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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Proposed - Mission Statement
    AffiliateVoice's primary purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth by advancing the standards through the development of a Code of Ethics that have been ratified by all aspects of the industry - from individual affiliate to network; thusly building stronger relationships via open communications, while providing the member base with fair and equitable enforcement opportunities against offenders as well as fostering a better relations within the online marketing arena via public relations and legislative initiatives.

    Long winded, but these things usually are Thoughts?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  2. #2
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    My thoughts are that I changed from: "heck no, get out of my business" to "I can't find a flaw" is because I thought this would be more about legislative issues and making sure that affiliates have a voice in that aspect.

    I do see that mentioned here but I'm starting to scratch my head again. I trust that you have the best intentions in mind; I don't doubt it for one second. But like someone else pointed out, other people get really caught up into playing ethics police when it's quite unnecessary. And now I can see how this could turn into something that you didn't quite have in mind.

    That's just me, I'm sure others will love it.

    I'll sit back and watch this for awhile.

    By the way, this post has nothing to do with black hat vs. white hat. It has to do with the anti-competition mentality when all things are "ethical"; yet one party is more savvy than the other and they automatically get labeled when they weren't really doing anything wrong, illegal, harmful, misleading, or aganist TOS.

    Haiko, I don't think you are like that. But I don't have that much faith in others as I've seen the "mob mentality", for lack of a better phrase.
    Last edited by ProWebAddict; July 16th, 2008 at 04:37 PM.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Advancing a code of ethics... legislative initiatives... that's good stuff.

    I say, if someone else wants to form an organization that promotes black hat and parasites, let them. I don't think that AV needs to be strict in its definitions to the point of ridiculousness, but it's a positive, not a negative, that strong ethics will play a major part in how the organization is created and directed.

    It's a voluntary organization, after all. There will be things about it that don't suit everyone. If black hat affiliates don't feel comfortable joining... well, frankly, good.

    And no, this isn't the thread for people to start crying about what gets defined as black hat. There will be plenty of discussion about that elsewhere, I'm sure.

    Haiko, I like the mission statement - it's a little wordy, but I think massaging it a little can trim it up and get it ready for prime time.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    PWA,

    Affiliate voice in pr, legislative and enforcement after ratified code of ethics. No policing.

    Sitting back and watching is ok, but I do want you to continue to keep voicing and making sure that this is the best for you and the industry, that's my only goal.

    I, in no way want to create a policing state, as i said earlier - everyone is innocent until proven guilty ... so we all start with a clean slate and work with a system of honor and ethics.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Hectic,

    It is wordy no? I tried to put it on a diet, but thought hey ... put it out there so we all can form it :-)
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    It has to do with the anti-competition mentality when all things are "ethical"; yet one party is more savvy than the other and they automatically get labeled when they weren't really doing anything wrong, illegal, harmful, misleading, or aganist TOS.

    Haiko, I don't think you are like that. But I don't have that much faith in others as I've seen the "mob mentality", for lack of a better phrase.
    Your 100% right. The other day a company was brought to my attention as a new up and coming parasite ... had the full scoop on them and just as I was going to investigate this new scourge I found a damn smart and savvy affiliate, no scourge, just a better mousetrap. No toolbar, no stuffing nor any unethical issues. Others, may have seen it as initially labeled, so yes we need to define the lines so that it's perfectly clear of what's what to avoid issues like this and what you describe as mislabeling.

    Case in point why we all need to continue to talk about the issues ... and the interpretations from EVERY angle. Thank You.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  7. #7
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Maybe a little bit wordy. I took a stab at condensing it:

    "AffiliateVoice's mission is to provide a foundation for the advancement of standards through the development of a Code of Ethics ratified by all aspects of the Affiliate marketing arena; thus building stronger relationships, fair and equitable enforcement opportunities against offenders, and establishing a platform for legislative initiatives."

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    I also thought that this would be about promoting affiliate marketing through legislative and public relations initiatives.

    Concerned about the Code of Ethics and the phrase "fair and equitable enforcement opportunities against offenders" and that it seems to be more important than the first two ideas.

    But I also will keep an open mind and listen.

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Enforcement ... sue the offenders to make them stop.

    Code of Ethics -- similar to the code of conduct / PSA's of the various networks.

    No one part is more important than any other, except making sure it's from the bottom up, affiliate first. (not saying affs are on the bottom - just opposed to how it's been handled thus far).
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Haiko, I took a few liberties and streamlined your original statement...

    AffiliateVoice Purpose and Goals


    To foster industry growth in collaboration with all facets of Internet marketing through the development and advancement of best practices and a code of ethics.
    To promote open communication in the interest of building stronger industry relationships, advancement of public relations, and involvement in legislative initiatives.
    To expose fraudulent or unethical Internet marketing mechanisms and methods to the extent of punitive action.

    Embelish at will...



    X

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    Enforcement ... sue the offenders to make them stop.
    And your organization would have standing to sue because [fill in the blank]?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    And your organization would have standing to sue because [fill in the blank]?
    Well, obviously that blank would be filled in differently per case, of course.

    In the case of Danmer, the affected affiliates would allow us to represent their interests and rights, we'd act on their collective behalf ... it's a legal thing.

    Please think of Carry a big stick policy ... we don't want use it but we will if we have to, so it's not like I'm looking to make lawyers rich, nor present AM as a litigious industry, far from it ... I just want to say play within the boundary lines or else.

    Those boundary lines will be set in the code of ethics (similar to the COC or PSA). The part that has been missing is the enforcement, that's where we hope to fill that void.
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; July 16th, 2008 at 07:31 PM. Reason: changed stay to say
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  13. #13
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Boomer, Gary, thank you both for the input and ammendment.

    Others - Input? Changes? Questions?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    H, is there any part in there about/for consumers? Maybe it's in there already in what you mean somewhere but think it can't also be a mission on educating and protecting 'end users' via the voices in our industry.

  15. #15
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Jorge,

    Thanks for asking ... actually that is a very delicate subject to me ... I personally don't think we should educate or change consumer's directly, I think by honest and ethical marketing initiatives they will naturally be protected, but above and beyond that, they have the FTC.

    We are marketers, not policemen nor teachers of or for the consumer.

    Notwithstanding, I'm completely open to listening to any /all POV
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    No I do not mean educating consumers directly. That's what I meant "via the voices in our industry"

    What I mean is education through elimiation of such things that affect the industry such as adware, bho, parasites and everything else which cosumers use or allow but because we are not helping get rid of don't mean it as a policing of affiliates but in the same principles of 'code ethics' if not then what will be it's purpose.

    I went to a friends office the other day. Her computer was full of porn, bho, adware etc and hundreds of files in her Host file which did not let her see or get in to allot of afiiliate/merchant pages. Lots of stuff was not tracking, and upon further clicking back and forth a parasite poped up, diverting me to another page and with their affiliate cookie. It would take me hudreds of hours to educate her on what happened and perhaps a few days or weeks later she will get them again so that is not what AV should be about and not what I want mean either.

    We need a mission to educate affiliates via their own voices in what the industry as a whole in the future should be about to help end users.

  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge - JRami
    We need a mission to educate affiliates via their own voices in what the industry as a whole in the future should be about to help end users.
    Yes and no. This is very delicate area, I know exactly what your saying but over zealous people could take this as a Spitzer approach and that will not help anyone actually it is more controlling and stifling then anything.

    I used the analogy of the lanes in a highway earlier to someone, I think it fits ... the org should help define the path, but not keep people from changing lanes, telling people how to drive, or at what speed to drive and allow for shoulders should they veer of the recommended path ... greater than that I don't think it would behoove us propose, nor support.

    It's a thin line, and I encourage more discussion on this topic in particular so that we are all on the same page.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I think this is good and also like the other versions posted here too.

    Why not educate the public? Doesn't it help our cause if the public knows what affiliates are and the difference between the bad players and the honest ones? The DMA has some consumer oriented sites http://www.dmachoice.org/ for this purpose. Can we get more support by being consumer-friendly? I've seen a lot of blogs, articles and bad press about affiliates but who is out there telling the public who we are and why we're a part of the sales process?

    If we end up with some petitions to government officials, wouldn't support from consumers be a good thing?
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    So is the Affiliate Voice an Association? A very wise man once told me.....

  20. #20
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    Why not educate the public? Doesn't it help our cause if the public knows what affiliates are and the difference between the bad players and the honest ones?
    1. Educating the public will cost tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.
    2. It's not our job
    3. If we were to open the kimono to the consumer that we get a commission on the sale, don't you think that will drive membership to loyalty sites like ebates etc ... the mentality of hey, if there's a comm why should I make it instead of some geek who put up a site? I think the respective cos will immediately point people to out page where we describe the process and say why don't you want the $$ - it's a recession ... save and earn ... what could be better! KWIM?
    4. It's not our job.
    5. It's not our job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    The DMA has some consumer oriented sites http://www.dmachoice.org/ for this purpose.
    The DMA is seen by the average joe as the people who controll the POS who snail mail spam and telemarket us ... they need to do PR.

    We aren't condoning the actions of bad players in the industry, so we won't and can't defend the bad players ... imagine handling all the calls, email complaints about zango or any of the bad palyers ... please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    Can we get more support by being consumer-friendly?
    Support from who? Legislature? If they see we controll ourselves and are above board they'll listen. I don't think us playing firemen for online marketing will serve us any good, yeah maybe a pat on the back or maybe a certificate, but that's not our job nor our duty. The association should protect and defend affiliate marketing from the bottom up, create a level playing field (with out castrating opportunity) so we all can compete and further our entrepreneurial spirit and competitive nature via ethical means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    I've seen a lot of blogs, articles and bad press about affiliates but who is out there telling the public who we are and why we're a part of the sales process?
    The bad press mostly comes because of the bad players ... if we seperate ourselves from the zangos etc and help keep our corner clean then when the FTC or other comes down on them we'll be safe. Re the sales process ... I repeat it will be a sales tool for membership / loyalty sites ... ill advised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    If we end up with some petitions to government officials, wouldn't support from consumers be a good thing?
    I see it as bumper stickers on a ferrari ... think about it

    Like I said, it's a fine line, obviously I don't think it behooves us to cross, but the only way to get a real position on it is via open discourse ... keep it comming ... we'll get there.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    It's admirable and incredibly ambitious to want to form this alliance, association..whatever it finally becomes. All those who have entered opinions are well-educated and certainly experienced in the affiliate marketing business. Professionals who make their living doing this. So in that aspect, all of this is preaching to the proverbial choir. Of course it's a good thing; a much needed thing.
    However (and this is where my question could get dangerous)

    How many/what is the percentage of actual affiliates/merchants are in this for the long haul and not just trying to make a quick buck? What percentage of new affiliate sites are still operating after 1 year?

    How many actually possess the knowledge of true affiliate marketing and its challenges?

    How many would actually appreciate the work that would be involve in this movement and fully understand that this is a good thing, not an "affiliate police" to be avoided at all costs?

    As I manually approve affiliates, I see the sites that are submitted and they are just getting worse and worse.

    As I communicate with affiliates, their understanding of the whole realm of affiliate marketing is limited, to say the least.

    As I listen to the radio and watch TV, I am becoming more aware of the deluge of "make quick money" schemes that are being delivered to the unsuspecting, with the promise of only a $199.99 initial investment. Certainly, this plays to those who are in desperate need of help in these challenging financial times.

    As I attend meetings and find that my budget has been cut and I am forced to reduce affiliate commissions because management cannot justify the expense of paying commissions to affiliates, not to mention the value of an exclusive coupon or deal.

    And mostly, I speak with friends and family, visit the forums on other sites, and find that the public in general doesn't really care who they buy from, as long as they can save some money. So why should they care if an affiliate is black-hatting as long as the coupon or deal works for them?

    The good guys have a long term stake in this industry. The bad guys just want to make some money, at any cost, and get out or move on-and in this cyber world, it is very easy to do and not experience any consequences.

    So my question:
    "Are there enough good guys to actually make this happen?"

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    My answer:
    "Yes."

    And in my opinion, AV will serve to answer or solve all, or nearly all, of those concerns because most of what you wrote about boils down to education and standards.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  23. #23
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    What Hectic Said.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  24. #24
    http and a telephoto
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    lol Haiko, I was coming to post, but Hectic said it better.
    Deborah Carney
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  25. #25
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Are there enough good guys to actually make this happen?
    Well addressed above, by Hectic, but I'd add this:

    To me, at the end of the day, this whole thing will boil down to money. "Good guys" are defined by the way we go about making our money. Bad guys are defined by the way they go about stealing it: from affiliates, from merchants, and in some cases, from the consumers.

    Are there enough good guys? Hell yes.

    Do the good guys have the monetary backing to convince:

    Government that we can possibly enforce "fair trade practices" on our own?

    Merchants that partnering with bad guys hurts their ROI when most C levels only look at revenue, and don't dissect too much below that?

    Networks that they are hurting themselves, despite the revenue stream bad guys bring them, by partnering with the cheaters?

    Those are the questions that need to be answered. I think this organization will have the right people involved. It will come down to money after that.

    To that end, I think the mission statement is right on.
    Kevin Webster
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