I don’t ever want to give the impression that everything is rosy in affiliate marketing land. One of the biggest networks, Commission Junction (or CJ for short), is often reported by users to be a less-than-credible organization, a disappointing fact considering it is one of the largest affiliate networks.
Why do so many people think there’s a Commission Junction scam? In this post I’ll talk about some of the history of the company and what to believe (or not).
The Commission Junction Lawsuit
First the bad news. There have been multiple class action lawsuits accusing commission junction of shaving affiliate earnings. They were accused of intentionally incorrectly tracking affiliate links and claiming reduced purchases, thereby paying affiliates less than they truly earned.
Some affiliates claimed CJ systematically stole as much as 60% of their earnings.
Here’s the thing: it’s hard for anyone to ever know exactly what happened. If you take a step back, it’s easy for affiliates to claim that sending high traffic but low conversion rates means that CJ was skimping off the top, while CJ provides data to the contrary.
At the end of the day, the commission junction lawsuit was settled out of court, with $1 million in damages distributed to publishers and affiliates, and agreements to improve tracking and analytics system on their site.
Commission Junction is Accredited by the BBB
Here’s the thing: The CJ lawsuits are old.
2008 old. Since then Commission Junction has tried hard to revamp it’s image, ousting their CEO and getting accredited by the Better Business Bureau. The BBB accreditation requires every company to “include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.”
It’s been a long haul for them to turn around, but since 2008 CJ has worked steadily to improve it’s services, monitoring, and payment oversight. But, they still have image problems, so the recently re-branded.
Commission Junction Rebrands as Conversant Inc
As of February 2014, all ValueClick companies have been pulled together under the Conversant Inc name. CJ, specifically, is now CJ Affiliate by Conservant. Really, this is more a branding step than corporate redesign, since ValueClick has owned Commission Junction for quite some time.
If you’ve been using Commission Junction already, you don’t have to do anything to update your site for the change, as all platforms and contracts have been carried over to the new brand.
I hope that helps clear up some of the rumors floating around out there about commision junction scams and the old commission junction lawsuits. Going forward, I think they’re a reasonable company to deal with and have worked hard to overcome their past missteps.