ValueClick Behavioral Marketing and Commission Junction LMI

Categories: Internet Marketing
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Published on: June 11, 2006

ABestWeb started commenting on Beth Kirsch Post “CJ’s Link Change an Indicator of an Integrated ValueClick Behavioral Marketing Network?” at ReveNews and credited me for “fleshing it out”.

It was pointed out that “Kellie aka Ms.B” talked about this prior my blog post at this thread at ABW.

To give credits to the right person, I have to give it to Wayne Porter who interview with the VC Exec at iMedia Connection on 5/30. Everything fell into place after I read it.

I had the general feeling, that the Initiative is about tracking of additional data right from the beginning. That’s why did I call my rather sarcastic post on 5/26 “Are you ready for CJ Analytics?”.

I knew that something was missing at that point. The CJ Podcast hardened this feeling and when I read the interview on 5/30 did finally everything make sense.

I collected more information and did some more specific research before I posted my very long post on 6/5. I had more notes with more to cover, but it was already long enough. I posted some as comment at Beth’s post at ReveNews.

Further Research
I did some more research after it struck me on 5/30. ValueClick moves into an area DoubleClick has been before in 2000 and got the federal government involved.

The Federal Trade Commission initiated an investigation of DoubleClick after a suit was filed in California alleging violations of the State Constitution. See the paper from July 2000 published at

The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) was mentioned and their “self regulating” activities and the NAI principles.

Check the NAI Members! Look who else is on the list: Hotbar, 180solutions, WhenU This raised some concerns with me, when it comes to the quality of the NAI principles and regulations.It seems that I am not alone, the Paper commented on the NAI principles (regarding opt-in):

“It is also largely unclear what “robust” notice would mean for Internet users, especially important since it will be provided when personal data is to be linked with anonymous data. According to the NAI Principles”


“For notice to be robust, the consumer must be afforded clear and conspicuous notice about the scope of the Non-PII that would be made personally identifiable and how the Non-PII will be used as a result of the merger.”

ValueClick bought CJ now FastClick. The concerns stated in 2000 sound quite “fresh” again today. DoubleClick’s activities back then are somewhat similar to VC’s today. The individual activities seemed to be harmless, but someone connected the dots and filed the suit that made the FTC jump in.

I almost submit this form to alert Junk Busters about what I believe to be going on.

I decided to wait until the LMI is live 6/23. If I see the new CJ Links updating the FastClick Cookie, I will go and fill out the form. Why?

The collection of Non-PII will turn to Collection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). All it takes is for the Advertiser to disclose some customer information for the order # tracked by CJ already. Not to CJ of course, that would be a clear issue, transparent to everybody but to ValueClick Media as part of a Advertising Campaign.

Display Advertising is not my specialty, but I believe that Advertisers send Information to VC Media today already. ValueClick has tools for data crunching aimed at improving targeting and conversion or said in single and simple word: profit.

I have to learn more about VC Services, especially the new behavioral product launched this April. Jeff Molander blogged about this at

I am not exactly a privacy advocate. It just happened that multiple things got my attention which were all related to this.

It started with Problems that Google Analytics got in Germany. The Product violates German Privacy Laws making it virtually illegal for German Webmasters to use. The Leading German Computer Magazine “C’t” covered this in detail. It Explained the technology in detail and it’s conflicts with German Laws.

Then CJ came along with their LMI which will create a lot of work for me as publisher. I wanted to know “why” it is necessary to spend so much time (I do not have) on something that made no sense to me. All reasons provided by CJ raised even more questions and raised my suspicion of a “hidden Agenda”.

I honestly hope to be proven wrong. May it be because I got it all figured wrong in the first place or because ValueClick reevaluated the problem and decides not to proceed with it.

1 Comment
  1. As it seem today, I was proven wrong and as I stated in the post, I am happy to be wrong. I will keep watching it, because you never know. Cheers, Carsten

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