The IAB search marketing charter has been updated with affiliate guidelines.
Following months of extensive collaboration and consultation with the online industry, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) Search Marketing Council and Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have strengthened their best practice charter with the addition of a section dedicated to working with affiliates.
The Charter, which was launched this summer, is designed to grow with the industry and the inclusion of guidelines for working with affiliates is a result of cooperation between IAB councils, the DMA and the wider online industry.
The Charter offers a self-certifying formal framework of best practice for search engine marketing companies (SEMCos). The new affiliate section includes the following guidelines:
1. SEMCo will declare to the client if they carry out affiliate work on an account that they manage.
2. SEMCo will encourage / facilitate client and affiliate communication.
- To ensure affiliates keep SEM messaging on brand a SEMCo must be proactive in driving communications between the client and affiliate.
3. SEMCo and client must provide a clear dispute procedure.
- To create a clear process for affiliates to dispute a declined earned commission
- To ensure a timely process for communicating any changes to ‘keyword policy’ between all parties
- To facilitate better working relationships between affiliates
- SEMCo’s and ultimately, the client.
4. SEMCo must publish a point of contact for their affiliate manager.
5. Affiliate manager must provide SEMCo with landing page documents to include HTML and appropriate graphics and Flash files.
- To ensure that a SEMCo understands the structure of a landing page to fully optimise a campaign.
Search marketing companies that adhere to the charter can highlight their compliance with an IAB ‘best practice icon’ published on their website and/or additional promotional company literature.
The Search Council, which has regular representation from the UK’s top search engines, agencies and advertisers, has been developing further guidelines for trademarking. These will be announced before the end of the year and further additions including further skills based criteria will follow throughout 2008.
Over the coming weeks, the IAB is also publishing an affiliate marketing guide, aimed at advertisers, which will cover all areas of affiliate marketing and best practice.
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