ADOTAS – As the media was lost in the hoopla surrounding the launch of Google Offers, fraud hound and former Adotas publisher Pace Lattin discovered via Alexa that discount site LivingSocial actually jumped in front of chief rival Groupon this month in terms of daily traffic.
In particular, there was a huge spike as LivingSocial offered a $20 Amazon discount card for half price. LivingSocial has been getting a lot attention since a $175 million cash injection by Amazon.
But Lattin did a little more digging and was surprised to find that 7% of LivingSocial’s traffic came from… Groupon? Its biggest competitor? OK, that’s a little weird, but maybe thrifty consumers were jumping from one discount site to the next, looking for the best deal of the day. However, Lattin smells the use of adware:
“I confirmed with several affiliate networks that run [LivingSocial CPA campaigns] and they told me that some of their biggest affiliates indeed are using contextual adware to promote LivingSocial, including TrafficVance, an opt-in adware system. Whether or not you agree with adware, is one question –- but the legality of popping a competitive site has been found in the courts to be an issue.”
Oooh, do we have a brewing legal showdown between Goliath (Groupon) and David (LivingSocial)? Stay tuned…