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IAB releases Ethical Merchant Charter aimed at affiliates

IAB releases Ethical Merchant Charter aimed at affiliates

The IAB Affiliate Marketing Council (AMC) has released an Ethical Merchant Charter, to promote greater transparency in the industry and ensure better relationships between publishers and merchants.

The guidelines have been released to assist merchants, with advice on how to best look after and communicate with their affiliate partners, providing clear information on terms and conditions of merchants’ business and programmes. 

The AMC comprises 22 companies ranging from networks, agencies, merchants and publishers, and is dedicated to educating the market about the benefits of affiliate marketing and establishing best practice within this fast-developing discipline. 

Through producing the guidelines the AMC intends to achieve a fairer and more ethical way of working for publishers. 

The guidelines – created and approved by all members of the council - address the issues of: Greater transparency on why sales get deleted;  Deduplication; Guidance on what type of affiliates to work with; What merchants should pay for; and,  Recommended notice periods

The guidelines came into force on August1, 2009, and the AMC aims to review their impact and effectiveness on a quarterly basis, refining where relevant in order to provide merchants with the best guidance possible.  In the next 6 months the council will also be working on best practice guidelines to increase simplicity in the use of rebate catchers.

“The importance of relationships within the affiliate industry is long established, and as we seek to increase professionalism in the industry it is vital to ensure that transparency within these relationships is achievable on both sides,” said head of affiliates at i-level and chair of the IAB AMC, Matt Bailey.

“The release of these guidelines should serve two purposes: firstly to give publishers increased knowledge and confidence when working with merchants; secondly we aim to increase the knowledge of merchants by outlining to them that they need to treat publishers as partners.”

This is the second significant best practice initiative from the AMC this year, who in January launched their best practice guidelines for online voucher codes.

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