I was reading an article by Ane (aka Anne) Howard on the Facebook IPO, and it included a surprising broadside when discussing “But who is really advertising on Facebook?”.
Maybe a clue is Facebook’s large presence at the Affiliate Summit and other events for “affiliate marketers,” often referred to as “spammers” in the online marketing world. These are the people behind the “Punch the Monkey” ads and the flashing banners telling you that you’re the millionth visitor and the winner of a a nebulous prize if you’ll just take a survey and give them your credit card number. The fact that Facebook is courting these advertisers might be the answer to the paradox of growing advertising revenue in the face of brands giving up on it as a viable advertising medium. On the other hand, relying heavily on advertisements revenues from spammers hardly seems to be a viable strategy for a large public company.
I was curious which of the 20 Affiliate Summits Ane Howard had attended to develop this opinion, and I was surprised to see that her name didn’t come up in our database at all.
Has Facebook attended Affiliate Summit in the past? Sure, but a large presence? They’ve never been a main sponsor.
And then there is the part about affiliate marketers often being referred to as spammers?
Well, there are two issues with this assertion:
- While there are some bad eggs, like any industry, it seems awfully careless to label a large group in such a manner. It would be akin to stating that online news reporters are often referred to as yellow journalists.
- The examples mentioned by Ane Howard (“Punch the Monkey” ads, questionable contests) sound like either media buys or pop-ups from spyware/malware. Is there any data that people who engage in these shady practices are also Facebook advertisers? I’ve been advertising on Facebook since they started offering the option, but not for affiliate offers.
Anyhow, I’d like to invite Ane Howard to come to Affiliate Summit East 2012, which is taking place August 12-14 in New York City, so she can see the conference, the attendees, and the content for herself.
There are a number of sessions on the FTC and compliance which could be eye-opening for you.
Thousands of folks from all sides of affiliate marketing will be there, including retailers ranging from Mom & Pops to Fortune 500 brands, and entrepreneurs at all levels.
What do you say, Ane? Contact me and we’ll get a pass set up for you.
Ane Howard has declined.
Weird that she says there are plenty of affiliate marketing conferences in San Francisco, and she has attended them, yet she mentioned Affiliate Summit, which she has not attended, in her article.
That Tweet was later deleted for some reason.
Also, Ane Howard claimed “research was extensively done” on affiliate marketing to form her opinions and claims.
However, when asked to share this research, she just kept Tweeting how affiliates are spammers, and declared that she was being harassed.
I guess the strategy was something like this…
- Write linkbait
- Hope for traffic
- If you get called out, label yourself as a victim
On a funny note, I noticed on Ane Howard’s RushPR site that the previous post was a press release from discountvouchers.co.uk.
And yes, that’s an affiliate site.