Compliance Management for Advertisers

This article describes what actions to take if you have found or suspect an affiliate of breaching one of your program terms and conditions.

We have provided a number of articles that go into the detection and prevention of compliance breaches, which you should also familiarise yourself with. 

Understanding Paid Search Compliance

Here we focus on what action to take if you have detected a compliance issue including example templates.

Process 1: Known compliance breach:
This is the process to follow if you have clear cut evidence that an affiliate has breached your terms and conditions. The most common breach of terms and conditions is a paid search compliance breach, which can be when an affiliate is bidding on your brand terms on a search engine, advertising false coupon codes on-site, or advertising your brand on a non-approved traffic source. If it is found that one of your affiliates is breaching your brand terms and conditions you may submit a violation report via the Commission Factory platform, following the below process.

  • Take screenshots and/or save links to use as evidence 
  • Search the affiliate in breach via the “Affiliate Directory” of the platform and select “View affiliate”
  • Use the Manage application section of the affiliate profile and select “Report a Violation”. Follow the prompts to submit the report, and once finalised, the report will be sent through to our compliance team.
  • We will then follow our standard internal process and take the appropriate steps towards a resolution.

If you feel the breach warrants removal from your program, you can remove an affiliate with 7 days’ notice. To do so, find the affiliate listed in the "Affiliates" section of the Commission Factory platform. Once the affiliate has been found, click on the three dots for more options and select “Remove”. This will then change the affiliate’s status to “On Notice”, meaning the affiliate has been given 7 days’ notice before removal.

Compliance Breach: Fraud

If the compliance breach is fraud, ie a criminal activity such as orders being generated by false or stolen credit card information, please contact us immediately with the details of the orders you have detected to be fraudulent so we can take immediate action to remove the affiliate from your program and the network, and void any pending orders they may have generated.

Process 2: Unconfirmed breach of terms:

This is the process that you would take to get more information about an affiliate whom you might suspect of a compliance breach, but do not have evidence of.  Or you might just need some further visibility on what an affiliate does. Again, please read through our other articles on detection which will help you to highlight potential issues.

  • Message the affiliate through the message centre or via direct email if you have their details. This is going to be an exploratory email where you find out how they are promoting you. Please feel free to use the email template  1 supplied below.
  • If the affiliate responds and provides you with clear information and evidence of how they are promoting you legitimately, then great, no further action is required. You could take it as an opportunity to optimise their activity.
  • If they respond and the promotional method is not something you permit on your account then you can take the further action of removing them with 7 days notice or asking them to comply/change the method of promotion or face removal or just contact us to follow the known process above.
  • If they do not respond, you can send follow up email (template 2 below) with a potential ultimatum (eg. remove from the program if they do not let you know how they promote you within a given timeframe) or again please feel free to contact us to assist.

Email Template 1:

Subject line:  Affiliate activity for Advertiser  - XXXXX (XXXX is the Advertiser program name)

Hi [Affiliate Name],

I trust you are well.

I am the affiliate manager for XXXXX and we have been reviewing the activity across our affiliate program and noticed you have driven clicks/sales (replace as necessary) for our brand. We like to understand how all of our affiliates are promoting us, so with that in mind would you be able to please detail your promotional method, including screenshots and links to where we are being advertised? Any details you can provide about your userbase is very much appreciated.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

Email Template 2:

Subject line:  Affiliate activity for Advertiser  - XXXXX (XXXX is the Advertiser program name)

Hi [Affiliate Name],

I haven't heard from you in regards to my previous email about your methods of promotion.

We require full visibility on all of our affiliate activity. If you can please respond to my request for further information by XX/XX/XXXX, otherwise we may need to remove you from our program until such time that we do hear from you and can verify your activity.

We would like to avoid taking that sort of action, so please do reply with the information by the date set.

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

If you are unsure about specific actions to take or would like us to look into an affiliate on your behalf please contact us and we will be happy to help. We would like to be notified of any compliance breaches so we can ensure appropriate action taken across the network, if required.