Will ThePOGG’s Affiliate Union Initiative Work?
Discussions about affiliate unions aren’t exactly new. In the last couple of years though, the need to unionize has become a topic of greater importance thanks to some affiliate programs’ unsavoury practices. Now, ThePOGG has taken a step forward in the making of an affiliate union. In a post on their website, the online casino gaming portal put forth a proposal for a union that would allow affiliates to take to task a program that forces unfair restrictions on them.
Protection against unscrupulous affiliate programs
It should be noted that not all affiliate programs are out to one up their affiliates. There are a number of reputable programs that actually provide outstanding service to their partners. With that said, there is no knowing when these programs make use of certain terms in their contracts to force out affiliates who they think might be earning too much or too little. Usually these terms are worded in a way that would force affiliates to agree to the program changing certain conditions in the contract without their (the affiliates’) knowledge or approval.
Oftentimes, these would involve the addition of negative carry-overs, changes to the commissions structures, as well as activity quotas.
How can the affiliate union deter a program’s bad practices?
With the affiliate union, ThePOGG hopes that programs would be discouraged in enforcing changes to their contracts and thereby protecting member-affiliates. In the event that a program tries to change its contracts, the union can take action in a variety of ways. With Affiliate Edge and their retroactive term changes as one example, it just shows what affiliate programs can do and it’s up to affiliates to show that these actions won’t be tolerated.
The first action that the union can undertake is to highlight an offending program’s actions online. Members can vote for the union to issue a press release that would spell out their collective opposition to the changes a program may enforce (or has already enforced).
In order to disseminate the press release/statement, members who voted for the union to take action can have it published on their sites. In this manner, the statement/press release will likely end up on the results page of searches made prospective affiliates who may be interested in the offending program.
Other than issuing a press release, the affiliate union can also take legal action against a program. Of course, there are certain prerequisites that need to be met before the union pushes through with this. This option will be explored in instances where member-affiliates incur heavy financial losses as a result of the program’s enforcement of unreasonable changes.
Much like the first option, members can vote on whether the union pursues legal advice or action against an offending program. In case the majority of members do vote for this recourse, the union can then proceed to engage the services of a firm in the jurisdiction that the program falls under.
Funding the union
To ensure that the union is able to pursue the second option, members will need to agree to split the cost of the law firm’s services among themselves. Now this can be particularly challenging. In the affiliate union framework it proposed, ThePOGG states that the legal costs should be split among ALL members. This means that even if a member-affiliate isn’t in favour of legal action, he/she will still need to chip in. ThePOGG’s reasoning is that splitting the costs equally would discourage an affiliate from joining to get the union to take legal action for him/her and then opting out once other member-affiliates request for assistance.
ThePOGG also notes on its write up for its proposed affiliate union framework that the legal costs for this option usually amounts to around £100000. If the union is able to get 100 affiliates to join, then each would only need to pay £1000. Of course, £1000 is still a substantial amount. With that said, allowing one program to shaft its partners with a contract change without any consequences will undoubtedly empower others to do the same. At the end of the day, it is within a member-affiliate’s best interests to contribute to this option.
Who can be a part of the affiliate union?
According to ThePOGG, the affiliate union is targeted at small and mid-sized affiliates. More often than not, affiliate programs would tend to take care of large affiliates thanks to the traffic that they’re able to provide. Programs typically give these affiliates customized commissions and possibly different contracts than what small and mid-sized affiliates get. As a result, these larger affiliates usually won’t get shafted when the program introduces changes to its contract’s terms and conditions. On the other hand, small and mid-sized affiliates are sure to be affected by any contract change a program enforces.
By joining the union, small and medium-sized affiliates will hopefully have more security and be better protected from any changes their programs make. And the more affiliates who join the union, the more clout it will have. With a hundred or more small and medium-sized affiliates, a press release by the union has the potential to negatively impact the SERP for an offending program. This can result in the program losing out on potential affiliates and its promoted brand/s not getting the needed affiliate traffic to turn a profit.
A possible roadblock to the success of an affiliate union could be the apathy of the affiliates themselves. In order for the union to be successful, it needs to have as many affiliates as possible on board with the framework. For this reason, ThePOGG (and other independent casino gaming portals) are actively encouraging affiliates to join the discussion centering around its proposed affiliate union. Affiliates who want to know more about this proposal can either check it out on ThePOGG website or join the discussions at the CasinoMeister and Affiliate Guard Dog forums. Additionally, they can send their inquiries or questions to this email address: [email protected]
Other than affiliate participation, there are still other issues that need to be ironed out before ThePOGG’s proposed affiliate union (or collective) can take off. With that said, there’s a lot to like with the online casino gaming portal’s initial proposal. For a long time, affiliates have found themselves at the mercy of programs. With ThePOGG’s affiliate union proposal, they just might be able to fight back against the unreasonable contract changes that most programs implement to avoid paying them their commissions.
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