Compliance Thoughts I Had Planned for AM Days


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.

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.

May 1, 2014

Notes from My AM Days Experience

It’s always hard to fully take in everything from a conference. There are so many people to meet, conversations to have, and things to learn, that it can be tough to retain everything. That’s why I always try to jot down some notes at the end of each day—just to keep reminders about what I learned and what happened over the course of the day. Here are some of the key points I remember from the recent Affiliate Management Days in San Francisco.

Mason Smith
Apr 8, 2014

Affiliate Exploits the Oscars Trademark to Drive Sales

The Oscars are fast-approaching and will air this Sunday, March 2nd. Web searches for related terms tend to spike in the days leading up to the show, and this year seems to be no exception. Just check out this Google Trends graph and you can see the uptick starting to form.

Feb 26, 2014

Super Bowl Trademark Abused by Toolbar Sites

This year's Super Bowl broke a record for online streaming. More people than ever chose to watch the game online, with an average of 528,000 devices tuning into Fox's online broadcast each minute.

Feb 6, 2014

Affiliate Found Hijacking Rich Ads in Search

Yahoo made an interesting move a few years ago by introducing branded favicons for certain paid listings. The concept made a lot of sense at the time (and to this day). Not only would the new visual element encourage clicks—it would also add a level of trust for the searcher. Considering the potential for brand confusion with search ads (via tactics like ad hijacking, search arbitrage, and various other forms of trademark abuse), this was a win-win for brands and consumers alike. Brands could make themselves stand out. Consumers could be assured that they were heading to their intended destination.

Jan 28, 2014

Reflecting on the Pinnacle Awards and Future of Affiliate Marketing

2013 brought a number of interesting twists and turns for the affiliate marketing industry. We experienced the abrupt shutdown of the Google Affiliate Network, some tough new questions to answer about disclosure, and even a public denigration of the entire industry as a "scam".

Jan 21, 2014

When Is It Okay for Resellers to Bid on Your Brand?

Outside of the typical affiliate scenarios, there are plenty of other cases where marketing partnerships can run into brand bidding issues. Whether it's hotels and OTAs, product manufacturers and retailers, or brands and franchisees, there's really no perfect answer. Some brands may welcome it as a means of dominating the search results—others might consider a form of brand poaching. Regardless, I figured I'd call attention to a new example of partner bidding that I noticed over the weekend.

Jan 6, 2014

Affiliate Disclosure on Twitter: Still a Work in Progress

Earlier this year, the FTC released an update to its .Com Disclosure Guidelines. The document expanded the applicability of the original guidelines to new marketing channels such as blogs and social media, and has some interesting implications for the affiliate marketing industry. We interviewed Eric Goldman about these implications. And more recently, industry veteran Tricia Meyer wrote a piece in ReveNews where she identified affiliate managers as the party that's primarily responsible for affiliate disclosure.

Dec 17, 2013

Affiliate Hijackers Take Advantage of Cyber Monday

Online merchants were promoting deals in full force earlier this week, leading to a record high for Cyber Monday sales. That uptick should provide many eCommerce companies with a significant holiday boost. But at the same time, the increase in demand carried some questionable (and potentially costly) affiliate behavior with it.

Dec 4, 2013
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