Following feedback from voucher code sites, networks and other member of the affiliate community we’ve made a few changes to the code of conduct for voucher codes. The main changes centre on user generated content, further clarification on expired content and a semantic change that references affiliates who use voucher codes (as opposed to voucher code affiliates).
Voucher Code, Code of Conduct, October 2010
The IAB’s Affiliate Marketing Council code of conduct for voucher code sites and affiliates who make use of voucher codes ensures voucher traffic sent from affiliate sites to merchants is not done in a misleading or confusing way and that consumers receive a good user experience.
The following networks are committed to enforcing the code:
Affiliate Window, Affilinet, buy.at, Commission Junction, LinkShare, OMG, TradeDoubler, Webgains.
The code of conduct
1. Affiliates must not use a mechanism whereby users are encouraged to click to interact with content where it is unclear or confusing what the outcome will be. For example:
i) Using “click to reveal code” and opening the site when no valid code is present or an offer/deal/sale is presented instead, without this being made clear before the click.
ii) Using “click to copy code” and opening the site when no valid code is available
iii) Opening the merchant’s site without making it clear that this will occur
2. Affiliates must clearly detail the nature of the voucher or offer/deal/sale before a user clicks to interact with it (by revealing, copying, visiting the merchant site etc.)
3. A valid code is defined as a code that has been legitimately issued by a merchant for affiliate use online.
The onus will be on the affiliate to ensure the code being monetised via affiliate networks can legitimately be used. Affiliates will be expected to confirm with affiliate networks, agencies and other third parties when they wish to offer a code that is not obviously available via the affiliate channel. Affiliates are urged to only monetise codes via affiliate links that are available from network interfaces or have been provided directly by the merchant
This also extends to affiliate sites monetising user generated content. When codes are submitted they must be checked before affiliate links can be added. Sites featuring user generated content should be aware of the implications in featuring invalid codes even if the links are not monetised.
4. Voucher codes will have an activation date and preferably (where provided) a deactivation date. When a code has expired it must either be removed or the fact that it has expired must be clearly stated in writing, not simply by listing the expiry date.
Clarity of the expired content is key. Affiliates should consider whether expired content is clear to the consumer. The content could, for example, be struck through or greyed out. Networks will use discretion when advising affiliates whether their expired content is clear enough.
5. Sites displaying voucher codes must contain clear categorisation and separation between deals/offers/sales and voucher codes.
Any affiliate judged by one of the participating networks to be contravening the code will be referred to the IAB’s Affiliate Marketing Council. The discretion of the council will be used when determining what is judged as misleading or confusing and is not confined to the examples above.
Any voucher infringements can be referred to the AMC via the following email address: email@example.com