Search Engine Strategies Chicago Conference panel “The Oprah Winfrey Litigation: What Affiliate Marketers MUST Know“
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Search Engine Strategies Chicago Conference panel “The Oprah Winfrey Litigation: What Affiliate Marketers MUST Know“

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I am thrilled to be joining the Search Engine Strategies Chicago Conference panel “The Oprah Winfrey Litigation: What Affiliate Marketers MUST Know“ Wednesday, December 9th from 2:30pm-3:45pm at ...

I am thrilled to be joining the Search Engine Strategies Chicago Conference panel “The Oprah Winfrey Litigation: What Affiliate Marketers MUST Know“ Wednesday, December 9th from 2:30pm-3:45pm at the Chicago Hilton. The panel is led by a fellow affiliate marketing executive and thought leader Kris Jones. Kris is the President of the PepperJam Affiliate Network – which was just acquired by GSI Commerce. The panel promises to touch on a very hot and controversial topic, and certainly one that is on the forefont of many of our MediaTrust initiatives – like the launch of our compliance center and anti-fraud technology.

Notice that the panel description does slant towards the favor of the merchant and places most of the responsibility on the affiliate’s shoulders. This is a position that I will be countering as we have seen merchants equally participating in using the same tactics on thier landing pages. Affiliate networks are also responsible in making sure both the affiliate publisher and advertiser are compliant. We have experienced affiliates asking how they can make sure the merchant on the other side is compliant as well as the advertisers. Our position is that we are all in this together and need to collaborate to proactively get ahead of these issues and help set the regulation frame work . Rather than waiting in the grey area for regulation to to be dictated to our industry from regulators who dont understand online marketing and disrupt our industry.

I am very pleased to see a well-rounded panel and good affiliate industry representation at the SES show. I hope to get a chance to connect with everyone at the show. Here is more info on the panel:

The Oprah Winfrey Litigation: What Affiliate Marketers MUST Know
In August, Oprah Winfrey’s production company brought a lawsuit against over fifty Internet marketers and their affiliates alleging numerous intellectual property rights violations against the marketers and the affiliates. Because many of the merchants used affiliate networks, these merchants were being sued regarding actions by affiliates that the merchants did not know or pay. Because many of the affiliates disappeared the moment that they were sued and because many merchant/network contracts preclude indemnification, the merchants may be liable for significant damages.

Using the context of the Oprah case, the panelists on this session will discuss whether the merchant/affiliate network model needs to be changed and how the risk can be mitigated. While the industry is unlikely to ever be risk-free, it is possible to manage risk by:

* Understanding how techniques like behavioral and contextual targeting affect consumers, affiliates and merchants
* Understanding the legal and regulatory environment
* Understating risks involved with prospective marketing partners
* Using and maintaining proper contracts that allocate risk and provide appropriate indemnifications, and
* Keeping informed about the changes in technology, marketing practices and the regulatory environment.


Attendees will learn how to identify these issues and develop policies and procedures to keep informed about the current technology, marketing strategies and regulatory compliance. The ultimate goal of this knowledge is to help insulate merchants from liability and protect their brands and reputation.

Moderator:

Kristopher Jones, President & CEO, Pepperjam

Speakers:
Mark Rosenberg, Of Counsel, Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.
David Adler, Partner, Adler Law Group
Grant Crowell, Senior Media Analyst, ReelSEO.com
Peter Bordes, Founder CEO and Chairman of the Board, MediaTrust

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Search Engine Strategies Chicago Conference panel “The Oprah Winfrey Litigation: What Affiliate Marketers MUST Know“ Search Engine Strategies Chicago Conference panel “The Oprah Winfrey Litigation: What Affiliate Marketers MUST Know“ Presentation Transcript

  • The Oprah Winfrey Litigation: What Affiliate Marketers Must Know SES Chicago 12/9/09 Peter Bordes, CEO, MediaTrust
  • Ours is the Network Perspective...
  • The Issue: Environmental Factors
    • Affiliate Performance Marketing is the least understood segment of the online marketing industry
    • With the migration from CPM to CPC to CPL and CPA, the popularity of performance marketing has accelerated the industry segments growth.
    • The GLOBAL affiliate universe is exploding as our world becomes digitally flatter. Accelerated by the economy & better tools and technology
    Traffic Creation Lead Generation Online Sale Click Form Fill Transaction Marketing Activity Offering Cost Per Click, (CPC) Cost Per Lead (CPL) Cost Per Sale or Cost Per Action (CPS, CPA) Brand Awareness Impression Cost Per Thousand (CPM) Banner Ads Video Ads Text Ads email Search Ads Contextual Ads Social Media Call Center
  • To accommodate our newfound popularity, we need to overcome our legacy
    • The industry has a legacy of being “black-boxed” -- therefore has little in terms of standardization, best practices,  and technological innovation.
    • Publishers and advertisers in the space are exploiting the industry’s lack of standards, best practices and regulation.
      • Publisher Fraud : improper testimonials, fraud rings, lead “stuffing”
      • Advertiser Fraud : Consumer abuse, improper display of T&Cs, credit card abuse, data misuse
    The Issue: History
    • We need to evolve: The industry as a whole needs to be more proactive VS. reactive in establishing standards and regulation:
      • Performance Marketing Association (PMA)
      • Privately driven standardization
    • Advertisers and publishers are both asking: "How do I know the other side is compliant?"
    • Its up to the networks to provide a trusted environment where business can be conducted without risk
    The Issue: Where the industry is going
    • We believe the network shoulder the responsibility of taking the lead on:
      • Creating strong partnerships between publishers and advertisers
      • Enforcing compliance standards from FTC and state attorneys general
      • Being transparent with advertisers, publishers & industry
    • With our partners we focus on quality vs. quantity and increasing consumer lifetime value. Dynamic pricing that rewards quality
    • Built in-house technology to monitor fraud & compliance
    • Created real-time transparency reporting by drilling to publisher sub ID level with creative screen shots
    • We have created our own self-enforced vetting standards:
      • "trusted criteria"for advertisers & publishers 
      • Accordingly, we have removed 1000+ publishers that did not meet our criteria
    What MediaTrust is doing to improve our network’s accountability
    • We have created and open-to-all industry compliance center with compliance policies and information
    • Contributed financial and human resources to form the first association for performance marketing industry (PMA)
    • Established thought-leadership via blogging, podcasting and openly discussing issues facing the industry
    • PMA was built to:
      • Form the Industry framework and standards
      • Help to lawmakers understand our industry
    What MediaTrust is doing to improve Industry accountability