Azoogleads To Disable Accounts For Use of free, zero cost, no charge, no fee words or any synonym of those words

by Jeremy Schoemaker on August 25, 2006 · 41 comments

Taking a page out of Microsofts book Azoogleads has given publishers less than 24 hours notice to change all graphic banners (which they provided), PPC keywords, and all promotions to not use free, zero cost, no charge, no fee words and ALL SYNONYMS of those words in your campaigns.

Also like the Microsoft alert last month I’ve received tons of emails from publishers asking me what is going on…

I am still here at the Pepperplex in PA until tomorrow. Everyone I have talked to is just baffled by the reasoning behind this to send out this message on a friday afternoon and expect everyone to start to redesign all their sites and changing all their campaigns.

I hope they will redirect the campaigns and not actually withhold funds or send them to blank pages.

Is this legal? Can they enforce this? Sure – Read your agreement when you signed up. As for enforcement… Well according to this if you want to shut down your competitor you could just create an AdWords ad tomorrow at 2pm EST with the words free, zero cost, no charge, no fee words and point to their affiliate id and azoogle will be shutting them down…. supposedly.

From the Azoogleads Website-

08/25/2006 – URGENT: Mobile NEWS Anyone using search engines to promote ANY Ringtone Offer, be aware that effective TOMORROW 2pm EST, all text ads shall not be allowed to include the words: free, zero cost, no charge, no fee and all synonyms. The only accepted promotions are 10 bonus tones, 10 complimentary tones. At 2PM EST tomorrow, tests of all main search engines with the keywords free ringtones, free wallpapers, free SMS, free tones, etc will be conducted. If you feel you can’t edit the text ads by that deadline, stop the campaign.Offer 1885

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{ 41 comments }

1 Caydel

What sparked this? I can see that it is for mobile offers only, thankfully. Were they threatened legally? They will lose a lot of money over this…

2 michael webster

Although I am not an adsense publisher, as a lawyer I would guess that azoogleads is worried about deceptive advertising, Rule 5 of the FTC Act, and the consequences of not quite so free ringtones.

3 Andy H

Azoogle seems to get their share of love by being “affiliate friendly”, this seems out of character…

Was there a relevant piece of legislation and/or court decision today I wonder?

4 capitalistpig

They’ve updated the deadline to TODAY!

Anyone using search engines to promote ANY Ringtone Offer, be aware that effective TODAY EOD 12AM EST.

I’ve already changed my links away from azoogle just because it’s much easier to change a link than to change a campaign(s).

5 Jason Golod

The “AzoogleAds Compliance Bot 0.1 [1885]” started crawling one of my hosts at 12pm PST today

6 ToddW

This is crazy and I’m sure something AzoogleAds DOES NOT want either. They are doing it to cover their ass and are going to loose out just like the publishers will.

7 khiguy

The email talks about DadaMobile, but the entry on their website talks abot ALL ringtone offers. Are these restrictions for Dada only or do they apply to all, including Thumbplay etc.

8 PK

I just noticed..on their offers they added a red star / “9.99/monthly club” text on upper right corner….. I’m working through fixing all my ads now, will probably take hours…unreal.

9 RingtoneDingaLing

Ridiculous – do we take notice of the email (dada only), or all the offers (website)!?

Does this only apply to Azoogle?

For such a masssive change like this they could try to actually carry it out competently!

10 Thomas

I heard on Wicked Forum that this was the result of a carrier forced policy on Dada.

11 Mark

It was originally just Dada and was supposed to be effective at 2pm EST tomorrow… now it is supposedly all ringtone offers as apparently AZ is taking the most restrictive terms of any of their ringtone offers and applying it to all.

It is also now supposedly effective at midnight EST tonight. However, the note I got from my affiliate manager over there states that they are already checking ads and breaking links right now ‘even as I write this’, but their story over there changes so much I have no real idea who to believe.

So far I have seen ZERO movement in people’s ads to reflect this. Are we all just sitting waiting and watching each other to see who is gonna budge first? This is gonna be a harsh weekend.

Not impressed at all… there is too much money riding on this to be doing things this haphazardly.

Anybody know of a good alternative to AZ for ringtones?

12 Mike Seiler

I guess I should cancel my “100% Free Ringtones — Please don’t read the fine print!” ads? ;-)

Am I blind or am I just looking past where ever it says anything about changing banners? I just see the part about text in search engine ads.

Since the banners are linked from there, I’d think they’d just replace them so nothing would need to be changed on websites.

13 Fryman

No where on the Azoogle site do they say that they will disable your account. Where did you get this from??

14 peter

The funny part of it are things like these…copied 10 seconds ago from googles searchresults

Ringtones
Top Ringtones on Your Cell.
Download Tones Instantly For Free
us.dadamobile.com

15 h20

When the going gets tough, the tough get going..
The rules has changed. I’m still gonna win!

16 Mike Seiler

Also, maybe I’m missing this as well, but I don’t even see where it says that you can’t still use free, no charge, etc… in your search keywords.

I see where it says they’ll be searching those keywords, to inspect the ads — but nothing saying you can’t use the keywords… except for in the ads themselves.

Anyway, I still think it’s odd that it’s posted as an offer update, specifies ALL mobile ads… and yet the “more info” link just takes you to DaDa Mobile offer #1885, which doesn’t really contain more info.

Did you guys get an email about it? I didn’t–and if I didn’t come here, I still wouldn’t know about it. Good thing I was tuned in to the Shoemoney News Network. ;-)

17 peter

@h20 but that`s not the point =)
It?`s just that azoogle does give their pubs only 24 hrs to change things, big cheques are not the problem, if you write free or not, ppl still sign up. My only fear is that my ctr will be lower since the companies themselfes advertise still with free, no charge just like the affiliates that doen`t use azoogle. but whatever, ringtones are just the beginning =)

Shoemoney 18 revenue

in the email I got from Jai it said that I would be suspended. I am not sure they published this information on the site but they also threatined to keep the money I made for the month!!

Its such bullsh1t

Shoemoney 19 b2

shizoe-

I think its cool that your not afraid to speak your mind even if its a hand that feeds you. Many other affiliate people are to scared to take something like this public

20 bjskittles

umm what does this have to do with adsense ? are you just looking for comment backlink love or you just dumb

21 wickedfire forums rule

Guys obviously you guys have never looked up the reputation for azoogleads. They are on every blacklist there is for shady stuff. Adware/Spyware/Spam you name it. Last I check they were top 5 worst on spamhaus.

22 Sammy Lends

actually, azoogle was one of the first ad networks to ban adware, and as far as I see, are not included on spamhaus. i applaud them for cleaning up the ringtone space, and taking that first step. just wish they would hvae given us more time to make site and ppc changes.

23 Rob

Azoogle is neither on spamhaus nor are they only blacklists. They have the tightest policy against adware and spyware. Get your facts straight before posting garbage.

24 dillsmack

hahahahaha

25 Avantrosa

This is common with many ad and affiliate networks. It’s not always due to the practices of the actually company, but affiliates who abuse the network. Good networks screen for this kind of activity and remove the affiliates.

Shoemoney 26 bluesnews

Here are the facts that I just verified:

Azoogleads affiliates is still listed in speakeasy and covad dns as a null route. (azjmp.com domain is blacklisted) originally reported here

Azoogleads founder Alex is no longer listed as one of the top spammers in spamhaus (so they have been good)

Azoogleads dumped all the spyware and adware programs with xy7 and the other providers as far as I know

27 Randy

Speaking as a consumer, you sorry bastards should have never used this scam tactic to begin with, you know these ringtones aren’t free. YOUR ALL SCAMMERS..

28 John K

It’s likely that Azoogle wants to minimize lawsuits if they are planning to go public.

They are cleaning up their offer list to get rid of anything that looks like spam / adware offers. The “free” type language in ringtone ads has probably already led to lawsuits.

29 ShoeMoney

wait wait wait what do you mean the free ringtone clubs are not free ?!?!?

Next you will tell me this 1-900 number is not free either ?!

What about this FREE IPOD offer ?!??

SAY IT ISNT SO!!!!!!!!!!!

30 peter

@shoe rofl !

31 Mike

Do you mean these two emails saying I won $10M in a lottery i didn’t play are not true too?

32 klingerrr

My account has been shutdown multiple times for these words before the anouncement. Have I been getting screwed by Azoogle?
I tried them because Shoe recommended.. I haven’t used their services in weeks. I actually only used them a few times and decided that they suck. They should not be aloud to take you offline without giving you a little notice. I lost a good amount of money because of the way that they operate. All Azoogle had to do is designate the words that you cannot use on the affiliate pages and there would have never been a problem.

Oh, and this is the first time I have ever had a problem with an affiliate company.

33 Randy

Finally, after all this time .. I got Shoemoney himself to notice me .. :-)

I guess I need to go take down these free ringtone offers on my black hat scraper site .. dam!!

34 h20

Azoogle gave us more than 24 hrs notice.

The following was posted on the azoogleads main page more than 2 weeks ago:

———————————————
08/08/2006 – New Dada Compliance!
Important: Anyone hosting a ringtone landing page or jump page and directing traffic to Dadamobile, must remove any no-charge, zero-cost, free, complimentary, etc language. Only “Bonus-Tones” are allowed. Please contact your account manager for more information.
———————————————

But they should have sent out emails also.

35 TheBusinessMan

Well, PrimaryAds sent me the same email today. I don’t know what’s going on.

36 azooglesucks

Azoogle seems to have many issues themselves. The backend is all screwed up and they can never seem to get the payments right. Sometimes payments are off by just a few dollars and other time off my thousands of dollars.

How they are handling the ringtone issue is a reflection of how they run their company. If you happen to just get back from vacation and realized you just lost several thousand dollars due to the fact they put a hold on your account you would be pissed too. In fact I wouldn’t be surpised if several publishers leave Azoogle after all of this.

We have already moved several accounts back to CJ. It seems like some of the best offers from Azoogle are slowly disappearing anyway.

37 sammy lends

Wow this is getting exciting! Flycell and Thumbplay just notified me to STOP using FREE in their ad copies on google and yahoo immediately. Looks like Azoogle must have had some advance notice of this last week. maybe they know someone in the MMA or a carrier?

38 Luke AdValiant

If you’re looking for a quick fix, give PlayPhone a try at AdValiant.

No restrictions on those keywords.

39 azooglescrewedme

I’ve been a publisher with Azoogle for over a year. When I first started the service was great and the campaigns rocked! Now, the service has dropped significantly and money keeps on missing from my account (ringtone campaigns). I’ve spoke with my rep about it a couple of times but she is clueless about what is happening. I have officially moved all of my traffic to another network and I doubt I’ll ever go back to Azoogle.

40 azooglescrewedme

I’ve been a publisher with Azoogle for over a year. When I first started the service was great and the campaigns rocked! Now, the service has dropped significantly and money keeps on missing from my account (ringtones). I’ve spoke with my rep about it a couple of times but she is clueless about what is happening. I have officially moved all of my traffic to another network and I doubt I’ll ever go back to Azoogle.

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