Regulatory Compliance - You can’t afford not to care
Why should Compliance matter when working with a new publisher?
Should you care if the affiliates in your network are compliant with marketing regulations? The answer is yes. In the past few years, a number of affiliate marketers and affiliate networks have been accused of using deceptive online marketing practices. As a result, officials at both federal and state levels are forcefully trying to enforce compliance regulations.There are a few ways to ensure that you are being compliant and not dealing with any networks tha may cause you some trouble:
- Ensure that you have a Terms and Agreement or Terms of Service document in place, which states your expectations to your affiliates from the moment they sign up. This document should outline upfront the types of promotions that you will allow and the types that may immediately terminate your business together. You can even get some help from an experienced Regulatory Compliance attorney if you are not sure whether or not you have stated everything you need to state. Once you have this document ready, be sure to enforce it to all new affiliates consistently and regularly.
- Compliance issues may be constantly changing as we always have new laws, etc. This is okay, but be sure to stay on top of any changes that occur by keeping yourself educated. Keep track of the outcome of some legal cases, and see if there is anything that you can implement for yourself as a result. It might hurt a bit now, but it’s better than hurting a lot later when you’re undergoing a full-blown legal investigation!
- If you have a feeling that one of your affiliates may not be compliant, or you’re sensing some illegal activity, don’t hesitate to check it out and do some investigating. Some Advertisers might ignore this “instinct” but it’s better that you find out what’s going on, rather than the feds. This way you can do your part and stop any illegal/suspicious activity while you can. Keeping a record of these things will help you out also. Try taking some screen-shots, documenting info with time stamps, etc. This way you are prepared, should a federal investigation ever occur.
Don’t forget that it’s better to be proactive than reactive. When it comes to compliance, you can’t afford not to care.