ValueClick Develops New Tool for Better Affiliate Linking

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ValueClick Inc.'s affiliate marketer Commission Junction today released its Web Services offering, enabling advertising and publishing clients as well as third parties to develop their own applications in the Commission Junction Marketplace.

The new service at http://webservices.cj.com contrasts earlier functionality that required log in to an account manager or a time consuming data-feed download. The launch puts complete customization control in the hands of the client and allows for real-time data processing.

"One thing I'm continually amazed with is the unique business models of our clients," said Frank Gerstenberger, director of product management at Commission Junction, Westlake Village, CA. "At least once a week I go, 'Wow.' This gives clients a set of tools to really innovate and tailor the system to their needs."

Advertisers can build custom platforms for publishers to access product catalog data feeds and brand their affiliate program sign-up and login areas.

"This will be giving the advertiser the ability to create a greater link to their affiliates within their own Web site," Mr. Gerstenberger said.

Publishers can process real time product information for visitors and perform product searches based on keyword, UPC, manufacturer, model number, advertiser, SKU and more. Sample applications, online forum and client support will all be available at the service's Web site.

Client Snapfish, a HP photo software service, has been awaiting the release of Commission Junction's Web Services according to Jason Weiser, partner and marketing manager at Snapfish, San Francisco. The speed and ability to customize were cited among the benefits to the new offering.

"We continue to try and differentiate our product and better support campaign to the growing number of different market segments," Mr. Gerstenberger said. "I think Web Services does both these things."

The beta version of Web Services ran for about 9 months before the official launch today. The client feedback from beta resulted in changes like providing a set of standards for ad creative, including an open directory of advertisers and publishers in the network, and additional advertiser functionality.

"The bad news is we've raised the bar for ourselves," said Mr. Gerstenberger. "The good news we're giving the client a whole set of new possibilities."

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