Affiliate Marketing is doing wonders in the age of e-commerce. Companies with low cost and low risk can market their products and services with a single click. But with great opportunities comes a few drawbacks too.
One of the drawbacks of affiliate marketing is the misuse of personal data and misleading advertisements. Trade regulatory bodies exist to ensure such misdemeanours does not occur and holds all parties involved accountable. So, if you are part of the online marketing world, you may have wondered, “who regulates affiliate marketing?”.
There is no clear cut answer to the question because different areas and countries have other marketing laws and regulation systems in place.
Although I cannot provide you with a direct answer, I can give you an overview of affiliate marketing and its regulations. Read more below on to get a better understanding of how affiliate marketing works and is regulated.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Have you ever noticed Instagram influencers tagging brands in their photos? Or, videos of them swearing by a product? If you have, then that is called affiliate marketing.
The influencer is the marketer here. But they are not the only one behind the product promotion.
There are groups of affiliate networks and vendors also behind these promotions.
Through social media, blogs, emails, online ads, affiliate marketers promote products and generate traffic for the merchant seller. The affiliate marketer will receive payment for each sale made by them for the seller.
Who Regulates Affiliate Marketing Publishers?
Affiliate Marketing Publishers are the affiliate marketers who generate traffic and influence sales of a product or service. They basically, increase the chances of a sale to occur.
Publishers use a unique affiliate link in their content to generate traffic for the company. You can call them online marketing professionals.
You can classify them into different segments. Social media influencers, webmasters and bloggers are affiliate marketing publishers. Their income is based on the number of sales they influenced. But they are not the only type of publishers.
Some affiliate marketing groups team up with local trade organizations to create policies that regulate the digital marketing world. Policies regarding affiliate marketing is also a part of it. Publishers abide by these policies.
If publishers are connected to an affiliate marketing network, then they abide by their unique policies too. In that case, they are being regulated by the same local regulatory organization as their network. Again, vendors also regulate their affiliate marketing activity.
To find out who regulates affiliate marketing publishers, you will need to find out what local regulatory organizations exist in your area.
You can also find out the existing regulatory policies by looking it up on the internet. You can search using phrases like, “online marketing laws”, “affiliate marketing laws” “affiliate marketing groups” etc.
Who Regulates Affiliate Marketing Vendors or Advertisers?
Affiliate marketing vendor is the company that is trying to advertise their products or services via affiliate marketing. They have to comply with the rules set by the affiliate network they are using.
Vendors are responsible for the claims and complaints regarding their products. That is why they closely regulate their affiliate publishers.
Vendors, in turn, are regulated by their local trade control organizations. For example, in the USA, the local trade organization is the Federal Trade Organization or FTC.
To better understand affiliate marketing regulation, you can take help from business organizations. Better Business Bureau or BBB is an organization like that in the USA. You can contact them to get information on regulation laws.
Again, you will also have to consider the policies of individual affiliate marketing companies. Each one has its own rules that publishers and advertisers have to abide by. You can find these rules on their affiliate website.
Who Regulates Affiliate Marketing Companies?
Affiliate Marketing companies are networks that connect vendors and publishers. Through them, both parties get to communicate on one platform.
On affiliate networks, in one interface, publishers can reach their desired vendor and vice versa. There is no hassle of looking for individual publishers or vendors.
Affiliate marketing companies have their own rules and regulations that vendors and publishers have to follow. Their rules are based on the policies of government trade organizations.
Government organizations and local trade organizations also regulate affiliate marketing companies.
Why Affiliate Marketing Regulation is Required?
As a visitor, when you click the ad, an affiliate marketer is probably being paid. If the affiliate company is not maintaining privacy policies, then there is a chances that you are being tracked.
There is also a chance that the affiliate marketer is scamming you, the customer. So, to prevent this regulation of affiliate marketing is crucial.
If you are trying to make it in the online marketing world, you need to know regulation guidelines too. You need to be aware of legal issues related to customer privacy, data collection, intellectual property, deceptive marketing and the procedures of customer protective organizations.
If you do not follow the guidelines of your local trade organization, you will have your website flagged or taken down. You may also be fined.
Regulation is beneficial also for the marketing vendors and companies. Because it maintains competition. Also, the company that strictly follow guidelines will have a right brand image, thus creating loyal customers.
How to Find Accurate Information on Who Regulates Affiliate Marketing?
The reason why it is difficult to find out a specific regulatory body for affiliate marketing is that it is a combination of various things. The laws of digital marketing and affiliate marketing are blurred. So, there is no specific regulatory body for one.
But there are two steps you can follow to get accurate information on who regulates affiliate marketing. These two steps are simple but effective. There are,
Different works related to affiliate marketing can be confusing. So, pinpoint and understand the exact information you need to find. That way, you will come up with precise questions with direct answers.
You have to reach out to your local affiliate marketing community. They will help you get the required information. You can join Facebook groups, clubs or forums.
Federal Trade Commission on Affiliate Marketing
The Federal Trade Commission’s primary goal is consumer protection. FTC prohibits deceptive or misleading advertising in any medium.
This policy applies to all parties involved in affiliate marketing.
According to their guidelines, affiliate marketers have to provide disclaimers in their promotions. They will also have to demonstrate product quality.
Many affiliate marketers are not aware of the FTC or the trade guidelines of their areas. Because of this, often their blogs, channels or accounts are taken down.
Affiliate marketers are not the only ones paying the price of breaking policies. Vendors and companies are also held accountable.
The scope of affiliate marketing is vast. For merchant sellers, it creates an area for flexible marketing at low risk. But the consumer is exposed to the malpractices of the online marketing world.
Regulations of affiliate marketing can curb deceptive marketing. That is why it is essential to know who regulates affiliate marketing. So, that you are aware of and steer clear of deceptive marketing, that way, you will also be able to gain the trust of sellers and be more successful in affiliate marketing.
Although there is no specific affiliate marketing regulatory body for the whole world, I hope that my article gave you some direction on how to find one in your region.
I hope this article helps you out in achieving your goals as an affiliate marketer. Thanks for stopping by. I wish you the best of luck.