in the world of affiliate marketing. I just received this e-mail and I’m still kind of confused about the whole matter. This was the e-mail:

From – Sat Aug 02 01:03:46 2008
Received: (qmail 17595 invoked from network); 2 Aug 2008 08:00:45 -0000
Return-Path: mail@bliemail.com
From: Settlement Recovery Center v. ValueClick settlement
Reply-To: info@embsvc.com
Message-ID: <96f05ef25cb3467a85766e6c171d2d02@bliemail.com>
Date: Sat, 02 Aug 2008 04:01:14 -0400
Subject: Settlement Recovery Center v. ValueClick settlement
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

RE: Important Legal Notice Regarding Commission Junction’s Affiliate Network

If you joined or were a member of the affiliate marketing networks operated by ValueClick, Inc., Commission Junction, Inc. and/or Be Free (collectively, “Defendants”), between April 20, 2003 and the present, you may be a class member in Settlement Recovery Center et al. v. ValueClick, Inc. et al., No. 2:07-cv-02638-FMC-CTx, a lawsuit which is pending in the Central District of California. The Settlement Notice informs you of the Court’s certification of a class for settlement purposes; the nature of the claims alleged; your right to participate in, or exclude yourself from, the class; a proposed settlement; and how you can claim an award of advertising credits under the settlement or object to the settlement.

The proposed settlement will resolve claims that Defendants failed to adequately monitor Commission Junction’s Network for the use by third parties of software that does not comply with Commission Junction’s (“CJ”) Publisher Code of Conduct and that is intended to steal or divert commissions from publishers on CJ’s network (“Non-compliant Software”), failed to adequately monitor or prevent third parties from engaging in the theft or “hijacking” of commissions from Advertisers and Publishers on CJ’s Network, and failed to make sufficient disclosures regarding the existence of Non-compliant Software and commission theft, resulting in losses to both advertisers and publishers on the CJ Network.

The proposed settlement will provide a monetary recovery to eligible class members. For class members that currently maintain an account on the CJ Network will receive payment through payments or credits deposited or applied to their CJ accounts; eligible class members that no longer have accounts on the Commission Junction Network will receive a check for an equal amount.

If you are a member of the class, your legal rights are affected by whether you act or do not act. You should review the Settlement Notice as soon as possible as there are several important deadlines that you must meet to take certain actions in connection with this proposed settlement. In particular, the deadline for filing an objection or excluding yourself from the proposed settlement is September 30, 2008. For further information, please refer to the Settlement Notice.

For a copy of the Settlement Notice, click on the link, or visit the case website at www.CJSettlement.com

So apparently there is some kind of lawsuit going on against Commission Junction and anyone who signed up as a publisher with them starting from the date stated above should be involved in this. That is me technically I guess. As many of you may know too, I’m personally not a big fan of that company. Feel free to enlighten me about this if you are someone who has been in the loop. I’ll do some more research later on.




22 Comments to ValueClick and Commission Junction Class Action

  • It isn’t just publishers, its advertisers as well. The settlement is for $1,000,000 and is split into 30% for publishers with 70% set aside for advertisers.

    I’ve been a member of CJ for years and always felt something wasn’t quite right with that place and my advice is opt out of this class action and if you really do have concerns take your own action. Staying with this one will probably reward you with $0.50 at best based on how many are likely to be sharing the kitty.

    Jamie 8/2/2008 3:40 am
  • I got one of these too. I’m wondering if it’s a scam.

    Lynne Hand 8/2/2008 3:56 am
  • You lazy bum… at least read the email…

    It’s about those parasites who steal affiliates commission. Apparently CJ didn’t do enough to stop them (the parasites, not the affiliates). Hence the class action.

    i.am.using.fake.email.address 8/2/2008 3:59 am
  • I got this email, too. I’m researching how much truth is in it. CJ’s website looks just the same as ever…

    frann 8/2/2008 4:56 am
  • We will pay your commission to Commission Junction and it will pay you in accordance with your Publisher’s Agreement with Commission Junction.

    Advertising Network 8/2/2008 7:40 am
  • Thanks for those who replied. So by the looks of it this started back in April 20, 2007 and there is a page at http://www.cjclassaction.com/ where you can read a bit more about it if you wish aside from the site stated in the e-mail.

    Like many too though, I thought there was a chance that this was just some kind of scam/spam e-mail. I guess that kind of puts that thought away.

    Alan Yu 8/2/2008 12:13 pm
  • I’m a new member of cj, since May. Im wondering why I didn’t I get this email? I do, however, feel that I have missed out on some commissions, because I will pay for ads and get no impressions on my destination page, or I get “0” impressions with clicks! Has anyone else had “0” impressions with clicks? Is this something I should be concerned about? Okay, I know I may sound like an idiot, but how were commissions stolen?

    Pam 8/2/2008 4:36 pm
  • Pam,

    The getting 0 impressions with clicks sounds like there is something wrong with the pixel graphic that is normally used for tracking impressions. I know that is usually from publishers who want to modify their affiliate links and don’t bother to add that pixel graphic.

    As to how commissions were stolen, keep in mind I am just guessing. Speaking from my own knowledge though, there are these programs that people install on their computers and without them knowing these programs secretly replace say affiliate and banner codes on your site to something of their choice which your site visitors are oblivious to. Hence, they click on an ad and you get no credit.

    I remember one example way back in the day where people were installing this free application that helps you organize and remember login information for various sites. Seemed innocent enough from a user perspective. What happened was that for sites these people visited the program would replace the banner ad codes to serve ads of their own.

    There was an anarchy about this and various advertising networks pledged that it would not condone people who conducted those types of practices on its network.

    Alan Yu 8/2/2008 5:12 pm
  • Wow, okay. Thanks Alan!!

    Pam 8/3/2008 1:58 pm
  • One thing that frustrates me a lot is this whole Opt-Out business. A lot of businesses these days, assume that you won’t have a problem participating in something.

    When you install certain software, you need to be careful during the setup process because all kinds of things are pre-selected, most of them will violate your privacy and you will have to explicitly Opt-out from these services. Some unethical shopping sites will pre-select certain services/charges, from which you need to opt-out if you don’t want some additional charges on your credit card.

    This one certainly takes the cake. Who the hell said I want to participate in this lawsuit. Commission Junction was so lousy that we pulled out of the program because too much effort went into publishing their products for nothing in return, so we never made a single cent from their affiliate program. If we are not even eligible for a claim, why on earth would we want to participate in this lawsuit.

    They should have automatically excluded inactive accounts that never earned any commission, because what is the use in filing a claim for something you never made. This is just an easy way to force all the paperwork and administration down on the millions of publishers and advertisers and let them do the dirty work for the plaintiffs.

    If we haven’t already wasted enough time on promoting CJ products, now we have to waste our valuable time again (AND TIME IS MONEY) to opt-out from this bloody lawsuit.

    Coenraad de Beer 8/4/2008 5:01 am
  • Alan – you seem to know what this is all about. Also I am a UK citizen. I have not used CJ for at least 3 years Because (1)It was a cumbersome process to place their ads and sometimes they would not accept my sites and (2) I never received anything from them.

    Today (9th September 2008) I have had a posted notice from the Settlement Administrator which reads like the e-mailed notice which I have seemed to have lost.

    I have no idea how this affects me. All I am concerned about is if I am liable in law for misleading anyone or else am I being represented as a defendant and will receive compensation. Can you enlighten me please?

    I would opt out if I knew how to but with the lost e-mail about this affair and also having lost all my CJ registration/log in details I am feeling vulnerable, to say the least. Also I am not in the best of health and am VERY WORRIED & UPSET. What do you suggest I do?

    Peter 9/9/2008 4:49 am
  • Peter,

    It sounds like you were a publisher like myself. In that sense, you can’t be the defendant in this as that is CJ/ValueClick.

    I never received a different e-mail other than the one I posted here. To my knowledge, if you choose to not opt out then you are automatically included as part of the class action against the company.

    Basically, unless you want something possibly more out of it financially then you can opt out and start your own individual case against the company. Nothing really to be worried or concerned about though in my opinion.

    Alan Yu 9/9/2008 2:42 pm
  • Hi recieved a letter like Peters through the post and was wondering what is really going on, and I have not used CJ for many years now and really concerned about this and I do not have much money to pay off on what is going on.

    yiuwah 9/10/2008 11:34 am
  • Sir,
    I have join commission junction few years before, Earn some money Then there is no any information my account is deactivate, then now I resive an letter that tell about the cj settlement is going to be done ,

    In this case I Don’t know what to do, then I got your e-mail id while I browse the net,
    Sir/mam, if you please tell me WHAT IS GOING ON? I need a detail about cj settlement lawsuit,
    Here I want to know where I got my earning back or a part of the cj fund,

    1. What is the need to settle the fund for cj
    2. Where i want to sign the settlement as on the cjsettlement.com
    3. I don’t have enough time to read the hole settlement package
    4. I need some more informations about this before I sign
    5. You may have know what to do on this ,please tell me about it

    viksun 9/13/2008 10:08 am
  • I get this warning by post mail

    So please help me,dont know what to do

    contact me -> lunatic_wit2@yahoo.com

    i am very worried

    Marko 9/15/2008 1:56 am
  • hi all.. i am from india.. i too get notice by post. i joined CJ before much months.. and i didnt used well too… actually i forgot CJ. but now i recieved a post. can anyone tell me what should i do immediately?
    because they had mentioned 30th september 8is the last date. i’m worrying whether i may miss any oppurtunity..

    G.Raghul 9/15/2008 10:10 pm
  • yea
    we all need to fight for our rights
    and sue them all

    Marko 9/16/2008 2:29 am
  • I too got this post in my mail box.

    What to do?

    Vikram 9/19/2008 8:39 pm
  • Hi,
    I got a postcard and have not exluded myself from this. My question is; what does it mean that I am bound by the settlement terms…could there be a bad outcome and I would be reliable for anything…never made any money…well not sure maybe 100 dollars back in 2004 but not sure could have been from google..

    Could you please explain I am a bit worried…

    the deadline for filing an objection or excluding yourself from the proposed settlement is Sept. 30, 2008: if you do not exclude yourself from the class you wll be bound by the settlements termsn

    Andrea 10/1/2008 8:21 am
  • Hey you guys.. I feel you they sucked big time. I recieved a postcard from them last year about being part of the settlement agreement. Was not sure but I know that January 5th 2009 they had the hearing. we will probably get like a buck out of it lol..

    jimmy 3/4/2009 9:49 am
  • I was taken for some large amounts of money.. I chalked it up as a loss many years ago biut it be nice to see it in a check back to me again.

    jimmy 3/4/2009 9:50 am
  • I got my cheque for $1.44 today… woo hoo!

    spamgirl 3/10/2009 12:56 pm

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