Commission Junction Stands Out From Search Crowd at Ad:tech

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CHICAGO -- Walking the exhibit hall at recent Ad:tech conferences, one is almost taken aback to see a company not offering search engine marketing.

Well, say hello to Commission Junction. The Ad:tech veteran and dot-com survivor is an affiliate marketing company now owned by online media and technology services firm ValueClick Inc.

Elizabeth Cholawsky, vice president of marketing and product development at Commission Junction, was fronting for her firm at Ad:tech Chicago. This is the Santa Barbara, CA, company's fourth year at an Ad:tech show.

So what kind of town was Chicago this year?

"There is still a regionalism even though everything is on the Internet," she said. "A lot of our business is built on relationships, and we want to get out here and meet clients and prospects who are based in the Midwestern area and who want to come here."

For instance, she had a dinner last night with her contacts at direct marketer Hammacher Schlemmer. And then there are the usual calls to make or clients to meet with during the two-day event.

Many publishers stopped by the Commission Junction booth to inquire about the company's offerings. They learn quickly that its clients include eBay,, Citibank, Countrywide and NetZero. was announced July 6 as the latest client.

To some, Cholawsky may have to explain what affiliate marketing is: an advertiser's contract with a publisher or affiliate to drive a sale or lead to the advertiser. The advertiser pays the publisher only when the sale or lead is confirmed.

"One thing it offers is the complete range of online marketing methods," she said. "And it's all on a pay-per-performance system. There's banner ads, there's e-mails, there's search advertising, loyalty sites, coupon sites. So any way that an advertiser can go online and drive sales or leads, those methods are within affiliate marketing."

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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