Please visit the new LashBack website!
Posted on September 18th, 2013 at 11:36 am by Jon Butler

We’ve completely redesigned the LashBack website to be mobile-friendly, and are still in the housekeeping process for our legacy site. Please bookmark our new Resources page for the latest LashBack news, and follow us on social media for fresh email marketing content.

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LashBack analysts now screen for remotely-hosted images
Posted on September 18th, 2013 at 9:00 am by LashBack

For more information about our latest CAN-SPAM compliance checks, please visit our company blog on the new lashback.com.

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Please visit the new LashBack website!
Posted on August 15th, 2013 at 9:00 am by Jon Butler

We’ve completely redesigned the LashBack website to be mobile-friendly, and are still in the housekeeping process for our legacy site. Please bookmark our new Resources page for the latest LashBack news, and follow us on social media for fresh email marketing content.

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LashBack Honored at the OTA Online Trust Forum
Posted on October 17th, 2012 at 11:02 am by LashBack

LashBack was proud to be recognized at the Online Trust Alliance’s 7th Annual Online Trust Forum, receiving Online Trust Advisory Council honors for leadership in advancing best practices to improve online safety and trust. Companies recognized demonstrated a commitment to enhance consumer protection, multi-stakeholder collaboration and adoption of voluntary codes of conduct and best practices. We would like to congratulate fellow honorees, including DigiCert, Intersections Inc., MarkMonitor, Message Systems, PayPal, Publishers Clearing House, Return Path, Symantec, TrustSphere, AllClear ID, Epsilon, IID, Microsoft, Pitney Bowes, Secunia, and Verisign.

About the OTA:

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) is a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, while promoting innovation and the vitality of the internet.  OTA’s goal is to help educate businesses, policy makers and stakeholders while developing and advancing best practices and tools to enhance the protection of users’ security, privacy and identity.  OTA supports collaborative public-private partnerships, benchmark reporting, meaningful self-regulation and data stewardship. For more information, visit: https://otalliance.org.

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How AffiliateTraction Protects Brands in Email
Posted on September 27th, 2012 at 8:25 pm by LashBack
LashBack has a little something to do with it.

AffiliateTraction, the largest multi-national affiliate marketing agency, has partnered with LashBack to power value-added email compliance. LashBack’s service gives top internet retailers peace of mind and publishers more opportunities by identifying CAN-SPAM and other compliance violations.

AffiliateTraction and LashBack are committed to being on the cutting edge in digital marketing. After extensive testing and integration, AffiliateTraction is pleased to partner with LashBack in offering a service that provides transparency on publisher emails promoting retailers’ products. AffiliateTraction chose LashBack because of its comprehensive results and solid reputation.

AffiliateTraction goes beyond traditional performance marketing agencies to employ leading technologies that foster responsible, sustainable revenue growth for retailers. The objective is to provide clients with the ability to allow affiliates to safely engage in email marketing. LashBack provides their Compliance Monitor service and AffiliateTraction manages the data on behalf of its clients.

Greg Shepard, CEO of AffiliateTraction, stated, “Large internet retailers are wary of permitting affiliate publishers to promote via email which reduces opportunities for both the retailer and the affiliate. Retailers will often “close” the email policy, terminating an entire channel of marketing, to ensure their brand equity is not compromised, but this undermines the channel’s revenue. The solution is not to cut, but to make them safe to engage in.”

LashBack CEO Peter Wilson explained how LashBack is a perfect fit for AffiliateTraction, “LashBack is unique because it provides a ‘closed-loop’ on commercial email messages being sent to millions of consumers each day, including sending practices and header information. By harnessing the power of LashBack’s service, AffiliateTraction is allowing clients to drive new revenue safely with email. Our focus is partnering with industry leaders to ensure that email marketing is done the right way. We are pleased to work with AffiliateTraction as part of their effort to deliver best practices and full-market coverage to their list of top tier clients.”

About AffiliateTraction
AffiliateTraction offers affiliate marketing services including multi-network management, campaign implementation, and affiliate publisher development to increase online exposure and sales for prominent online retailers in the performance marketing channel. The service has recently worked to seamlessly integrate value-add services to further develop a comprehensive solution to affiliate program implementation, growth and management.

About LashBack
LashBack provides full service email compliance solutions in the form of web-based applications to online advertisers, agencies, and email service providers. Harnessing the power of proprietary data relationships, LashBack focuses on brand protection tailored to meet specific advertiser email policies as well as commercial email regulatory compliance.

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The American Marketing Association Includes LashBack in ABC’S of Affiliate Marketing
Posted on September 17th, 2012 at 12:41 am by LashBack

An article appearing in the August issue of the American Marketing Association’s print publication, Marketing News, features sage advice from LashBack CEO, Peter Wilson, as well as a handful of affiliate marketing leaders, including LashBack client, AffiliateTraction. One notable stat included is, “spending on affiliate marketing in the United States is expected to reach $4.1 billion in 2014, up from $1.6 billion in 2007, according to Forrester research.” This growth rate alone indicates that affiliate marketing budget decisions will become more important than ever for top advertisers.

Wilson states, “Try to find partners that have been around for a long time, that have a good reputation. It may not be the fastest way to make money, but it’s the way to make money to build a sustainable business in the space.”  The statement fits LashBack’s mission to help clients build long-term relationships with partners who collaborate to ensure transparency and compliance in their email marketing practices.

Also featured in the Marketing News piece are Acceleration Partners, HigherVisibility, and Paulson Management Group. View the full pdf here.

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Join LashBack at the Online Lenders Alliance Leadership + Innovation Conference
Posted on September 16th, 2012 at 11:55 pm by LashBack

The Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) represents the growing industry of U.S.-based companies offering online consumer short-term loans. This year, LashBack will be exhibiting at the OLA’s fall Leadership + Innovation Conference, which takes place at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel this week, September 19th - 21st. Be sure to stop by our booth (next to the OLA booth) in the hotel rotunda to discuss how LashBack can help protect online lenders from the sometimes unscrupulous lead generation practices of third party affiliates.

A leading provider of email intelligence since 2004, LashBack enables transparency and compliance in email marketing for both regulatory agencies and advertisers, including online lenders and lead generation companies. The OLA recently released new and improved Marketing Best Practices for members.  To find out more about how LashBack can help you enforce these guidelines and discover how your brand is being promoted in commercial email, set a meeting with Tim Kastner, Director of Sales.

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Deceptive Third-Party Marketing Tactics Result in First Ever CFPB Enforcement
Posted on July 31st, 2012 at 9:13 am by LashBack

Capital One Ordered to Pay $140M in Consumer Refunds and $25M in Fines

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), established by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, issued its first enforcement action against Capital One Bank with a consent order requiring the credit card provider to pay $25 million in fines, as well as $140 million in refunds to two million consumers. The CFPB investigation specifically found Capital One’s call-center vendors were engaging in deceptive marketing tactics when selling add-on products and services during the card activation process.

In addition to paying the fines and refunds to consumers, Capital One has agreed to submit a CFPB-approved compliance plan to end deceptive marketing and complete an independent compliance audit. The CFPB also issued a compliance bulletin to put other organizations on notice that the CFPB will not tolerate deceptive marketing practices and institutions will be held responsible for the actions of their third-party vendors.

The significant actions against Capital One should serve as a lesson to all marketers about the importance of monitoring the messages of partner agencies and third-parties working on your behalf. LashBack offers solutions to help prevent consumer deception, allowing companies to enforce marketing compliance policies in step with agencies like the CFPB and FTC.

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LashBack Sponsoring the Online Trust Alliance: Join us in D.C.!
Posted on September 19th, 2011 at 12:16 pm by Cari Birkner

Lashback Announces Sponsorship of 6th Annual Online Trust Forum October 17-19 in Washington, DC.

Conference Explores Solutions for “Realizing the Promise of Trust” Online

St. Louis, MO September 19, 2011 –LashBack, today announced it is a sponsor of The Online Trust Alliance (OTA)’s 6th Annual Online Trust Forum, “Realizing the Promise of Trust”, to be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel, Washington, DC, October 17-19, during National Cyber Security Awareness month. LashBack enables transparency and compliance in email marketing for advertisers, networks, publishers, agencies, esps, and regulators. LashBack services allow companies to monitor their reputation online and gives them insight into how their brand is being used in commercial email. Companies who use LashBack build consumer trust.

“The Online Trust Forum is all about the people and organizations who have stepped up to provide stewardship for today’s online ecosystem,” said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director of the Online Trust Alliance.  “We salute their leadership and support their efforts in mitigating emerging privacy, identity and security threats and enhancing online trust.  Combined these are keys to the vitality of the internet.  We look forward to LashBack’s participation in this year’s Forum.”

“In the interest of helping companies protect their reputation and online brand presence, we are proud supporters of the Online Trust Forum,” said LashBack CEO Brandon Phillips. “Through industry leadership, we hope to build and improve upon the trust consumers have for companies in email and online.”

The only conference dedicated to a 360º perspective of online trust, with the viewpoints of government, business, marketers, and consumers, the 2011 Online Trust Forum provides a unique platform for exploring solutions for protecting consumer trust and online confidence.

Forum attendees will gain valuable insights into ideas and best practices for promoting the vitality of online commerce and consumer trust, hearing multiple perspectives on: enhancing brand reputation, customer loyalty and retention, defending against the onslaught of breaches and hacking incidents, and examining peer-tested strategies and technologies, with proven results for privacy and security.

Additional information

Register for the Online Trust Forum: https://otalliance.org/dc.htmlOnline Trust Leadership Awards: https://otalliance.org/events/2011_Forum/2011Awards.html
Follow the OTA on Twitter: @otalliance

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Marketing to Minors? ‘Do Not Track’ Targets Kids
Posted on May 9th, 2011 at 1:55 pm by Cari Birkner

A new bi-partisan bill was released in the U.S. House that expands well beyond the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Aiming to protect the information of those under eighteen, the draft bill seeks to prevent marketers from gathering and storing info on minors without parental consent, in addition to providing parents with a method of removing personal info that’s ‘already out there’.  It’s been described as a giant eraser button to get rid of data ‘when technologically feasible’.

The bill specifies that personal information collected on minors cannot be used or shared with third parties for “targeted marketing purposes”. In addition, it requires companies that collect the info to disclose to consumers what type of personal info is being collected and how it’s being used and shared.

Another part of the bill proposes a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” which would limit data collection including geolocation targeting.  While there are few who would argue against protecting the privacy of minors, one might respectfully question the potential effectiveness or enforceability of this legislation. Here are a few questions that come to mind:

How will marketers prove the age of online users?

It seems simple enough on the surface.  Most lead forms include a ‘Date of Birth’ field already. In this scenario, advertisers could segment the data out based on birth date. However,  I’d venture to guess the average teen/child can get around a check box or a DOB field if they truly want to register or view content. The only way to prevent this is at the user level or browser level on a PC or mobile device. The onus of responsibility is ultimately with parents and how heavily they monitor and restrict their child’s online behavior.

What happens to the data once it is collected?

When a minor appears to register or sign up for an offer, marketers should theoretically refrain from targeting that data or tracking the end user behavior. However, the bill doesn’t state specifics on how to implement this across partnerships.  Email marketers are required to maintain and share suppression files with partners. Data that comes from minors could be automatically suppressed in a similar way.

Of course, storing and sharing PII and user email addresses leaves room for abuse, unless the data is properly hashed or encrypted. Marketers may be able to securely maintain a universal opt-out file containing the encrypted information of minors and scrub their own lists against it. In addition, LashBack suggests seeding partner lists with underage user profiles to ensure compliance.

Would it be sufficient for marketers to add ‘parental permission’ language to an already lengthy privacy policy, or a check box on the lead form?

Arguably, this is the easiest portion of the legislation from an implementation level, as well as an enforcement perspective. It’s also the least effective in terms of real protection.  There have been movements to write privacy policies and terms of service in plain, simple language that end users will understand.

These movements have yet to work because simplifying language leaves room for legal liability. Case in point: the terms of service for Apple iTunes are 56 pages long in an era where few have the attention span to read past Twitter’s 140 characters. Lawyers might read privacy policies. Users don’t.

Can the data be used for targeting on the prospect’s eighteenth birthday?

If marketers maintain do-not-track lists based on age, theoretically,  information gathered would no longer be protected from targeting once the user is eighteen.  At least with email, addresses don’t expire or change based on age. Records would have to expire from a do-not-track list based on DOB.

Does this thing stand any chance of passing?

The bill is still in the discussion phase, as Congress holds hearings on mobile privacy in the coming weeks. Like many legislative attempts to regulate online activity, ‘Do Not Track’ provokes questions, leaves gray areas when it comes to enforcement, and inspires creativity on the part of marketers.

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