About two months ago Be Free, Commission Junction, Linkshare and Performics sat down at the table to address a problem in the affiliate industry. We all came to the table in good faith in an effort to make our industry more fair while balancing the needs of the various constituents who had a stake in the process. On November 7th, we all attended a meeting in New York where we heard more input and discussed the issue further with the intent of coming together with a common set of standards. These standards are meant to make for a fair playing field for affiliates, guide affiliates who utilize shopping plug-ins as to what was and was not acceptable, and to help merchants make decisions about whom to partner with.

During the follow-up meetings all the providers focused on coming to agreement on what was fair. Difficult discussions addressed issues such as how far the service providers' authority extended and which decisions should be left up to merchants & partners. Each provider contributed significantly to the effort and all providers listened and constructively commented on others' views.

It’s confusing that one could take such a strong stance against a code after contributing to both its form and content.

We don't think it's fair to take credit where one doesn’t deserve it or to take potshots at other's efforts for improving the current state of the industry. I will say that all the affiliate providers have worked with merchants, partners and software vendors and influenced constructive change. All of the providers that remained at the table are committed to continuing that work and making positive change in this industry. This process does not end with this code, but is an ongoing one and unlike a contract alone, can adapt to the changing needs of the industry.

Enforcement is independent of the medium and Be Free is committed to enforcing this code and working constructively with technology providers who wish to comply.

We invite all those who are interested in bringing constructive change to the industry to join us in our commitment by endorsing this code, participating in the process and contributing to make it better.


Steve Pike