Microsoft Cuts Ties With Bing Affiliate

Microsoft is to sever business ties with a publisher for violating its affiliate guidelines after changing a user's browser home page and default search engine to Bing without warning.

The site makemybaby.com, which allows users to decorate a simulated baby, required users to download a browser plug-in to use it. However, when the plug-in was installed, a user's home page and default search engine was switched to Bing without asking their permission.

Advertising Age, which was responsible for breaking the news, reported that the website was the third largest ad-publisher on Facebook.

Microsoft told Search Engine Land that it was aware of the publisher's tactics and was terminating its contract.

“Distribution deals and affiliate programs are an important part of how all search engines introduce their product to customers. That said, we have been made aware of some practices from a specific publisher that are not compliant with the guidelines, best practices and principles put in place by Bing. As a result, the relationship with this publisher will be terminated,” Microsoft said in a statement.