DMA Releases Best Practices and Establishes Standards for Online Advertising and Affiliate Marketing
June 21, 2006 — Committed to protecting the rights of direct marketers while building consumer trust, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced today the release of Best Practices for Online Advertising and Affiliate Marketing Networks.
The document will assist marketers in protecting and growing their brands in the online environment. It also will provide prescriptive guidance to marketers employing affiliate marketing in their media plans.
"One of the biggest challenges today's marketing community faces is brand protection and the customer's perception of the online brand," said Jerry Cerasale, DMA’s senior vice president of government affairs. "Implementing meaningful change is well within the reach of marketers for whom the online media represents an enormous opportunity for growing revenue, as well as market and mind share."
"Preserving the security, integrity, and growth of brands online is more important now than ever as the interactive marketing landscape continues to evolve," said Matt Blumberg, co-chair of DMA's Interactive Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB) and chairman & CEO of ReturnPath. "DMA's Best Practices for Online Advertising and Affiliate Marketing Networks provides all marketers with an opportunity to foster an environment in which both brands and customer relationships can flourish."
DMA’s Interactive Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB) is a group of professionals who represent the interactive and mobile marketing community and advise DMA’s leadership and membership on integrating emerging interactive technologies and mobile media marketing principles, techniques, issues, and standards into their organizations domestically and internationally.
The following is the full text of the new best practices document:
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DMA’s Internet Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB)
Best Practices for Online Advertising Networks and Affiliate Marketing
Online marketers using advertising and affiliate networks should:
1. Obtain assurances that the online advertising and affiliate network is in full compliance with state law, federal law, and DMA's Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice.
2. Perform due diligence on prospective network advertising partners and make sure you are working with reputable firms. Additionally (if possible), obtain a sample list of current advertising clients. Due diligence should also include either asking for a full disclosure of eligible sites, or a review of processes to limit access to unwanted sites or channels. When partnering with an aggregate site online, advertising and affiliate networks should provide the marketer with a sampling of sites that are in their network. Due diligence should encompass the entire process from the marketer to the end consumer.
3. Always utilize a written contract/agreement. This will provide you with the greatest possible control over your ad placement. This will also be the mechanism by which you devise and enforce formulas and/or guidelines for where and how online ads will be placed.
4. Include specific parameters that must be employed to determine placement of your online ads in written agreements. Altering of an offer by an advertising or affiliate network is prohibited. If laws, guidelines, or set standards are violated, your contract with the violating advertising or affiliate network should be terminated.
5. Develop a system to routinely monitor your ad placements as well as your contract with any online advertising or affiliate network.
To view the Online Advertising and Affiliate Marketing Best Practices document please visit http://www.the-dma.org/guidelines/onlineadvertisingandaffiliatenetworkBP.pdf.
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