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  1. #1
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    FTC Guidelines: Interesting step taken by QuickBooks
    I'm an affiliate there by sign up only, but got an email from QuickBooks today indicating that due to the FTC guidelines, they are creating "Authorized QuickBooks Affiliate" badges that affiliates have to display prominently on their website.

    I'd look for other big name merchants to head down that same road in one form or fashion.
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  2. #2
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I should add that they said they will be "auditing landing pages" beginning next week.
    Kevin Webster
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  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
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    That will quickly cause affiliates to leave, it would turn all their sites into a new version of banner farms if "everyone" decided to require this.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Not affiliates that are making money I haven't gotten my head around this whole situation yet.
    Kevin Webster
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  5. #5
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Title edit: Added the FTC Guidelines pre-cursor. (and then went back and made it read FTC as opposed to FTP)
    Kevin Webster
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  6. #6
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Just got the QuickBooks email and although I'll not be putting up their "badge" it is a sign of the times. I'll need to get busy and get my Disclaimer on the rest of my sites.


  7. #7
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    It is not quickbooks only. I think I saw an email come through and another merchant requires some disclaimer on a banner + text. Can't remember who though

  8. #8
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    Someone should start working on a plugin for Wordpress - WP AFF Badge

    Badges just might help companies with branding at first. Eventually, everyone will be blind to them.
    I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lite than Kay.

  9. #9
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    they are creating "Authorized QuickBooks Affiliate" badges that affiliates have to display prominently on their website.
    I emailed them on this. I have a feeling that it's one way and there is some flex. Will report.


  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    I think I updated most, if not all, of the disclosure pages on my websites, but I'll have to double check. I'm assuming that on some of my sites if I always purchase the product myself instead of getting it from the merchant for free, my standard disclaimer is good enough (My standard disclaimer basically states I have relationships with merchants that pay me if you buy their products via my sites, only it's a bit more verbose than what I put here ).

    I can see where in some instances an "Authorized Affiliate" badge would be a good thing, but I can also see where problems could arise. I'm not sure why the badge thing developed from the new FTC guidelines, as I would think that it would only apply to affiliates getting "freebies" for review from Quickbooks.

    I'm not too keen on "landing page audits" for everybody though. I'm pretty open with my merchants about my methods and will provide information when requested, within limits (I try to protect proprietary info like keyword lists as much as possible). I have nothing to hide, but like a visit from the IRS, just the word "audit" makes me nervous, even if I have no reason to be. LOL. It's just a gut reaction... like having your boss watching over your shoulder while you work all day. LOL.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
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  11. #11
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Merchants are going to be very careful with this, especially if they are big names, i.e. deep pockets and in the spot light.

    The merchant is the one on the hook, not the affiliate. Loxly's point is VERY valid, so something is going to have to give in this situation.
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  12. #12
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    Not with quickbooks but it's 12/2 and I don't see any emails from merchants asking for anything because this has nothing to do with anything I do. So for me, it's much ado about nothing, until I see differently.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I wonder if coupon, price comparison, loyalty sites will be required to use them? Lots of badges. After all, these kinds of sites usually aren't recommending or reviewing anything.

    Makes me think of that old movie line:
    "badgees? we don't need no stinking badgees!"

  14. #14
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    Right, when this was gone over before it's been pointed out that affiliate wasn't mentioned even once and the FTC is very aware of affiliate marketing. They're not even talking about what most of us are doing. This Dec. 1 has been coming for sometime now, I have 0 merchants asking for anything. Worst case scenario in most cases you put something on your privacy policy page that nobody ever reads.

  15. #15
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    To me, Trust, as a NY affiliate, I recognize that the governement's interpretation and the merchant's interpretation of a law are often two widely different things.

    I don't believe that the FTC is looking to beat down affiliates as you and I are. We all know the bad testimonial advertising that is out there right now. That's what they are looking at.

    The challenge is that some of that crap "fake newspaper website" advertising is being paid through the same channel we are. So if a merchant doesn't want to police 25,000 affiliates, they will make a blanket policy.

    Ironically, QuickBooks says here that they are making a blanket policy, and then are going to police the policy. Seems as though they could get away with one or another.

    And the big programs that are on autopilot might head down the same path.

    In the end, these guidelines will improve affiliate marketing, as I think it will clear up some of the search engine clutter out there. There may, however, be some jolts and hiccups along the way. I present today as Exhibit A.
    Kevin Webster
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  16. #16
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    Right, who knows what's coming but to this point (and it might change) I don't see any network requiring anything and so far one merchant, so 1/thousands. And as discussed in this thread from a couple of months ago - http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...&highlight=ftc

    When they go after somebody, it's going to be advertiser, not blogger. And if anything, you'll get a warning first. I don't do paid testimonial stuff/get paid upfront, don't receive products first and then write about them on my blog, I do affiliate marketing. Might be under the same big umbrella, but different animals.

    So for me, it's business as usual until I get something from a network or merchant saying something different. So far I haven't. Also have no problem with what the FTC is doing.

    Here's the 81 page FTC Guidelines if you want to go thru it - http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005...esfnnotice.pdf

  17. #17
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    it would turn all their sites into a new version of banner farms if "everyone" decided to require this.
    I'd use them in a heartbeat, and prominently featured, at that. I've always felt that many site visitors are probably somewhat bewildered when they click on a link and find themselves in another place on another site all of a sudden. And having a "big name" badge should certainly help to instill shopper confidence.
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  18. #18
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    Makes me think of that old movie line:
    "badgees? we don't need no stinking badgees!"
    I remember that. Funny.

  19. #19
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    QuickBooks emailed me back and said
    "We are suggesting this as it's an easy way to meet the requirement. I guess the best thing would be to read the details that the FTC outlined."
    Suggesting is the keyword here.


  20. #20
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    So QB is turning "requirement" into "marketing opportunity". Smart on one level, and brutal on the next. BTW, if you read my Analytics posts, the guy who I talk about there was the Analytics guy for Intuit. It's a company with their marketing "stuff" together.

    And Trusty, I knew you would grab that thread I think it's great that we can rekindle old romances
    Kevin Webster
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  21. #21
    Member BrettSaver's Avatar
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    So far the only messages I've gotten along these lines are from Quicken and TurboTax. So I'm guessing this might have something specifically to do with tax software/service providers, and not something that applies to all online merchants.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    That will quickly cause affiliates to leave, it would turn all their sites into a new version of banner farms if "everyone" decided to require this.
    For sure. And on top of that I wonder why an affiliate promotes a competitor like Intuit (and all their affiliate programs)
    https://couponoffers.intuit.com/discounts/main.view

    Where do you see Authorized Affiliate badges on their own affiliate pages?
    That's a stupid request from a crooked company!!!

  23. #23
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    I forgot to add that Quicken is a TOOLBAR affiliate
    Save More with the Quicken Picks Toolbar
    Interested in saving more money all the time? Install the Quicken Picks toolbar to automatically get cash back while shopping online
    couponoffers.intuit.com/discounts/static.view?page=toolbar_download

  24. #24
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Very true, Zues. From right inside their software apps too.
    Kevin Webster
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  25. #25
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    I forgot to add that Quicken is a TOOLBAR affiliate
    Save More with the Quicken Picks Toolbar
    I'll just cut them loose if that's the way they play.


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