Credit Card Grrl

The 411 on the marketing side of the credit card industry

20060330

Citi update

Sent to a different subaffiliate network:

We were just informed that our partnership with the Citi Bank offers may expire on Friday, March 31, 2006. This unfortunate event was caused by issues completely out of our control. It is with much regret and our duty to let you know that the Citi offers may experience a temporary deactivation beginning at noon on this date for a period of time (which we cannot define at the moment) due to this expiration. Our accounts team is working hard trying to establish a new contract to keep these offers alive and well on our network, but we must advise you that the Citi links may cease to function until we can establish a new contract. All clicks prior to this date that generate an approval will still be honored and paid.

We are anticipating that our accounts team will be able to rectify this situation as quickly as possible. In any event, we are also to advise you that if the links do get deactivated that you must remove all banners, content, and creatives for these offers immediately. Failure to do so may hinder our ability to establish a new contract and/or forfeit of earned commissions. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. The * Team truly apologizes for the enormous inconvenience that this may cause.

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

Discover, Citi changes

Sent to a subaffiliate network:


**Citi**

We are VERY excited to announce that we are getting the Citi program back!

* is authorized beginning 4/1/2006 to promote Citi card products to any publishers within the * network that satisfy the following criteria:

- Publishers have promoted Citi card products through * previously through 5/31/2005
- Publishers have not been blacklisted from the Citi card program by Citi
- Applications and approvals can not be incentive-based

If you meet these requirements, all Citi links will be in your account no later than 4pm CST on Saturday, April 1, 2006. You will need to have access to your account in our new system. All Citi cards will only be available through our new system. Our affiliate services team will be here from 8:30am to 3pm CST on Saturday, April 1 to answer any questions you may have involving the new system.

Please note that the Citi program will be monitored very closely for compliance. Weekly audits will be conducted and affiliates found not in compliance risk being permanently removed from the Citi program.

We will require that you submit a list of all sites where you will be promoting Citi offers for auditing purposes. If any Citi offer is found on a site that was not submitted to us, you will not be compensated for the entire month and you will possibly be removed from the program.

It is very important that we follow all guidelines set forth by Citi and we appreciate your cooperation.

Our starting base tiers will be as follows:

All Consumer Cards except Citi Professional Card
* 1-25 approvals / $35 per approval
* 26-75 approvals / $43 per approval
* 76+ approvals / $50 per approval

Citi Professional Card
* 1-10 approvals / $65 per approval
* 11-25 approvals / $80 per approval
* 26+ approvals / $100 per approval

All Student Cards
* 1-15 / $38 per approval
* 16-35 / $45 per approval
* 36-75 / $56 per approval
* 76+ / $60 per approval

All Business Cards
* $10 per application

Please contact us with any questions.


**Discover**

The Discover Card Program is in the process of changing its policy with regard to paid search campaigns. Discover Card feels it is important to ensure that official Discover Card paid listings appear in the top position for branded keywords, such as Discover Card and Discover.

The following changes should go into effect no later than Friday, April 14, 2006.

In order to do this, the Publisher is not allowed to bid more than
$0.25 for any DFS brand specific keywords which shall include, but are not limited to:

- Discover
- Discover Card
- Discover Financial
- Discovercard
- Discovercard.com
- Discover Credit Card
- Discover Application
- Discover Card Application
- Discover Platinum
- Discover Miles
- Discover Gas
- Discover Gas Card
- Discover Miles Card
- Discover Platinum Card
- Cashback Bonus
- Cashback Credit Card
- Apply for Discover Card
- Discover 2GO
- Discover Brokerage
- Discover Network
- It Pays More to Discover Platinum
- It Pays More to Discover
- It's You Behind the Card
- It Really Does Pay to Discover
- Novus
- There's Always Something More to Discover
- This is our Card
- Tribute Award

In addition, Publishers are not allowed to use "Official Site" in the listing title or description when bidding within any pay-per-click vertical on brand terminology.

We value your partnership and look forward to continued success with the Discover Card Program. As you implement these changes to your search efforts, we would appreciate any feedback you can provide. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with these new requirements

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20060327

HSBC / Orchard Bank cards enter marketplace

From a subaffiliate network on March 2nd:

Dear Valued Affiliate,

Great News - We have just added some new HSBC offers to the network. Here are the new offers;

Orchard Bank Platinum MasterCard®
Orchard Bank Secured MasterCard®
Orchard Bank Silver MasterCard®

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I'm loving the new branding campaign running in the NYC subway system for HSBC. I wonder how HSBC retail banking and Orchard Bank plastic are tied together from a corporate structure perspective. I had no idea that Orchard was owned by HSBC for a long time, and I'm ... Credit Card Grrl for crying out loud.

Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

Discover goes back to pay-per-approval

From a subaffiliate network on March 2nd:

**Discover**

Due to some unexpected issues, Discover will be going back to the original per approval pricing until further notice.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Thank you for your continued support.

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I wish I had the ability to backdate my post on 3/22; that way I'd be able to see just how many days the pay-per-application scheme lasted ... Wonder if they got a lot of gamers or what exactly happened. Interesting stuff.

Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20060322

Discover card pays out on a per-app basis

From a subaffiate network. Discover would have to do this, because they approve, like, no one.


**Discover**

We are very excited to announce that Discover has changed their pay structure to per application pricing! This is an excellent opportunity for all affiliates to increase their earnings with Discover. Discover is currently the only prime card issuer that is paying on a per application basis, so take advantage of this today.

Here is the following pay schedule:

- Discover Gas, Discover Miles, and Discover Platinum will pay out $18 per valid application.

- Discover Clear, Discover Flag, Discover Gold, Discover Sea Life, and Discover Wildlife will pay out $12 per valid application.

- Discover Student Classic, Discover Student Clear, and Discover Student Tropical Beach will pay out $2.65 per valid application.

These payouts are effective throughout March. At the end of the month, our traffic will be evaluated by Discover. Please know that Discover will be closely monitoring the quality of traffic sent over by each affiliate, and no fraudulent activity will be tolerated. We plan to continue the per application pricing after March, however, it is possible that payouts will flucuate depending on the quality of traffic.

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and start pushing Discover today!

If you have any questions, please contact your affiliate services representative.

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

Shell MasterCard out of affiliate marketing

From a subaffiliate network effective March 1st:

Bad News - We were just informed late last night that effective immediately the Shell MasterCard® from Citi® Cards is being suspended. Please remove all banners and links for this offer immediately. At this time, we do not know the reason behind the suspension. Sorry for the inconveniences that this has caused.

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

Reporting accuracy - affiliate programs

Post by Ben Padnos about reporting accuracy

I remember promoting American Express Blue to members of a loyalty point .com. The idea was that AmEx would pay the .com a bounty; we'd give the members a portion of the bounty.

Problem was that sometimes Linkshare would drop IDs. It happens a lot for every issuer with every affiliate program, I am sure, but it is a problem. Ben's idea of a third party monitoring service is a good one -- I like it. I'd sure like to know who the accurate-st ;) providers are; then I'd get all my links through them.

Apparently American Express has had some major tracking issues recently and has had to issue topline bonuses to a lot of their publishers. They aren't the only ones. I'd bet every issuer out there has been in the same boat.

My two cents. What say you?

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20060315

Privacy Policy

Please note that Blogger.com privacy policies and practices trump the details regarding Credit-Card-Grrl's privacy policy, which is detailed as follows:

Internet User Privacy

This site respects privacy of Internet Users and does not collect personally identifying information. The exception to this is with respect to comments initiated by Users.

Collection of Data

This site does not collect identity or contact information from Internet Users to this website, with the exception of optional user-initiated comments. This site may however, collect non-personally identifiable information, for example, browser type, operating system, domain name, time spent on the web site, or referring link. This information may be used for system, website, and process improvements.

This site does not sell or rent personally identifying information. This site does not disclose personally identifying information to anyone that is not authorized to do so. This site uses anonymous user data to create and report the browsing, purchasing and/or lead form completion activities of anonymous users.

This site reserves the right to release information on Internet Users if compelled to do so by proper judicial or governmental authorities. Disclosure shall be limited to only to those we are compelled to disclose to. At present, all information processing occurs in the United States.

Collection of Information by Third-Party Sites

This site contains links to other Internet websites and has no control or authority over the information submitted/collected by these third party website(s). Please refer to the respective Privacy Policy of the individual third party website(s).

Use and Disclosure of Data

Spam

This site does not intentionally send unsolicited e-mail messages that could legitimately be construed as spam.

COPPA

This site complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. This site is not specifically directed to children under 18. If this site has been informed or unintentionally collected or received information from a child under 18, we will immediately delete such information from our databases. This site shall not knowingly distribute any personally identifiable information erroneously collected from children under 18.

Policy Changes

With or without prior notification, we may find it necessary or be legally obligated to update this Privacy Policy from time to time. All changes will be posted at this site. Except as otherwise required by law, modifications to this Privacy Policy will not affect the privacy of data collected by us prior to the effective date of the policy change.

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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

Chase Business cards

On February 13th, the following was announced in a subaffiliate network:

**Chase Business Cards**

Take advantage of this exciting new opportunity and tap into a new source of purchasing power. Introducing two new products from Chase - The Chase Platinum Business Card and The Chase Business Rebate Card. Card members could earn up to 3% cash back for all business purchases and credit lines up to $35,000. In addition, they'll receive all the added benefits of a Chase Credit Card.

The payout for these cards is $80 per approval.

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Is this Chase's first foray into the world of business cards? Does anyone know?

Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

The Cost of Payment Fraud to Web Merchants

As mentioned in SmartBrief:

Data drawn from eMarketer's upcoming online privacy and security report show that Web merchants, not consumers, absorb the cost of online credit card fraud. CyberSource estimated that in 2005, Web merchants in the U.S. and Canada lost $2.8 billion to online payment fraud. While the volume of online fraud is increasing, its percentage of online retail sales is decreasing annually. In 2005 the value of online fraud was 1.6% of total online sales, down from 2.9% in 2002 and 3.6% in 2000. But the real cost to retailers of online payment fraud is higher than the $2.8 billion in 2005 attributed to the cost of stolen goods and associated delivery/fulfillment costs. CyberSource found that the average e-tailer spends 0.5% of annual online revenue on fraud management, with 12% of e-tailers spending as much as 4% or more of Web sales to manage fraud.



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Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20060314

Datran pays $1.1MM to N.Y. for privacy violations

As originally mentioned in SmartBrief:

E-mail Marketer Slapped for Privacy Violations

By Kevin Newcomb | March 13, 2006

E-mail marketer Datran Media has agreed to a $1.1 million settlement with the New York Attorney General's office stemming from charges that Datran bought e-mail lists that it knew to be in breach of the originating sites' privacy policies.

The settlement also includes provisions for Datran to destroy the data in question, and tighten up its policies in dealing with personally identifiable information (PII). Datran will be required under the settlement to appoint a chief privacy officer within 10 days, and independently confirm that all lists it buys going forward are in compliance with the seller's privacy policies.

"With this case, we hope to set a new standard for Internet marketers and consumer research companies. Personal information secured through a promise of confidentiality must always remain confidential," Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney general, said in a statement.

The largest list came from Gratis Internet, which operates several sites, including freeipods.com and freedvds.com. The New York AG is still investigating Gratis, along with other list providers. Gratis could not be reached for comment.

According to Spitzer, Datran cooperated fully with his office’s investigation, and began improving its list purchasing and due diligence practices in April 2005, prior to the commencement of the investigation. "We have always been and remain committed to industry best practices. Therefore, we are pleased to resolve this matter with the attorney general and are gratified that his office worked collegially with us," said Datran spokesperson Mark Naples.

Gratis collects personal information in exchange for the chance to win iPods, DVDs, computer equipment or other prizes by signing up for offers from advertiser partners and referring friends to do the same. According to Spitzer's investigation, the company assured users on several of its sites that it would not "lend, sell or give out for any reason" users' addresses or the information provided by users to outside companies.

Spitzer's office alleges that Datran knew of the policy before purchasing lists containing 7 million e-mail addresses from Gratis, but that Datran bought the lists and used them to send millions of unsolicited e-mails to consumers. Datran contends that it discontinued the practice in the first half of 2005, before receiving an inquiry from the attorney general.

"We take this matter very seriously. Therefore, we believe it was important to confront it head-on and resolve it quickly," Naples said. "We are pleased that this agreement does not put any restrictions on any of Datran's current practices and will not in any way affect our ability to deliver great results for our clients."

Datran will pay $750,000 in penalties, $300,000 to repay any gains made from using the information in question, and $50,000 to repay the AG's office for costs of the investigation.

Spitzer said he hoped the case would help establish more controls on data compiled and sold by consumer research companies and list builders.

"Companies must adhere to known privacy policies and promises. Failing to do so constitutes a clear consumer fraud," he said.

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Correct me if I am wrong, but Gratis acquiries customers on behalf of at least a couple major credit card issuers. If I were an issuer, I'd be pissed that my brand new cardmember's email address was getting hammered like a veal patty by spammers courtesy Gratis AND Datran. Sweet.

Why were the lists up for sale to begin with? Does anyone know if Gratis got in trouble too?

Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20060303

MasterCard uses TV ads to drive viewers to website



From the IAB SmartBrief:

Oscar ads point viewers online

MasterCard is spending $3.4 million to air two spots on the Oscars telecast that ask viewers to go online to a promotional Web site to participate in a contest. Marketers increasingly are adding online channels to their advertising to maximize their return on investment and to measure viewer response. USA TODAY (3/2)

Oscar ads going interactive

By Theresa Howard, USA TODAY

NEW YORK — MasterCard's ad spending for the Oscars telecast: $3.4 million. Nudging consumers to its website to complete two interactive TV commercials: priceless.

In its Oscar ads, MasterCard wants viewers to fill in the blanks for its "Priceless" campaign.

The two commercials will be fill-in-the-blank "Priceless" ads, off-the-wall departures from MasterCard's long-running campaign that names a product and a corresponding price.

In the ads — one set on a sailboat and the other in a pasture — the announcer says "blank" and a dollar amount. In one ad, a man sits at a typewriter in a pasture and the announcer says, "Blank: $9." In the next scene a woman on a motorcycle drives by and the announcer says, "Blank: $60."

The possibilities are endless.

The ads are meant to drive viewers to www.priceless.com, where they can fill in the blanks as part of a contest. Winning words will appear in one finished copy of one of the ads that will be televised later this year.

Ad contests are not new, but in these commercial-zapping times the contest makes the 30-second ad a spur to nudge consumers to more targeted media.

Emerald Nuts has received strong response for its TV ads for a word-game promotion. Consumers write ads to run on its website based on outrageous 10-word phrases with the first letters of each word spelling Emerald Nuts.

"This is the next step in converged media," says Harry Keeshan, director of national broadcast for buying agency PHD. "It's the next step of maximizing the investment you make in broad reach programs and supporting it in other channels."

Advertisers are increasingly taking the leap to new media. Ad tracker TNS Media Intelligence reported Monday that network TV ad spending last year was flat at $22.4 billion but Internet ad spending jumped 13% to $8.3 billion in the same period. Marketers are jumping on the new-media wagon.

"Media today is the coexistence and layering on of different mediums," says Amy Fuller, head of MasterCard marketing. "We consider this a perfect marriage of mediums — a high-profile broad event that quickly grabs the attention of many, many, many affluent viewers that we can harness in a way that's highly interactive."

MasterCard is one of 17 advertisers paying about $1.7 million for a 30-second ad to reach Oscar viewers. ABC says the show garners a high percentage of viewers with household incomes over $100,000, just who MasterCard wants to visit its priceless.com website.

Rival American Express will use a multimedia approach to engage consumers with an Oscar first: a two-minute TV ad starring M. Night Shyamalan, director of The Sixth Sense. He sits in a café where his imagination puts an eerie spin on customers around him.

The ad will then run on the card's mylifemycard.com site and appear all over entertainment-themed websites for Oscar coverage on Monday.

"We are trying to create some new way of communicating that is not the traditional advertising story-telling," says Diego Scotti, vice president, global advertising.

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I actually heard a stand-up comedienne reference this very ad campaign already. Not too bad.

Although I would refer to AmEx as a rival-ish, not necessarily a rival.

Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.

20060302

American Express sponsors E! Everywhere

Taken from the IAB SmartBrief:

Sony, AMEX to sponsor E! Everywhere

Sony and American Express have inked deals to become the exclusive sponsors of E! Everywhere, a multiadvertising platform program that includes cable, broadband and VOD. The E! Everywhere campaign will debut during the channel's "Live from the Red Carpet" Academy Awards pre-show and also will be available to sponsors for airings of "The Simple Life." Adweek (3/2)

E! Signs Sponsors to Oscar Ad Pact

March 02, 2006
By John Consoli/Mediaweek

The buy includes cable, broadband, podcasts and VOD.

NEW YORK E! Networks has signed two exclusive sponsors, Sony and American Express, for its new multi-advertising platform program, E! Everywhere, which it will roll out in conjunction with this Sunday's coverage on E! of the Academy Awards pre-show, Live From the Red Carpet, hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Isaac Mizrahi.

E! Networks did a test run of the cross-platform sale for the Golden Globes red carpet show in January with L'Oreal, but this latest effort signals a plan by E! to begin offering it not only for special event telecasts, but also for its regular programming.

As part of the buy, the advertisers get 30-second spots in the cable telecast, commercial units within E!'s broadband streaming telecast of the show and within the podcast feed, as well as commercial units at the beginning and end of the telecast when it airs as a video-on-demand presentation on Comcast and Cox cable systems.

E! Everywhere will also be offered to advertisers for E!'s airing of The Simple Life. The network will telecast repeats of the original Fox reality show beginning this month, and will premiere new episodes in June.

E! Everywhere is the brainchild of Ted Harbert, president and CEO of E! Networks. "The concept is that everywhere our viewers are, we can reach them with our programming and advertiser messages with one package," said Neil Baker, executive vp, E! Networks and Comcast Network Sales. "This is something we are going to offer all of our advertisers the option of doing going forward."

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Hmm. Is this the first major card issuer that's bought into the podcast media space?

Please note that any links directly to card product offers are provided for informational purposes only. Any descriptions within this post about an offer may not necessarily align with the offer to which these links connect.