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

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.

Jennie Scholick
Jan 20, 2015

Reseller Questions (Part 5): What Can Happen to your Brand when Resellers Work with Affiliates?

Our post on GoPro and Greentoe began to discuss the potential impact of affiliate marketing on partner bidding. Today’s blog is going to look at an apparel brand, Converse, and the ways that affiliates of its partner retailers can play a role in partner bidding. Again, everything in this post is going to be entirely “legal” as far as a search engine is concerned; our question is whether this kind of marketing might be harmful for a brand and, if so, what the brand can do about it.

Jennie Scholick
Sep 23, 2014

Reseller Questions (Part 4): Where is Your Brand Being Sold?

For many brands, the primary, even sole, concern when it comes to working with a reseller is whether they drive sales effectively. We think, however, that brands should pay almost equal attention to the experience a customer has at a partner website. While working with retailers can be advantageous for a brand, the very real downside is that you have little control over what kind of experience your consumer might have once they reach your partner’s site. The range of negative experiences a consumer might have is vast--from misleading copy to poor customer service or slow delivery times--and these negative feelings may end up reflecting back on you and your brand, rather than on the retailer. Should this happen, the positives about working with a reseller are largely undercut.

Jennie Scholick
Sep 16, 2014

Reseller Questions (Part 3): What Exactly are your Partners Selling?

For many brands, sales through retail partners vastly outnumber their direct sales, making partner bidding an essential part of a marketing and sales plan. But is there a point at which that kind of symbiotic relationship turns toward the negative? This post will walk through what positive partner bidding might look like for a brand like this, using Villeroy & Boch, a brand that manufactures fine china, as an example. It will also give a couple of examples of when a brand might want to step in and curtail its partners’ search advertising.

Jennie Scholick
Sep 9, 2014

DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket & Paid Search: Should Partners Be Bidding?

To say that Seattle loves their football would be an understatement: the Seahawks are basically a religion around here. And, while it pains my San Francisco-born-and-bred heart, it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement about football season—and about the Seahawks (just don’t tell my dad!).

Jennie Scholick
Sep 3, 2014

Reseller Questions (Part 2): What are the Dangers of Partner Bidding?

The issue at the core of partner bidding is the lack of control that brands have to enforce rules and regulations regarding how resellers use their brand terms. This blog post will look at what harmful partner bidding most often looks like and begin to explain the options a brand has to protect against it. Future posts will go into more depth about industry specific types of problematic partner bidding and the steps that a brand can take to minimize the impact.

Jennie Scholick
Sep 2, 2014

Reseller Questions (Part 1): When is it OK for Resellers to Bid On Your Terms?

When it comes to brands that that both sell their own products and work through retail partners, issues surrounding brand bidding can be complex and confusing. While we have written about these issues before, both in our Report on Hotels, OTAs, and Paid Search and in a blog post we published in January, the fact of the matter is that there is no single answer or absolute best practice. On the one hand, resellers bidding on a brand’s terms allow that company’s products to dominate the search results and increase the chance of a sale. On the other hand, partner bidding may cut into profits and potentially harm your customers’ experience with your brand. Direct sales may be lost, customers could have negative experiences on your resellers’ sites, and resellers may even make false promises in their advertising.

Jennie Scholick
Aug 26, 2014

When People Search for Customer Service, Brands Suffer

Ginny Marvin recently posted a fascinating article over on Search Engine Land. Her piece focuses on the issues that arise when users search for customer support on Google and Bing. In particular, it deals with searches where people are looking for customer support from specific brands.

sam.engel
Aug 7, 2014

Compliance Thoughts I Had Planned for AM Days

AM-Days-Logo

I recently had the misfortune of missing out on AM Days London. I was originally preparing to speak on a panel entitled "Crossing the Pond: Growing Affiliate Programs in Europe vs. U.S.", but ran into a comedy of errors at the airport (weather, mechanical issues, customer service breakdowns) that ultimately prevented me from going.

sam.engel
May 23, 2014

Software Bundlers Target Firefox—Is This Trademark Abuse?

Earlier this week, Mozilla launched the latest version of Firefox. The news got plenty of people (including me) excited about the updated look, feel and features of version 29.

sam.engel
May 1, 2014
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