Affiliate Legal Issues: Notes from BrandVerity's Presentation at Affiliate Summit West

Jennie Scholick Jan 20, 2015

My intrepid partner in [educating the world about trademark] crime, Sam Engel, presented at Affiliate Summit West yesterday morning on a panel called “Affiliate Legal Issues: Three Immediate Action Items.” Sharing the stage with him were Gary Kibel, a partner at Davis & Gilbert, LLP, and Gerri-Lyn Becker, President of The California Wine Club. The panel was moderated by Carolyn Kmet, CMO at All Inclusive Marketing.

Sam Engel (middle) with Panelists. PC: Affiliate Summit

While we wait to get the full update from Sam on how the panel went and everything else that happened at ASW (there were a ton of BrandVerity folks there this year!), I wanted to share Sam’s presentation. For frequent readers of our blog, there probably isn’t a ton of new info here, but it’s all presented in lovely, digestible slides.

A few major takeaways:

  • Make sure you know the FTC, FCC, and CFPB regulations for your industry. It is your responsibility to ensure your affiliates follow them.
  • Have a trademark bidding policy and stringently enforce it amongst affiliates and other partners.
  • Have a comprehensive approval process for new affiliates: do not auto-approve!
  • Have a compliance process that you can enforce given manpower and technological solutions.
    • This process should include monitoring known affiliate websites for changes. Affiliate sites change frequently and a site can go from compliant to non-compliant in seconds. Active, frequent, and consistent monitoring of sites for changes is the best way to guard against potential legal issues.
  • Research, Monitor, and Enforce! If you keep those three words in mind, you should be able to avoid regulatory and other legal issues with your affiliates.

Take a look at Sam’s presentation below and please reach out with any questions or comments. Also, if you were at ASW, we’d love to hear any feedback. We’ll be posting a wrap-up post next week, but in the meantime, let us know about your experience! Comment below or contact us at BrandVerity!

Topics: affiliate marketing, Events, Trademark and Law

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