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January 30th, 2010, 05:36 AM #1Is There Homophobia and Racism In Affiliate Marketing?
The topic and title of this thread is: Is There Homophobia and Racism In Affiliate Marketing?
If I am not allowed to give my opinions and evidence on this topic, then this forum has failed in its goal or no longer has a goal. This forum is about affiliate marketing. If we are not allowed to discuss all aspects of affiliate marketing (The Good, The Bad And The Ugly), then this forum has failed to cater to and meet the needs of all affiliates.
Either ALL affiliates have a voice in this forum as equals, no matter if what they say is acceptable by the majority or not, or this forum exist in vain.
There are a lot of problems in our business. Those problems are in and at the network level, merchant level and affiliate level.
We have problems folks. And until we admit we have problems and begin to discuss those problems, affiliate marketing will never reach the level of excellence it is capable of reaching.
Silencing those who want to expose those problems does nothing to help resolve the issues. The problems will remain until confronted. We can begin to confront these problems now or we can let them fester until they become an infectious disease that spreads throughout our business and kills it.
For those of you who may be new to this forum, I am the type of rif-raff that Haiko (the former leader of this forum) talks about in the PMA Thread. I am the kind of rif-riff that many in this business want to silence. Silence, hold down and hold back. (Not Haiko. He is a good man with a vision of a better tomorrow in affiliate marketing for ALL affiliates.)
Lies are whispered and truth is shouted. And I am screaming right now and will continue to scream at the top of my lungs until people begin to listen. I don't do this for the attention. And, despite popular belief, I don't think its all about me.
I was sent a PM by a very important member of this forum recently. It stated I had a chip of my shoulder and I needed to cool it and stop thinking everyone was homophobes.
I don't think everyone is homophobes. I know SOME are homophobes and racist.
If I am allowed, I would like to begin presenting my case. I can present my case here in this forum or elsewhere. But, I will present my case and continue shouting the truth until this industry starts listening to me and all those like me which are being ignored because we don't fit the "mold" of what many in this industry want and we won't "conform" to the status quo.
Here is "PART 1" of my opinions and evidence. It will probably be the only part I will ever be allowed to place in this forum. So, enjoy it while you can, cause my posts have a habit of being sent to the recycling bin.
First, I made a big mistake that I am very proud of. I let people know who I was after I joined. Three merchants have dropped me for posts I have posted in here over the past several months.
Now, the rest of the story...
Back around the end of August or start of September, I wrote "calendars dot com" and requested a simple 125x125 banner landing on their "Gay Themed Calendar Section". They of course said "no problem" and asked me give them a little time. I gave them 2 months and wrote to remind them.
They responded almost immediately. "NO". Why? They were still busy redoing their website (which they had being "redoing" for several months). Unforeseen issues came up. Making a banner is quite a task. Blah. Blah. Blah. The same lame excuses I hear from merchants on a nearly daily basis.
I politely, as only can, asked them a few questions. Why were they selling products they were ashamed of having a banner for? Why did they feel they could degrade women as sex objects nearly nude on a banner and it was okay, but to put a shirtless man on a banner was somehow wrong? And so forth.
Never got an answer. Never heard from them again.
That is the story of my affiliate life. Day after day. Week after week. Merchant after merchant saying "YES" to my "Gay Themed Banner Request" and then end up saying "No". So far, I have not gotten one, not one, I have requested. Always the same dumb excuses. Yet, I have received every other banner I requested, except the "Gay Themed". (I only request these "Gay Themed" banners from merchants that have a "Gay Themed" section. A section that most seem ashamed of giving affiliates a fair opportunity of promoting.)
So, the one who told me I had a chip on my shoulder and needed to stop thinking everyone was a homophobe I say this.
Until you walk in my shoes and face the daily battle I face against homophobia in affiliate marketing, leave me alone on this topic. If I have a chip on my shoulder, and I probably do, it was placed there by the homophobia and racism that runs rampade and thrives in affiliate marketing.
Now I have a question for the merchants and anyone else that wants to take a shot at it.
Why are there so few African-Americans, Hispanics, Arabs and so forth in our business?
Here's my opinion.
PRETEND: You are African-American and have a site with a niche like "Life As An African-American Student At Harvard". The vast majority of your visitors are African-American. Your site is really doing well. You want to capitalize on this. You're doing very good with AdSense. You decide you want to make even more money to help with your tuition. So, you decide to join a couple of the Affiliate Networks.
LOL! Good luck! You might as well be a Gay Guy like me. You will find very few merchants that offer banners with African-Americans on them. Oh sure! You can request some. LOL! Good luck! Many merchants will say "YES" and mean "NO" just like they do to this Gay Guy.
I know. I tried it.
Chip on my shoulder. You D*MN right I have a chip on my shoulder. And so should all of you. ALL of you. This is affiliate marketing. We should be leading the way into a new tomorrow and not time traveling back to the 1950s. We should be changing the world via the World Wide Web and we should be changing it for the better, not for the worse.
In closing, let me say, there are some darn good merchants out there. Merchants that realize this world is made up of all kinds of people and ALL of them shop online. To those merchants, I say "thank you". But sadly, you are in the minority just like me.
Thank you for your time.
My post is now ready to be sent to the Moderators Room.
So... Scottie. Beam us up!
January 30th, 2010, 06:11 AM #2
Homophobia and Racism in affiliate marketing is all in your head....
You're the one screaming that you're gay and no-one has a problem with it...
We have many successful affiliates around here that are gay and VERY respected.
Your sexual orientation has nothing to do with your success, and I know Haiko did not have you in mind when he posted in the PMA thread.
He wants EVERYBODY to be involved.
Don't be a dipshit!
January 30th, 2010, 06:17 AM #3
Thank you RemodelingGuy! You proved my point. I appreciate it. At least I know now. LOL! Of course, I always suspected. LOL!
January 30th, 2010, 06:24 AM #4
BTW, what I said was, and I copy and paste...
QUOTE: "I am the type of rif-raff that Haiko (the former leader of this forum) talks about in the PMA Thread."
Please note the word TYPE as in TYPE OF. I never said "I AM THE RIF-RAFF".
January 30th, 2010, 06:30 AM #5Originally Posted by Snowfinch
We love you just like we love anybody else....
Just doesn't play well to blame things on your sexual orientation...
Sounds like a cop out to me.....
If you knew a little more about my life and the wonderful people in it....
You wouldn't try to turn my words on me and say that I am racist or anti-gay in any way...
This business is all about brain-power.
Learning as much as you can about what is successful and duplicating it.
You have a loyal following around here and it makes no sense to blame any weaknesses in your affiliate marketing skills on homosexuality....
You know straight up that I will tell you like it is and won't walk on my tippy toes just because you said the word GAY!
January 30th, 2010, 06:35 AM #6
How can I be successful if merchant after merchant refuses to give the tools I need for both me and them to be successful?
You know why I don't get those tools. Look at post #5. THAT'S WHY!!!
January 30th, 2010, 06:39 AM #7
.... it seems like these days a lot of times folks who have been victimized for so long in so many ways aren't willing to accept that if a circumstance does not happen work in their favor, then it MUST BE because they're [insert oppressed group name here]. I have personally been accused of being racist more times than I can count, just because I wasn't willing to drop what I was doing for somebody... never mind the fact that I MARRIED a black woman and have "mixed" children, and most of my nearest and dearest friends are either Hispanic or Haitian. Of course there is still plenty of homophobia/racism/etc in this world, but things have been getting a hell of a lot better, and it's been happening pretty damned fast, all things considered. Certain members of "oppressed groups" like this are only hurting their own cause by clinging to the past and projecting the past deeds of others on those who have done nothing wrong... this kind of neurosis does nothing to help anything for anybody.
Sounds to me like a big company is a little too busy to just drop what they're doing to appease one affiliate who wants a special favor. Of course it would be nice if they would do it, but.... they do have bigger fish to fry.
If the fact that they carry the "gay-themed" products is not enough to wipe some of the dust off of your glasses, then what more can they say or do? It is they who are being bashed here. They have done nothing wrong.
Here's a productive suggestion. Why not make your own "gay-themed" banner? Then it would be exclusive to you and you would have that one little competitive advantage in your chosen niche. Doing little things like this are what separates the successful affiliates from the ones who wind up dropping off the face of the earth, never to be heard from in the affiliate world again. If you don't have "graphics skills" and would like to do this, I'd be more than happy to refer you to a place where you can get things like this done for less than the cost of a McDonalds Happy Meal.
January 30th, 2010, 07:12 AM #8
This thread MAY be on it's last legs b4 the mods wake up, but listen to me carefully SF.....
Take a look at your affiliates...
Don't know what is gay enough for you as far as banners go...
Ask them if you can design your own banners.
I have tons of banners that I have designed for certain merchants...
I like to brand them with my house guy .... naturally...
They work well for me and my merchants.....
Get a free downlaod of Adobe's Fireworks..
Make a banner or two and run that by your Aff. Mgr.
I would recommend that you don't make them sexual, but GAY / LESBIAN should go over OK!
January 30th, 2010, 07:20 AM #9
RemodelingGuy, thanks again. And my sites are far from sexual. I have never even used profanity in a post before. It is the word GAY they don't seem to like. That is all I ask for. Just a plain banner that says like "Gay Merchandise" or "Gay Pride Shirts" etc... NO NO NO most of them yell. LOL!
However, I will try you idea. Never thought of that. BTW. I actually like your house guy. I saw your site and have visited it several times. I think he's cool.
Thanks for the advice. I will give it a go.
January 30th, 2010, 07:39 AM #10
Yes I have requested banners (and many other things) from merchants many times. It doesn't hurt to ask. Sometimes they make them, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes I go ahead and make my own, and sometimes I don't. But you know what? If something doesn't go my way, I get up off of my lazy ass and do something about it. That's why I'm still here after 8 years while most of those who were bigshots here back in 2002 are long gone and forgotten.
I tried to extend a helping hand and some EXPERIENCE-PROVEN advice. I got kicked in the head for it. It's clear now that you'd rather lay blame on somebody else than take matters into your own hands when things don't go your way. So I have nothing more to say. Have a nice life.
January 30th, 2010, 07:51 AM #11
Took me 10 minutes to do this, save it, publish it and post it here..
Make sure that you OK a banner with your affiliate manager and link it to products that suit your site ...
January 30th, 2010, 07:54 AM #12
Thanks RemodelingGuy... I like it. I copied to inspire me. I won't violate your copyrights though. LOL! Dude I appreciate your help and ideas. And intend to take your advice. Thanks again.
January 30th, 2010, 08:13 AM #13
- Join Date
- June 18th, 2006
- The Call is coming from Inside the House!
I am not going to chime in on all of these things but I agree if you really want a banner make it or hire someone to make it.
This might just be a matter of a more traditional company not knowing how to make gay themed banners. At least not that are offensive to that community.
Do you really DEMAND that companies have special meetings, possibly involve lawyers or HR, and pick a graphics designer that may be offended just to make a banner for one affiliate, which banner may turn out to not sell anything?
Affiliate marketing is a volume business.
Maybe try looking for gay affiliate programs and test conversions. Try "Love and Pride" and maybe copy some of their banners to show your AM or graphics designer.
January 30th, 2010, 08:14 AM #14Originally Posted by Snowfinch
If you need a little help, let me know....
The download of fireworks is a bear, but well worth it...
I think you get 30 days FREE and only $199 to buy...
If you take the free edition, you're fine if you crank out a ton of artwork in the next month..
I'd like to see some of the art you produce...
ONE NOTE THO ....
Save everything as a .gif file on your computer somewhere.
If you save it in the fireworks format, you can edit it, but when your FREE trial ends, you won't be able to read those files if they aren't saved as .gif or .jpeg files.
YOU'RE GONNA DO JUST FINE....
Stop telling SB and David that they are wrong....
They have solid opinions and should be congratulated for posting them...
STOP making an issue out of Homosexuality......
Cheapens the efforts being made by gay and lesbians as a whole, on a daily basis....
We'll get you some banners that you will be proud to display and will make you money -
January 30th, 2010, 08:19 AM #15
Why in the world would any merchant need to hold a meeting or hire a lawyer to make one little banner?
Give me a break. Merchants have creative departments for that. Or outsource it.
And yes, I do expect them to give it too me. Cause they will give me other banners specially made.
When a merchant has a product line that is 25% Gay Themed Merchandise, why wouldn't they give it to me?
Better question... Why don't they already have one?
However, I do appreciate you saying look up LOVE cause that was nice. A group of people so hated yet so loving. Well, except for me. LOL!
I don't think they hold special meeting and hire lawyers for banner request though.
January 30th, 2010, 08:29 AM #16
You're such a dork....
Homophobia is alive and well in America...
Racism is alive and well in America....
Some of us just don't give a damn and don't even think about it until somebody like you makes it an issue.....
Merchants hold a meeting, because Gay Issues are new territory ..
At least you have them thinking about it...
I'm betting that there is a network somewhere that specializes in putting Gay related sites and merchants in touch with each other..
January 30th, 2010, 08:33 AM #17
- Join Date
- June 18th, 2006
- The Call is coming from Inside the House!
Discrimination lawsuits and complaints are serious business. And pretty much automatic in most countries and states.
If an AM walked over to a designer and suggested he make this and that designer was offended for some reason there would be a firestorm of problems.
In larger companies these things are talked about, but not by singling people out.
This might be the reason there are no banners in those companies.
If something is difficult in AM and you can overcome it, you are in a position to make more money.
I like it when things are kinda messed up like datafeeds and banners.
February 16th, 2010, 01:24 PM #18Originally Posted by RemodelingGuy
"They don't have meetings about rainbows."
I'll never be able to enjoy that movie again. I should have never believed that kid.
DISCLAIMER: That was like a joke. See merchants having meeting on Gay Issues... Ummm... Rainbow Flags... Ummm... Ah! Forget it.
UPDATE TO THIS THREAD: Since posting this, I have began to receive some of those banners and been offered help by several AMs. I don't know how big of a role posting this in ABW had, but I know it did have some impact. So, the forum did accomplish its goal for me in this matter.
February 16th, 2010, 09:44 PM #19
I was out of the country on vacation when the thread was started, so I didn't get a chance to respond.
Glad to hear that you've started to receive some banners and help! I wouldn't be surprised if it was just coincidence on the timing, as this thread was removed from public view for a couple weeks (longer than it should have been due to my absence) to remove some inappropriate comments and work out some issues.
So here's my thoughts on the subject...
Is there homophobia and racism in affiliate marketing? Sure. There are people everywhere who are prejudiced against homosexuals, against blacks, against Hispanics, against Asians, against Christians, against Jews, against Muslims, against meat-eaters, against gun-owners, against the rich, against the poor, against Democrats, against Republicans, and just about anything else you can think of. (And if I'm sure I missed many other groups - please don't be offended by not being included! <G>)
I think it's less prominent in affiliate marketing than elsewhere, though. That's one thing I love about this industry (and ABW). We don't even know whether people are male or female, black or white, gay or straight, what religion they are, what their political views are, whether they come from a prominent family, etc. unless they share it. And it doesn't matter. Through the mask of the Internet, we're far more equal than anywhere else.
I have no doubt that as an openly gay guy you'll experience some discrimination periodically (although I'm not convinced that the incidents you described are or not). If you find a company that does that, drop them and move on. It's not someone you should want to promote anyway, is it? There are tons of merchants to promote.
February 16th, 2010, 10:28 PM #20
Have to admit Snowfinch has a point about the Gay products banners. I can't count the number of times I've seen posts here at ABW with some affiliate asking the AM for a program they work with for a special banner size -- and getting that banner almost immediately.
I don't see why companies that actually offer gay-oriented merchandise should be at all hesitant to create banners for that merchandise. Otherwise, they should say, "No, that merchandise isn't available for our affiliate marketing program," or some such.
Does seem homophobic, the specific reactions Snowfinch says he got from the merchant in post #1.
Are there homphobes and racists in affiliate marketing? I have no doubt. Should there be? Of course not. But there are racists and homophobes pretty much everywhere there are humans, so it's no big surprise.
Snowfinch, I feel your pain. Well, probably not really, because I've never been the victim of homophobia or racism. But I certainly agree you've made some valid points in this thread. Maybe -- MAYBE?? -- it'll do some amount of good. Thanks for sharing all this.
Also glad some folks have stepped up to help you with some banner solutions, too. I'm a terrible designer/graphics artist myself, so I would be no help. LOL!Generate more fake news.
February 16th, 2010, 10:38 PM #21
February 17th, 2010, 12:27 AM #22
- Join Date
- October 16th, 2006
- Washington D.C.
Last edited by Rollerblader; February 17th, 2010 at 12:28 AM. Reason: decided not to post.
February 17th, 2010, 12:33 AM #23Originally Posted by Rollerblader
If the mods are gonna let SF ( and this thread ) back after a few weeks on the poop list, then he may need some support....
He needs a little guidance w/ his merchants....
You may have some positive influence on him...
IMHO of course....
February 17th, 2010, 12:42 AM #24
We have had a couple of clients in the past (not present clients) who specifically said that they didn't want banners on gay sites. Or to quote the phrase "No hate, racism, porn or gay sites" The only reason given was "brand management".
So certainly there is a level of bias and discrimination , and I have never seen a reason in marketing for it to be justified. Last I checked gay folks spend money, go on holiday, buy jewelry, drive cars and use banks...etc etc...
Living in Thailand I have to say I do not experience or see discrimination against people who have chosen an alternate lifestyle. It is socialy accepted.
But back to marketing, as Micheal said if a firm doesn't want to promote to gay people then drop them and move on to the next firm, don't waste your time on them, their are plenty of firms that do know the value in not discriminating when they market their products.
February 17th, 2010, 02:50 AM #25
The only gay sites I have rejected are with banners that would be considered pornographic. That gets any site rejected. As a rule I accept based on niche, content, traffic and do not vet to the merchant. They pay us to screen applications and promote their program.
Otherwise I gladly accept as the demographic generally has a two earner household with lots of disposable cash.
By Kevin in forum Midnight Cafe'Replies: 21Last Post: December 17th, 2008, 03:30 PM