I run the most solid, honest programs I can. It still saddens me, and angers me, to learn that many others do not (even though I have known this from the beginning).
Various people I trust have been telling me for some time that there are some parasite-loving Affiliate Managers out there soliciting business while claiming they run, or have run, MY programs. One even outright lied on a sales call and accidently told a client they were managing THEIR program! Haha! The client thought that was hilarious.
I screen all new applications personally. I have been doing that for 12 years. I clean up infested programs, and kick out all parasites. I prevent trademark poaching and fraud, to the extent humanly possible. I may not be perfect, but I work hard at this.
I was the only person to run a CLEAN Zappos program on CJ by myself. While I managed their program they were named the fastest growing retailer by Internet Retailer Magazine - WITHOUT ANY PARASITES. They never lost one penny of actual sales when I ran it (and I have the data to prove it). They did however, save a ton of money by not having to pay fraudulent commissions.
The HipsandCurves ShareASale program jumped into the SAS PowerRank 100 less than a year after I "renovated" their program, WITHOUT ANY PARASITES and certainly WITHOUT ANY OTHER OPM involved.
Call me old-fashioned if you wish, but these principles guide me:
1) REAL sales growth AND improved profitability for my clients.
2) Return on investment (of time, or money, effort, creativity, etc.) for honest affiliates.
3) Prevent fraud by those who are trying to steal money from my clients via technology tricks.
4) Improve Internet user experience.
5) Utilize technology to improve lives.
6) Help merchants and affiliates understand how best to work with each other.
7) Enjoy the personal relationships this business gives us all an amazing opportunity to develop all over the world.
I have been in this business far too long to be naive about it, but I still truly believe that eventually we can clear out the dumb scum (who cheat retailers, honest affiliates, and ultimately the general public out of their hard-earned money). If some CEOs won't bother to listen to what will help them, maybe more CFOs will (as long as we all work patiently to educate them). I also believe that honest affiliate marketing is currently the best way to build retailers' businesses.