With access to a near-infinite number of platforms and partners, and an ever evolving technology and regulatory landscape, a brand's need for a holistic compliance approach is paramount, something that ASDA is fully aware of.
Specifically when it comes to Google Shopping Ads, the tech giant faced multi-billion dollar fines by the EU Commission for breaching antitrust and anti-competitive laws back in 2017 - which opened doors to a new type of advertising partnership: Comparison Shopping Services (CSS). Google adopted the CSS partner solution, which allows third parties to place shopping ads that compete directly with Google Shopping on SERP space.
For CSS partners and brand marketers alike, these changes in the competitive landscape brought forth a new form of partnership creating benefits like:
- Discounts of up to 20% on CPC
- Shopping campaign setup
- Campaign optimization services
ASDA recognises the opportunity that CSS partners bring, and when the leading British supermarket relaunched their affiliate program in 2022, they decided to partner with CSSs to drive additional traffic and sales for both their grocery and clothing brands.
However, with any massive opportunity that appears overnight, bad actors and fraudulent behavior were quick on the scene. Running ads on branded and protected keywords and searches, and violating advertisers’ terms and conditions, is a quick way for CSS partners to cannibalize and steal sales from brands and earn illicit commissions.
Anticipating the associated risks, ASDA put clear Terms and Conditions in place and turned to BrandVerity to enforce those and insulate themselves from the fraudulent behavior. BrandVerity’s Shopping Ads Monitoring Tool alerts Performics, ASDA’s agency, when CSS partners run ads that infringe the affiliate program’s rules. This allows the agency and client to take swift action against negligent parties; thus avoiding the payouts of unnecessary commissions and giving Asda the confidence to grow their affiliate program in a compliant and safe manner.
As the capabilities of CSS partners grow, so do their malicious counterparts. It’s critical to ensure your programs are being run responsibly, not only to protect your brand but to protect your bottom line. If you’re curious about how to protect your programs from fraud, we’re here to help. Reach out for a compliance audit of your affiliate program today by visiting us here!