One of the most important things advertisers need to understand is that they are responsible for what affiliates say about their products online. The FTC says that as long as there is a material connection, advertisers are liable for what publishers are saying or not saying about their products.
The FTC also says that advertisers need to make a reasonable effort to monitor what publishers are saying about their brands. They also state advertisers should instruct publishers to disclose their material connection to them.
Despite its widespread popularity, the affiliate marketing industry still faces a variety of challenges and pain points, most notably with regard to regulatory compliance and consumer protection laws. With new regulatory laws and amendments to current regulations going into effect as 2023 approaches, affiliate marketers must ensure full compliance to avoid being subject to severe penalties.
A niche is the segment of a larger market defined by its own unique characteristics. It becomes your specialty and the topic people will know you for. Travel blogging would be an affiliate marketing niche, as would pet care or tiny homes.
However, retailers (known as advertisers or merchants) new to the concept may not fully understand or appreciate the nuances of affiliate marketing and how it can benefit their brand. To implement it successfully, the first step is to understand what exactly affiliate marketing is and how advertisers can use it to their advantage.
An affiliate advertiser is someone who owns products or services that are promoted through affiliate marketing. An advertiser is concerned with increasing sales, and to do this they need to attract good quality publishers. This is usually achieved via an affiliate network like Awin, which acts as an intermediary in the first instance (although their role is much more in-depth than just a platform to introduce advertisers to publishers). Awin has a dedicated compliance team that individually reviews each publisher application to the network to ensure the quality and security of the publishers offered to advertisers.
Industry knowledge is an important factor when it comes to success, and networks tend to have their ears to the ground. They are aware of all the latest trends, as well as how to get the best out of your affiliate program. Awin provides each of their advertisers with an account contact to help, support and guide them, giving them the information they need when they need it.
Like any form of marketing, affiliate marketing is a fluid, ever-evolving process. The basic strategies will likely remain the same, but external influences will continue to shape the industry. We recommend users to continue to follow the European Directive and FTC guidelines to ensure compliance and required transparency with affiliate links.
Our Introduction to Affiliate Marketing course gives you a comprehensive overview of the core elements of affiliate marketing from the publisher landscape, tracking and compliance, and regulation, we cover each topic from the ground up. Upon completion of our course you will be awarded a certificate to demonstrate your knowledge.
Within Webgains Introduction to Affiliate Marketing course, you will learn the basics of affiliate marketing. We give you a comprehensive overview of the core elements of affiliate marketing, and what you need to know to launch your own affiliate program.
This module will walk through the basics of affiliate marketing and how the process typically works. We will also delve into terminology you will need to familiarise yourself with and the key players you will work with when launching your affiliate marketing program.
From general marketing terminology to industry specific terms. This topic is a quick and useful resource to familiarise yourself with the terminology you will need to understand when working within affiliate marketing.
Demonstrate your knowledge by receiving your expert certificate. Download the certificate and add it to your CV and LinkedIn, to show you understand affiliate marketing basics. Boost your career opportunities and develop your niche to give you the edge.
Large multinational companies have huge compliance departments that monitor and approve outgoing content, whereas smaller teams need to rely on marketers with lots of knowledge and understanding. In both cases, non-compliant marketing practices can be disastrous for a business.
Whenever you welcome a new team member to your marketing team, ensure you give them a rich onboarding package that includes everything they might need. Your marketing compliance guidelines should be an integral part of that package.
Still, some in the performance marketing space go as far as referring to toolbars as a scourge on the industry, using practices that harm other affiliates and the brands.This debate over the value and practices of toolbars has raged in affiliate marketing for more than a decade.
Rule 206(4)-7 requires each registered adviser to review its policies and procedures annually to determine their adequacy and the effectiveness of their implementation.70 The review should consider any compliance matters that arose during the previous year, any changes in the business activities of the adviser or its affiliates, and any changes in the Advisers Act or applicable regulations that might suggest a need to revise the policies or procedures. For example, an adviser that is acquired by a broker-dealer or by the corporate parent of a broker-dealer should assess whether its policies and procedures are adequate to guard against the conflicts that arise when the adviser uses that broker-dealer to execute client transactions, or invests client assets in funds or other securities distributed or underwritten by the broker-dealer.
Second, the chief compliance officer will report directly to the board of directors. She must annually furnish the board with a written report on the operation of the fund's policies and procedures and those of its service providers.80 The report must address, at a minimum: (i) the operation of the policies and procedures of the fund and each service provider since the last report, (ii) any material changes to the policies and procedures since the last report,81 (iii) any recommendations for material changes to the policies and procedures as a result of the annual review,82 and (iv) any material compliance matters since the date of the last report.83 We have added a definition of the term \"material compliance matter\" to the rule, to clarify that the report should inform the board of those compliance matters about which the fund's board reasonably needs to know in order to oversee fund compliance.84
Rule 38a-1 includes provisions designed to promote the chief compliance officer's independence from fund management while still maintaining her effectiveness. The fund's board of directors must approve the chief compliance officer's designation and compensation, and has the sole power to remove her from her position.97 The chief compliance officer reports directly to the board, and must meet with the independent directors in executive session at least annually.98 The rule also protects the chief compliance officer by prohibiting persons from coercing or fraudulently influencing her in the course of her responsibilities.99 Today, in addition to adopting rule 38a-1, we request comment on these provisions. Are there other measures (or refinements to these provisions) that would further enhance the independence and effectiveness of chief compliance officers under the rule We also request comment whether our definition of the \"material compliance matters\" that must be reported to fund boards by chief compliance officers adequately addresses our concern that fund boards receive compliance information they reasonably need to know in order to oversee fund compliance.100
Requiring funds and investment advisers to design and implement a comprehensive internal compliance program will serve to reduce the risk that fund investors and advisory clients (collectively, \"investors\") will be harmed by violations of the securities laws. With limited exception, commenters agreed that comprehensive written compliance programs are the first line of defense in investor protection. Recent allegations of violations related to market timing and late trading confirm the need for strong compliance programs that do not permit compliance objectives to be subordinated to the business objectives of fund advisers or their affiliated persons.
However, we expect a number of factors will enable small investment advisers to control and minimize these costs. Because small firms typically engage in a limited number and range of transactions and have one or two employees, their internal compliance programs would be markedly less complex than those of their large firm counterparts.105 In addition, we anticipate that these firms will turn to a variety of industry representatives, commentators, and organizations that have developed outlines and model programs that these firms can tailor to fit their own situations.106 If these firms need individualized outside assistance, we expect that the number of independent compliance experts will grow to fill this demand at competitive prices, as has been the case in comparable situations. Estimates of the cost of developing compliance policies and procedures vary greatly depending on the type of help that an investment adviser seeks.107
100 Rule 38a-1(e)(2) defines the term \"material compliance matter\" to mean those compliance matters - including violations of the federal securities laws or compliance policies and procedures by the fund or its service providers, as well as weaknesses in the design or implementation of those policies and procedures - about which the fund's board reasonably needs to know in order to oversee fund compliance. See supra note 84 and accompanying text.