Some fairly large news today for any affiliate marketers who leverage MaxBounty's network for their ad campaigns; I received an email earlier from MaxBounty Inc. CEO, JP Sauve, which states their involvement in a lawsuit filed by Facebook. To quote:
"It has come to our attention that Facebook has named MaxBounty in a lawsuit. The complaint alleges that certain MaxBounty affiliates have caused Facebook users to "spam" their friends, use Facebook trademarks, and post deceptive offers.
We take these claims seriously. As you know, MaxBounty does not control the content of its affiliates' websites, the style of affiliate campaigns, or where affiliate web pages are hosted. MaxBounty merely acts as a traffic broker and statistical tracking system between affiliates and advertisers. MaxBounty has not "spammed" anyone on Facebook.
Facebook's allegations in the complaint are inaccurate. Regardless, we have every intention of cooperating with Facebook, to the extent possible, to ensure that all applicable laws and Facebook rules and are complied with. MaxBounty has a reputation of not allowing spam or deceptive advertising practices by its affiliates on social websites. In the past, we have removed affiliates from our network who had engaged in such unacceptable campaigns.
We expect this matter will be resolved promptly, amicably, and without any disruption to MaxBounty's business for advertisers or affiliates."
After doing some quick investigation, I located some specifics on the lawsuit which was filed on October 19, 2010 by Facebook and it appears to be worded quite a bit more seriously than Mr. Sauve's treatise:
"Facebook's lawsuit against MaxBounty, Inc. a Canadian internet advertising company, accusing it of CAN-SPAM Act violations, computer fraud, fraud, trademark dilution, breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, and false designation of origin"
So long as you aren't running any campaigns that fall outside of MaxBounty's rules or general ethical boundaries, you should be fine as a MaxBounty affiliate. Likewise, it appears MaxBounty has drawn their line in the sand as to what they are not held liable for in relation to the campaigns their affiliates ran which resulted in the lawsuit, so it will be interesting to see how this one pans out.
In the world of Internet marketing, advertising on Facebook is the hottest ticket in town right now. This lawsuit makes it blatantly clear that Facebook plans on taking a stand against those looking to advertise to their 500+ million user base in unethical/spammy ways. Even if MaxBounty cannot be held accountable for the actions of their affiliates, such a lawsuit will undoubtedly make them -- and all other affiliate networks -- triple-check their legal stances.
See the Lawsuit: Facebook vs. MaxBounty, Inc.