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Running a Network: Business, Legal & Practical


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Networks are on the front lines of positive, negative, profitable, and dangerous issues in the affiliate world. Are they the digital hall monitors of affiliate marketing?

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Running a Network: Business, Legal & Practical

  1. 1. Affiliate Summit West 2010 Running a Network: Business, Legal & Practical Gary Kibel Partner, Davis & Gilbert LLP Mary Beth Padian Global Affiliate Manager, Loylogic, Inc. Adam Weiss Vice President - Network Development, LinkShare Corporation
  2. 2. Affiliate Summit West 2010 Running a Network: Business, Legal & Practical Mary Beth Padian Global Affiliate Manager, Loylogic, Inc.
  3. 3. CASE STUDY – PUBLISHER LOYLOGIC <ul><li>The Company: </li></ul><ul><li>Loylogic is the leading global provider of points ‘earn’ and ‘burn’ solutions to loyalty programs. We help loyalty programs increase member engagement by combining loyalty innovation with state-of-the-art technology and the fastest-growing global merchant network. </li></ul>
  4. 4. CASE STUDY – PUBLISHER LOYLOGIC <ul><li>The Goal: </li></ul><ul><li>To build and launch an international online accrual mall within 3 months for Etihad Airlines and their Etihad Guest loyalty program. The mall must include top merchants and brands for their key markets including UAE, India and Australia. </li></ul>
  5. 5. CASE STUDY – PUBLISHER LOYLOGIC <ul><li>The Result: </li></ul><ul><li>Launched (on-time) an online mall with 5 networks, over 200 merchants, shipping to every country in the world – could not have achieved this goal without affiliate networks. </li></ul>
  6. 6. ADVANTAGES OF NETWORKS <ul><li>Speed to Market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create an online mall with global merchants in 3 months </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Economies of Scale </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily partner with hundreds of merchants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accounting Efficiency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One check per network (vs. one check per merchant) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. ADVANTAGES OF NETWORKS <ul><li>Single Point of Contact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publisher development reps help with internal and external outreach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Country Expertise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller, local networks offer valuable advice on selling to consumers in specific markets </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. CHALLENGES OF NETWORKS <ul><li>One Size Fits All </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual publisher needs cannot easily be met </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nascent International Capabilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From flexibility of payment currency to reporting, all networks are in early to mid stages of being truly global </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. CHALLENGES OF NETWORKS <ul><li>Technical Documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In general, needs by Publisher vertical are very similar; no technical documentation fully addresses each of those needs within a vertical </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Very Little Consistency Across Networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As publishers work with multiple networks having certain industry standards across networks would be VERY helpful (data feeds etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS TO CHALLENGES <ul><li>One Size Fits All </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create toolbox for publishers based on vertical (loyalty, coupon, content, etc.) that addresses key needs of publishers in these verticals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nascent International Capabilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add Intl Focus to advisory boards and industry events to share best practices and highlight needs from int’l publishers </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS TO CHALLENGES <ul><li>Technical Documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create get started documentation/steps for publishers based on vertical (loyalty, coupon, content etc.) that answers FAQs of new publishers and SHOWS them how to get started </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Very Little Consistency Across Networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create industry advisory board (domestic and international) with reps from ALL networks that focuses on standardizing common publisher products/needs while still keeping competitive edge for advertisers </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Affiliate Summit West 2010 Running a Network: Business, Legal & Practical Gary Kibel Partner, Davis & Gilbert LLP Twitter @GaryKibel_law
  14. 14. <ul><li>Numerous contracts in play </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network-Affiliate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network-Merchant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affiliate-Merchant (special terms) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affiliate-Consumer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer-Merchant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pre-checked boxes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The practice of using pre-checked boxes in an online sales transaction is insidious – simply a way to entrap unwary consumers who don’t read the tiny print of dense disclosures or click through every available link on the site – and perhaps it should be considered inherently deceptive and unfair” FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck (October 5, 2009) </li></ul></ul>Gary Kibel, Davis & Gilbert LLP,, Twitter @GaryKibel_law
  15. 15. <ul><li>Key contractual issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indemnification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limitations of Liability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jurisdiction </li></ul></ul>Gary Kibel, Davis & Gilbert LLP,, Twitter @GaryKibel_law
  16. 16. <ul><li>Network operator liability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications Decency Act </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed to protect “information service providers,” not “information content providers” </li></ul></ul>Gary Kibel, Davis & Gilbert LLP,, Twitter @GaryKibel_law
  17. 18. <ul><li>Todd Hollis v. (June 2006) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Claim : Attorney in Pennsylvania sued web site after numerous women posted unflattering and allegedly false comments about him, such as “he has herpes”, “heard he was gay”, “he gave me an STD” and “his crib is a dump.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Result : ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation defended web site on the grounds they are not liable under the CDA. Case ultimately dismissed on jurisdictional groups. </li></ul></ul>Gary Kibel, Davis & Gilbert LLP,, Twitter @GaryKibel_law
  18. 19. Affiliate Summit West 2010 Running a Network: Business, Legal & Practical Adam Weiss Vice President - Network Development, LinkShare Corporation
  19. 20. Where Were Going – The Ongoing Evolution of Performance Marketing <ul><li>Platform Distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Feeds and APIs </li></ul><ul><li>Product level focus </li></ul><ul><li>Easy integration </li></ul><ul><li>Breeding ground for innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing maturity of various Publisher models </li></ul>
  20. 21. Product Philosophy
  21. 22. Open Link Distribution <ul><li>Making it easy for Publishers of different sizes and technical levels to get links </li></ul><ul><li>APIs into data provide savvy users the ability to tap into retailer information </li></ul><ul><li>GUI built on top of APIs for novice users to access data thru Publisher Dashboard </li></ul>
  22. 23. Coupon Feed <ul><li>Data feed that contains an aggregation of all coupon offers. </li></ul><ul><li>Search by promo type ($ Off, % Off, Free Shipping, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Query by WGET method; Output in XML </li></ul><ul><li>Making it easier to do business in the LinkShare Network </li></ul>Adv 5 Adv 4 Adv 3 Coupon Adv 2 Adv 1 Coupon Offers <ul><li>Adv 1 $ Off </li></ul><ul><li>Adv 1 % Off </li></ul><ul><li>Adv 2 Free Ship </li></ul><ul><li>Adv 3 $ Off </li></ul><ul><li>Adv 4 % Off </li></ul><ul><li>Adv 5 % Off </li></ul>
  23. 24. Affiliate Marketing as Platform Based Distribution social networking (myspace, facebook) life publishing (youtube, ebaums) blogs (blogger, xanga) file sharing (flickr, photobucket) virtual communities (second life, gaia)
  24. 25. Connecting Brands Across Platforms <ul><li>Mac Dashboard Widgets </li></ul><ul><li>Desktop tools for a Mac that allow users to instantly create Linkshare links. </li></ul><ul><li>#TweetShop </li></ul><ul><li>Search, shortens, and distributes links thru Publishers utilizing Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Wordpress Link Lookup </li></ul><ul><li>Creates links in Wordpress posts without logging into the interface </li></ul><ul><li>Joomla Link Look Up </li></ul><ul><li>Generate deep links to advertiser pages directly from the Joomla Editor </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmarklet Tool </li></ul><ul><li>Firefox and IE users to can install a plugin that instantly changes site URLs to Linkshare links. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Easy Integration Full reporting integration at the transactional level via push or pull options. Allows for systematic processing of data Incorporates payment data into weekly XML file Allows to identify payments at the transactional level Feed based options for a variety of link types Systematic ‘push’ of links on to a publisher site Tools and Technology to make it easy for Publishers to do business in the network
  26. 27. Mobile Commerce <ul><li>Mobile Commerce is here! </li></ul><ul><li>Expected to surpass $1 Billion in 2010 (eMarketer) </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers are using their mobile device to comparison shop and to buy a variety of products </li></ul><ul><li>Most advertisers now implementing mobile strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publishers that move into this space early win! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LinkShare Mobile Links introduced in 2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks will play key role in matching Advertisers with Publishers to distribute mobile links </li></ul></ul>