What is affiliate marketing?
One approach for an Internet business to take is through the particular marketing strategy referred to as affiliate marketing. The “affiliates” involved in this kind of marketing plan will be paid by the main marketing entity for every instance where they can bring a customer or visitor to the business’s website. Legal issues have sometimes arisen from affiliate marketing activities due to activities previously relegated to a single entity being spread amongst different parties, with a consequent diminishment of responsibility and greater possibility for abuses being committed.
Laws to take into account for affiliate marketing
Considered as a sector of the Internet business world, affiliate marketing falls under the oversight wielded by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This legislative body forbids “unfair or deceptive” affiliate marketing scheme or any other business activity similarly prohibited under law. In accordance with this principle, the concerns with lawsseen as being involved with affiliate marketing can especially derive from the FTC pursuing cases against violators.
Legal relevance of affiliate marketing issues to Internet businesses
A person involved in operating Internet businesses might be concerned with the possibility of legal problems associated with affiliate marketing for three different primary causes. As such, three particulartypes of Internet business owners or individuals involved with Internet businesses have been noted as being potentially applicable to Internet affiliate marketing:
The network allows for visitation data to be tracked, payments to be processed, and other relevant activities to be reported to applicable places. Networks might take on an addedchance of liability for the affiliate marketing activities with which they are involved. As such, they could be required to hire the services of an Internet business lawyer, but generally have diminished levels of responsibility for the degree to which the merchant and publishers adhere to fair and non-deceptive practices.
This Internet business entity can also be referred to as the brand or the retailer, and is the employer of the affiliate. The employers of affiliate marketers can accordingly face legal repercussions in the face of the FTC, and would be required to employ business attorneys, if they allow their affiliates to deceptively or unfairly direct customers or visitors to their websites.
This player in an affiliate marketing scheme is the actual affiliate, and as such might face legal ramifications either through the way in which it attracts visitors and directs them to the merchant’s web site, or according to how the merchant treats them once they arrive at the other site.
Other possible affiliate marketing participants
Due to the size and financial importance of the affiliate marketing sector, some of the other Internet businesses which might be involved in affiliate marketing, and accordingly with the requirement for hiring attorneys specializing in business or the Internet, are:
affiliate management agencies
E-mail marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), other means for carrying out marketing online, also raise comparable legal issues and can be accordingly subject to the oversight of the FTC.