Jennie Scholick

Recent Posts

Bitly/Viglink Partnership Raises FTC Concerns

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that here at BrandVerity, we’ve been thinking a lot lately about regulations and disclosures--particularly with regard to the FTC and its take on affiliate marketing. Today we’re happy to have a post by our own Mason Smith about a new, somewhat concerning development, in this field: Bitly’s announcement that they are testing a new partnership with VigLink. This news was a hot topic of conversation at AM Days a few weeks ago and we thought it would be of particular interest to our readers. Mason, take it away!

The recent announcement that Bitly is testing a partnership with VigLink presents interesting questions for companies with affiliate programs. For those who haven't heard, Bitly is testing out a partnership with Viglink that transforms their shortened links into Viglink affiliate links. In other words, if someone shortens a link to an ecommerce site using Bitly, that shortened link is now an affiliate link. Any clicks on that Bitly link will be routed and monetized through Viglink’s platform.

Jennie Scholick
May 7, 2015

Major Changes to Bing-Yahoo Search Agreement

On April 16th, Bing and Yahoo announced a change to their longstanding search partnership. Search Engine Land posted an immediate follow-up to the announcement with useful details and analysis, and followed up with an update last week that provided more information.

Jennie Scholick
Apr 28, 2015

Bidding on Fear: The SuperFish Vulnerability and Paid Search

As you probably know by now, here at BrandVerity, we don’t have a lot of patience for malware and adware, particularly when advertisers bundle it with free versions of popular software. We were thus quite pleased when Google recently announced some changes to how they treat download sites in Paid Search.

But if we’re already lacking in patience for the download sites who target average web users, we have even less for sites that attempt to take advantage of already vulnerable users.

Jennie Scholick
Apr 21, 2015

Affiliate Ethics: Beware of this New Adware Platform

A lot of the time, detecting potential bad actors in the affiliate world can be hard: these guys are smart, and it’s in their best interest to hide (and hide well) from brands, affiliate managers, and honest affiliates.

But sometimes they come right to you.

We’ve been hearing recently that someone had been aggressively marketing an adware platform to numerous people in the affiliate industry--including, ironically, a lot of folks who work on the front lines of affiliate compliance and who have little patience for adware.

Jennie Scholick
Apr 14, 2015

FTC Updates from March 2015

March was a big month in FTC developments! We give our quick take on some of those most relevant to our readers.

Jennie Scholick
Apr 7, 2015

Are Your Pay-Per-Call Affiliates Opening You Up to Regulatory Risk? We Talk to the Experts at Fraud Posse

A few months ago, as part of our Lead Gen Series, we published a post about pay-per-call sites and the questions they can raise about where exactly those calls are going. In that post, we didn’t delve into the possible FTC and FCC violations that these kinds of ads can give rise to, so we’re going to do that today as part of our FTC Compliance Series!

Jennie Scholick
Mar 31, 2015

Google To Update Policy Regarding Software Download Ads

One of the major takeaways from both editions of BrandVerity’s Branded Keywords Report has been that Download & Toolbar sites, which bundle free versions of software with other products, such as toolbars, malware, or adware, are a major problem for software technology companies. In fact, in our study covering Q4 2014, nine of the top 10 advertisers on branded technology terms were Download sites.

Jennie Scholick
Mar 24, 2015

FTC’s “Operation Full Disclosure” and ROSCA Enforcement Efforts Gaining Momentum

We’re thrilled to be featuring the first guest post in our FTC Compliance series, written by attorney Richard B. Newman. Richard has been a great source for us at BrandVerity as we’ve developed our knowledge regarding regulatory issues, as well as a noted leader in the field, working on the Performance Marketing Association’s Blogging and New Media Disclosures Guide and contributing frequently to publications including mThink, OfferVault and LeadsCon.

Jennie Scholick
Mar 17, 2015

FTC and FCC Sources, Resources, and Information

FTC Compliance is not a new topic for the BrandVerity blog--in fact, our first post after announcing our launch touched on FTC issues! And we’ve added a fair bit more content since 2009. In 2013, Sam Engel explored .Com Disclosures with the help of law professor Eric Goldman and looked at how well affiliates on Twitter were complying with those standards. We also recently took a look at e-cigarette companies and the potential for the FTC to enact further regulation in that space.

Jennie Scholick
Mar 10, 2015

WSJ Article on Fashion Blogs Raises Questions About FTC Compliance

Sometimes the stars align and topics you’re already thinking about suddenly become major news items. Last week’s news cycle was was all about affiliate marketing, starting with a Wall Street Journal article about how style bloggers monetize their blogs, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, and culminating in Pinterest’s announcement that it would be banning affiliate links from its site.

Jennie Scholick
Feb 18, 2015
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