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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    Outing Unethical Affiliates
    If we "out" affiliates by name who have done unethical things like stealing exclusive coupons, BTB, cookie stuffing, etc. does that open us up to a legal issue, like say, slander or defamation?

  2. #2
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    As long as you can document everything you claim, you shouldn't have an issue.

  3. #3
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    Who decides what is considered unethical?

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Don't consider it outing. If you have an issue with an affiliate simply report the facts as you know them and document what you are saying. You could certainly frame it as a question also.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjshoppingnetwork
    Who decides what is considered unethical?
    Well if a merchant has an agreement and an affiliate violates it then it ain't hard to tell.

  6. #6
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    some of those affiliates might just be naive. They need to be educated.

  7. #7
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    The ones that would be posted wouldn't be the naive ones. They would be the ones where the merchant has contacted them before and usually still violating terms. Most merchants will notify affiliates first to give them a chance to correct whatever needs correcting.

  8. #8
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    Who would you 'out'? The name of the affiliate or the name of the website?

    A potential problem might arise if you 'out' only certain people/websites and not ALL of them.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Code Monkey
    A potential problem might arise if you 'out' only certain people/websites and not ALL of them.
    And what would that potential problem be?
    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
    ~Lynn Hall

  10. #10
    Full Member Jim Guinn's Avatar
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    You are much better off just eliminating them from your program. If you out them publicly, even if you have the documentation to prove your "case", they can still take you to court. Do you need to be spending time and money fighting legal battles?

    Jim

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    Well, if not publicly, then at least semi-privately. Is there not a private forum for AM's?
    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
    ~Lynn Hall

  12. #12
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    Unless "outing" an affiliate is 100% necessary, reconsider doing so simply because it sets a bad business precedent. It may gave new potential affiliates pause in applying to your program, or make existing affiliates particularly skittish in using your program for fear of public retribution. Also, keep in mind that many offer providers already have built in fraud protection mechanisms, like Directtrack's fraud meters that see if a new publishers has been released from other Directtrack-affiliated offer providers, that try to tackle the problem of the roving bad affiliate.

    Moving onto the legal aspect of your question, you'd be dealing with libel lawsuit, not slander, which deals with written pieces. Slander deals with spoken work offenses.

    A pretty good checklist for a libel lawsuit can be found here. These decision trees are particularly helpful to see what's involved with a cause of action:
    http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/INTELLEC...Y/libelfrm.htm

    It is often very difficult for a plaintiff to win a defamation lawsuit. Also, if the piece is factually true, that is a pure defense to the lawsuit. In the event something is categorically false, often times there are problems with the lawsuit because the plaintiff may need to show actual damages or pecuniary (money) harm, which is difficult to show in court.
    Last edited by internetattorney; May 4th, 2008 at 09:01 AM.

  13. #13
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    how would be go about banning affiliates??

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    1. No one mentioned banning anyone.
    2. This is a thread that is 7 months old. Like the last one you posted in. These threads are not active. Try clicking on "New Posts" at the top of the page. The older material is fine to read but if you have some unanswered questions, post your own thread, maybe others have the same question.

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