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Old 03-04-2007, 08:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down handmark.com ad ploy on yahoo.com

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OK,

it's official I am hugely disappointed in handmark.com!

First let me say right off the bat, yes, we are a competitor. I do hope that, despite this fact, you will see that my reason for disappointment has merit.

Here's the thing:

I went to yahoo.com today and did a search for "Berry Pix" as I am accustomed to doing to see what's new.

Imagine my surprise when the search results page yielded a sponsored ad entitled "Berry Pix" which, when clicked, whisked you away to handmark.com!

See a screen capture of the Yahoo website search results here:



On the landing page there is no mention of Berry Pix whatsoever, but instead our competitors' software titles. I would have expected to see a "if you meant Berry Pix from colabnet.com, please click here as a minimum professional courtesy" despite the obvious ploy.

I am all for freedom of expression, competition, and so on, but I think entitling their ad "Berry Pix" - the actual name of a competing product, crosses some moral line and if nothing else misdirects other yahoo users searching for Berry Pix which to me is a little dubious.

Let me close by saying that I am a great admirer of Handmark.com applications and their business in general. This is why I am so disappointed.

If there is anything positive to take from this, perhaps I should take this disappointing act as a compliment for Berry Pix

Regards,
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ok, well I'm just a few days old here, but this is some thing that I can understand must be disappointing.

Btw, did u report it to Yahoo? If you guys are the owner of the software then using it your trademark in a commercial ad infringes on ur rights. Hopefully. Maybe you could just report the ad, and its possible Yahoo pulls it down or asks them to modify it.

my 20 cents!
J.
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Joecelyn, i don't believe there is anything wrong "legally" with what Handmark has done, they simply have purchased yahoo adwords with "berry pix" as the search key. I agree very much with the owner of Berry Pix, it doesn't seem right or moral or ethical. If yahoo policies do not allow an advertiser to use trademarked names or such in ads from a company that does own the trademark, then he has a legitimate complaint and should proceed.
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocelyn
Ok, well I'm just a few days old here, but this is some thing that I can understand must be disappointing.

Btw, did u report it to Yahoo? If you guys are the owner of the software then using it your trademark in a commercial ad infringes on ur rights. Hopefully. Maybe you could just report the ad, and its possible Yahoo pulls it down or asks them to modify it.

my 20 cents!
J.
Thanks,
For your kind words. We are the owners of Berry Pix and we have complained to Yahoo! But have not heard anything back as yet.

I am hoping that Handmark.com will reconsider this type of advertising. If they are willing to engage in this of activity how could I, or anyone else trust them as a consumer or a business partner etc?


Thanks again J.
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Old 03-04-2007, 03:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSanders
Joecelyn, i don't believe there is anything wrong "legally" with what Handmark has done, they simply have purchased yahoo adwords with "berry pix" as the search key. I agree very much with the owner of Berry Pix, it doesn't seem right or moral or ethical. If yahoo policies do not allow an advertiser to use trademarked names or such in ads from a company that does own the trademark, then he has a legitimate complaint and should proceed.
Hi JSanders,

Thanks... I just want to be clear - they have done more than just use Berry Pix as the search key, they have used "Berry Pix" in their ad title. Therefore, a person searching for Berry Pix, will see a hit with the exact title "Berry Pix". This is what the real problem is. I don't care if they want to gain hits on the keyword "Berry Pix" as long as their ads do not contain the name "Berry Pix"; I do think that it is wrong to use our brand in their ads as if it is their own.

To me this is an obvious attempt to draw clicks their way through using the Berry Pix name. I also believe that doing this is also disrespectful to the yahoo users as well due to the ad title saying one thing and the click target being something else.

Hope I have been more clear this time
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berry Pix
OK,

it's official I am hugely disappointed in handmark.com!

First let me say right off the bat, yes, we are a competitor. I do hope that, despite this fact, you will see that my reason for disappointment has merit.

Here's the thing:

I went to yahoo.com today and did a search for "Berry Pix" as I am accustomed to doing to see what's new.

Imagine my surprise when the search results page yielded a sponsored ad entitled "Berry Pix" which, when clicked, whisked you away to handmark.com!

See a screen capture of the Yahoo website search results here:

http://www.colabnet.com/images/yahoo...ix_search4.png

On the landing page there is no mention of Berry Pix whatsoever, but instead our competitors' software titles. I would have expected to see a "if you meant Berry Pix from colabnet.com, please click here as a minimum professional courtesy" despite the obvious ploy.

I am all for freedom of expression, competition, and so on, but I think entitling their ad "Berry Pix" - the actual name of a competing product, crosses some moral line and if nothing else misdirects other yahoo users searching for Berry Pix which to me is a little dubious.

Let me close by saying that I am a great admirer of Handmark.com applications and their business in general. This is why I am so disappointed.

If there is anything positive to take from this, perhaps I should take this disappointing act as a compliment for Berry Pix

Regards,

I am not really sure how i feel about this topic. I know that in business and the clients I deal with who have an internet presence, they buy "ad words" for example, lets say you sell a ringtone... you can buy for a price "cell Phone" and be the first ad link on yahoo, google whatever...

ok so that seems normal... but companies can basically buy any word or sentence that is not specifically copyrighted. For example, companies can by someone's name.

So lets say you hate that girl from american idol the one who is plastered all over teh web.... you can buy her name and everytime someone searches for her, they will see the ad and be "directed" to their site.

these tactics imho are borderline evil.... but that is biz...
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berry Pix
they have done more than just use Berry Pix as the search key, they have used "Berry Pix" in their ad title. Therefore, a person searching for Berry Pix, will see a hit with the exact title "Berry Pix".
Yea, I did not understand that... and it is not right to advertise your product by name, obviously to draw potential customers away.

On the other hand, have you ever thought about letting them distribute it for you? Sounds like a good opportunity to make some lemonade here...
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Unhappy RE: these tactics imho are borderline evil.... but that is biz...

Quote:
Originally Posted by krad
...
these tactics imho are borderline evil.... but that is biz...
I do agree with you that's biz, but if companies like handmark.com are allowed to do this type of thing with impunity and without public complaint, then I think that's wrong also which is why I felt it necessary to warn others of handmark.com's recent actions.

It is also one thing to misuse the Berry Pix brand, it is quite another thing to mislead the many Yahoo! customers out there through misleading ad text.

Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berry Pix
I do agree with you that's biz, but if companies like handmark.com are allowed to do this type of thing with impunity and without public complaint, then I think that's wrong also which is why I felt it necessary to warn others of handmark.com's recent actions.

It is also one thing to misuse the Berry Pix brand, it is quite another thing to mislead the many Yahoo! customers out there through misleading ad text.

Thanks.
I am not arguing with you at all. It sucks i understand. You spend many many hours of your life to create something and someone goes and uses your name to defer others to a different product.

You might want to contact a lawyer maybe there is some laws protecting you from this.

Like i said, not only can they buy product names... they can buy your name!

pure evil... not sure how these people sleep at night.
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Old 03-05-2007, 02:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krad
I am not arguing with you at all. It sucks i understand. You spend many many hours of your life to create something and someone goes and uses your name to defer others to a different product ...
pure evil... not sure how these people sleep at night.
Thanks krad, I really appreciate your comments. I noticed that they are also doing the same thing to other brands such as Ascendo Photos.

I think Ascendo may have a distribution agreement with handmark.com, but when you click on the "Ascendo Photos" ad, you again get whisked off to handmark.com's page for SplashPhoto.

Even if it is true that Ascendo has such a distribution agreement in place, I doubt very much that they would appreciate users of Yahoo! clicking on the brand "Ascendo Photos" in an ad and being mis-directed into SplashPhoto via handmark.com

I have great respect for both SplashData and Ascendo and hate to see them as well as ColabNet be affected by handmark.com's ad ploy.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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BerryPix, how about this - you guys could get together with Ascendo and shoot an email each to handmark asking them to take down the ads. If there are two of you, its quite likely there will be more of them out there. You just may have to do a search by major product names and contact each. Obviously, not everyone will be willing to write to Handmark, but those who see 'reason' will. Maybe that will make handmark see some logic!
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I find this rather curious, since there is a company called CollabNet, which was created three years before colabnet.com. They also registered the proper spelling of the domain name first.

I think in order to take the moral high ground on something like this, you need to make sure you're not guilty of the same actions.

www dot collabnet.com
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wink RE: handmark.com ad ploy on yahoo.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by skawt
I find this rather curious, since there is a company called CollabNet, which was created three years before colabnet.com. They also registered the proper spelling of the domain name first.

I think in order to take the moral high ground on something like this, you need to make sure you're not guilty of the same actions.

www dot collabnet.com

We most certainly have not done anything of the sort and are not guilty of this type of action in any way whatsoever.

It is sad that we have similar domain names - we have had a colabnet style domain since 1998 in various forms such as www.colabnet.nf.ca which can be verified by Google. So, yes, we actually picked the colabnet spelling over collabnet initially and continue to do so. So it's not like we went out with the intention you are suggesting.

I find your source of facts rather curious. ColabNet, that's us, was incorporated in 1998, whereas CollabNet, the company you are referring to was formed in 1999.

So while your argument has no factual basis, I do appreciate very much the fact that you took the time to express your opinion on this thread.

Regards,

A good researcher always cites his factual sources so that others may check the validity of his/her claim.

Sources:

ColabNet (that's us), was formed in 1998

CollabNet (the company you refer to) was formed in 1999, a year later.
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Last edited by Berry Pix : 03-06-2007 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Actually, the current company was officially incorporated in 1999. The domain existed prior to that. November 27, 1996, to be exact, which is when the domain was registered. Archive.org lets you see the history of a website:

tinyurl.com/32669e

From what I can tell, the current incarnation of CollabNet acquired the domain after the original company allowed the domain ownership to lapse, not to mention dissolving their corporation. The new company seems to have launched their website in early 2000.

The only reason I bring this up is because the full name of your company is Collaborative Network Technologies, Inc. It occurred to me that you may have originally tried to register collabnet.com, and could not because another company already had it. I apologize for any confusion. I did, however, get my facts straight.

Registrant:
Collab.Net, Inc.
8000 Marina Boulevard, Suite 600
Brisbane, CA 94005-1885
US

Domain Name: COLLABNET.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Collab.Net [email address]
Collab.Net
8000 MARINA BLVD
BRISBANE, CA 94005-1858
US
650-228-2500 fax: 650-228-2501


Record expires on 26-Nov-2009.
Record created on 27-Nov-1996.
Database last updated on 6-Mar-2007 07:16:25 EST.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skawt
Actually, the current company was officially incorporated in 1999. The domain existed prior to that. November 27, 1996, to be exact, which is when the domain was registered. Archive.org lets you see the history of a website:

tinyurl.com/32669e

From what I can tell, the current incarnation of CollabNet acquired the domain after the original company allowed the domain ownership to lapse, not to mention dissolving their corporation. The new company seems to have launched their website in early 2000.

The only reason I bring this up is because the full name of your company is Collaborative Network Technologies, Inc. It occurred to me that you may have originally tried to register collabnet.com, and could not because another company already had it. I apologize for any confusion. I did, however, get my facts straight.
...
.
Hi skawt,

Thanks for clearing that up. OK, your facts about domains you have right, however legal incorporation of our company, and hence "the name" was done by our company in 1998 which is still a year ahead of CollabNet.

Thanks for the tinyurl link, that's a neat historical site.

I guess this sub-thread of discussion just proves the domain incorporation and legal incorporation are different and you can't use one to determine the other.

Again, thanks for your time and interest in this thread.

Regards,
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Last edited by Berry Pix : 03-06-2007 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 03-06-2007, 02:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berry Pix
Hi skawt,

Thanks for clearing that up. OK, your facts about domains you have right, however legal incorporation of our company, and hence "the name" was done by our company in 1998 which is still a year ahead of CollabNet.
Agreed. The original company appears to have closed shop - possibly even before your company was incorporated. So there's no overlap or conflict at all. Please accept my apology on that.

As for the original topic of this thread, I think it's pretty slimy for them to use your app name to get more clickthroughs. However, searches for "berry pix" on yahoo and google no longer show handmark links. Since I have AdBlock in firefox, I don't see any targeted ads that they might be using. Also, manually typing in the link you showed below goes to a page that no longer exists on Handmark.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:48 AM   #17 (permalink)
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This is really bad.
I guess some people don't have enough brains to think their own marketing tactics.
Or you can try clicking their ads a lot
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:04 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adwiv
This is really bad.
I guess some people don't have enough brains to think their own marketing tactics.
Or you can try clicking their ads a lot
Thanks adwiv!

Haha. I thought of that, but then I'd sink to handmark.com's level which is not really a neighbourhood I'd like to play in or be associated with.
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default RE: handmark.com continues to mis-use "Berry Pix" in their Yahoo! ads

Quote:
Originally Posted by skawt
Agreed. The original company appears to have closed shop - possibly even before your company was incorporated. So there's no overlap or conflict at all. Please accept my apology on that.

As for the original topic of this thread, I think it's pretty slimy for them to use your app name to get more clickthroughs... see original...
Hi skawt,

Thanks for sticking with this discussion thread, probably long after it started to lose interest to you. I do appreciate that.

I am still getting ads entitled "Berry Pix" from handmark.com when I do the search on Yahoo! for "Berry Pix" so they continue with the misleading use of "Berry Pix" in their ad titles.

Thanks again for your input!
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Smile RE: handmark.com STOPS mis-use of "Berry Pix" in their Yahoo! ads

Hi BBF friends,

I wanted to demonstrate that I am as quick to point out the good as the bad. Handmark.com appears to have stopped running ads entitled "Berry Pix" on Yahoo! which means I again "feel the love" for handmark.com. Hopefully the decision to cut these ads was an internal handmark.com decision and was not forced into effect by Yahoo! after I lodged my initial complaint with them.

I have had tremendous respect for handmark.com in the past and I pray that they will continue to live up to my high expectations of great products and professionalism.

I very much hope, and feel that it is true in my heart, that this ad ploy was purely a marketing problem and does not represent the views of the handmark.com management and staff.

I am also very appreciative of BBF for providing the essential forum services that enables discussions like these to take place. Thanks BBF!

Regards,
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