Microsoft Launches Affiliate Program

Microsoft has launched a new affiliate program for paid search ads (Microsoft adCenter) and their security and PC backup service Windows Live OneCare.

There are two ways Affiliates can earn cash.
1. Each time someone signs up for a free trial of Windows Live OneCare.
2. The Microsoft adCenter program – which I can’t find details about – but you can earn cash each time someone you refer from your site signs up for paid search ads.

They are launching Microsoft adCenter with a $50 ad credit for your visitors (Andy ought to sign up Marketing Pilgrim!).

Microsoft will provide the banners to put on your blog or web site. I can’t find figures on their payouts.

Pringles to Air User Generated Ad on Christmas Day

Sometimes you get more than you ask for. That’s the case when Procter & Gamble asked their fans in the UK to come up with a new jingle for their ads. But a man from Scotland named Nils Elders made an entire commercial. Procter & Gamble liked it so much they will air it on prime time on Christmas Day in the UK.

The 40-second ad 25-year-old Elders $600 and three days to make. It features a bunch of dancing, singing Pringles chips dressed in Santa hats. He named the commercial “Jinglin’ Pringlin.”

Elders is a musician and won $4,000 as the winner of the contest. He said the commercial was inspired by South Park.

Pilgrim’s Picks for December 20

Today was a surprise news day–i.e. there was actually some decent news to report on. Here’s what else you need to know:

Google’s DoubleClick Deal Wins FTC Approval

UPDATE: No sooner had I hit “publish,” I get an email from Google confirming the deal has been approved by the FTC. The announcement reads in part…

In its clearance opinion released today, the FTC explicitly rejected any current or potential competition concerns.  Google and DoubleClick are complementary businesses and do not compete with each other.  Google’s current business primarily involves the selling of text-based ads, while DoubleClick’s core business is delivering and reporting on display ads.  DoubleClick does not buy ads, sell ads, or buy or sell advertising space.  Rather, it provides technology to enable advertisers and publishers to deliver ads once they have agreed to terms, and to provide advertisers and publishers statistics relating to those ads.

Google, Yahoo & Microsoft Forfeit Pocket Change in Gambling Settlement

ZDNet is reporting the big three search engines have agreed to settle accusations that they were promoting illegal internet gambling.

The deal with the US Justice Department totals $31.5 million, with the money going to public service announcements about illegal gambling…

Microsoft will pay $4.5m to the US government, $7.5m to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and provide $9m worth of public service advertising…Yahoo’s settlement of $7.5m includes forfeiting $3m to the US government and providing $4.5m worth of online ads for a public service advertising campaign. Google will pay $3m, the department said.

Now, here’s a question for you. How much money do you think Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft made off of illegal gambling ads? I suspect this settlement was as favorable to the search engines as the click fraud one.

Apple Forces Popular Blog to Shut Down

iStock_000000582779XSmallIt’s not my intention to host a series of articles pointing out Apple’s missteps in social media, but the company continues to put its foot in it.

This time, Apple bullied Think Secret–a popular Apple rumor blog–to cease existence. The shut down comes as part of a settlement that at least protects Think Secret’s sources.

Here’s the statement posted on the Think Secret site…

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret’s publisher, said “I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”

Linky Goodness, December 19

Today’s Linky Goodness offers an extra dose of Googly goodness for your holiday enjoyment!