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 the DMA Guidelines for Ethical Business
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 1) asking for a
full disclosure of eligible sites, or 2) 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 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 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.