The DMA’s Internet Marketing Advisory Board has published a report, “Best Practices for Online Advertising Networks and Affiliate Marketing.”
According to the five point report from the DMA, their members should:
- Obtain assurances than affiliate networks comply with laws and DMA guidelines for ethical business practice
- Perform due diligence on the affiliate networks
- Always utilize a written contract/agreement
- Include specific parameters for ad placement
- Monitor ad placements
All fine points that companies ought to be adhering to already, but I think this misses the target. All of this oversight towards the affiliate networks, but no mention of accountability for the merchants themselves who run the affiliate programs?
There are certainly perils out there when an affiliate program isn’t properly managed. Set strict criteria on affiliates to even be accepted in the affiliate program and actively manage the affiliates. Know who they are and how the traffic is being generated.
Don’t put it all on the network – it’s your brand to protect.
The DMA report is available at http://www.the-dma.org/guidelines/onlineadvertisingandaffiliatenetworkBP.pdf.