Saturday, January 14, 2006

Classmates.com Affiliate Program - Strange Terms and Conditions

I'm really glad that I'm not an affiliate of Classmates.com. Because if I were an affiliate of their program, I wouldn't be allowed to use the word "classmates" on a page promoting their product.

Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?

But I was going through Commission Junction's available affiliate programs, doing some brainstorming today, and I took a look at their affiliate program. And here are some of the terms and conditions for the Classmates program:
  • Publisher may not appear above Classmates.com on any search listing including the terms "classmate" and "classmates". (My comments: Theoretically, the search engines decide where to rank my site in the listings, so this is a silly condition to have for an affiliate program.)
  • Publisher may not bid on the trademark term Classmates.com. (My comments: I'm okay with this, even though I think it's a little bit silly.)
  • Publisher may not use the dictionary terms "classmate" or "classmates" in advertisements, domains, URL strings, landing pages, or any other content. Publisher may use "high school", "alumni", "schoolmate" or other synonyms. (My comments: This is absurd. Why would anyone be interested in promoting an affiliate program with such a draconian clause? I could understand requiring that they not allow a trademarked term to the left of the tld, but anywhere in the search strings or content? That's crazy.)

Luckily, I'm not an affiliate of their company. So I can use the phrase classmates anywhere in my URL string, landing page, and other content any time I want.

6 Comments:

At 9:04 AM , Blogger The Empress said...

I think they do that so that Classmates.com remains the top choice if someone punched in "classmates" into a search engine...they don't want the competition - but they also would be shooting themselves in the foot - because how do you promote something like that with so many restrictions.

Yuck.

 
At 9:52 AM , Blogger zawadi70 said...

Affiliates Are working harder than anyone online today lol.. I'm still new at it all and I have learned alot just reading blogs and expirementing on my own. The biggest problem I have is other people actually seeing my webpages lol. So I need to focus on that and also the best way to get traffic is just being unique with an Idea, so there u can cut out most competition....
Good Luck to you !

 
At 12:52 PM , Blogger James Omdahl said...

That has got to be one of the strangest affiliate restrictions I have ever seen. That is like an insurance affiliate program telling its affiliates they can't use the word "insurance" when promoting the company.

Very strange stuff. Great find!

 
At 1:22 PM , Blogger Fred said...

classmates.com is bit of a scam anyway like eharmony.com. Check out all the complaints against this company at ripoffreport.com and the BBB!

 
At 4:48 PM , Blogger Rhonda said...

I checked with them - it's because "classmates.com" and "classmates" are their trademarks. they can't (or have affiliates) use them generically or risk losing them as trademarkable terms.

 
At 6:49 PM , Blogger Chip said...

"Classmates" is a generic English word. It would be equally ridiculous for "Hotels.com" to forbid their affiliates from using the word "hotels" in the titles of their pages, or for "Poker.com" to forbid their affiliates from using "poker" in their titles.

 

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