The PMA Blog

The PMA’s mission is to advance and protect responsible performance marketing. Stay on top of industry happenings here on the PMA blog.

No Regulation Without Representation

As states continue to grapple with the issue of sales on out of state internet purchases, a few federal congress members have entered the conversation with their own versions of bills that include regulations on who can and can’t be taxed and what constitutes a connection (nexus) between a state and a business or individual. Recently, I offered you an overview of the Online Sales Simplification Act of 2016 which attempts to focus taxation on the buyer and the seller and employs the tax laws from each of their respective states. Now, I’d like to introduce you to another proposed act that attempts to set limits on sales tax at the federal level. The “No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2016” Review the proposed bill and the latest actions here. This act is short and concise. Borrowing on the political “no taxation without representation” concepts of the 1750’s and 1760’s that lead to the American Revolution, the bill aims to limit a state’s ability to impose tax to those within the state. It limits states to collecting fees and requiring reporting from “persons” with a “physical presence” in the state. Is This Another Nexus Bill? As I described in the last nexus update, the bills we typically see introduced by states attempt to make a connection (nexus) between the state and a seller using affiliates. They argue that having affiliates in the state creates a strong enough connection between the state and seller for the state to be able to levy taxes on that seller. This bill does not attempt to make such a connection. In fact, it attempts... read more

Recap: FTC Disclosure Workshop

The FTC held a public workshop on September 15 entitled “Putting Disclosures to the Test.” Although I did not attend in person, I did watch via webcast. According to the FTC, both the webcast and accompanying materials will be available soon. The workshop started with basic background from Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman of the FTC, on the legal background of disclosures. The core of this is the .com Disclosures guidance, which has been updated to take into account technological changes. Bloggers, social media, native ads, and influencer marketing were specifically mentioned in the introduction. Although not everything in the workshop applied to performance marketing, here are some of my key takeaways that could apply: Endorsement location should be placed in visual field and competing stimuli should be reduced. Should be legible, high contrast, brief, and with priority information first. Use simple terms and avoid ambiguity. To measure effectiveness of disclosures, you need to test methodology and make changes to get to the most accurate results. Incorrect methodology could be worse than not collecting data at all. Before you test for the effectiveness of a disclosure, identify your purpose/objectives and expected outcomes. Even clear and conspicuous disclosures may not be read by consumers. Asking consumers if they are reading it is not the best way to determine whether they really are. Consumers understand that terms such as “Paid Ad,” “Paid Content,” and “Sponsored” are advertisements but not as much with terms such as “Brand Voice” and “Partner.” Use mouse or eye tracking to see if people are looking at your disclosures on your site. Social media is the majority of native... read more

The Latest Proposed Internet Sales Tax Bill

This month, Congressman Goodlatte of VA has circulated a discussion draft of a new bill called the “Online Sales Simplification Act of 2016”. Articles from two major publishers have been released recently addressing the topic: Wall Street Journal Internet Retailer Internet Retailer – E-retailers’ Reaction to the Bill  You can download a PDF of the draft by clicking here. In a Nutshell If this bill were to pass, online merchants would collect sales tax from each buyer based on the buyer’s home state. You’d remit the tax to your state who would pass it through to a Clearinghouse that would then distribute funds back to states. So, if your company is in IL and you sell something to someone in MI, you would collect 6% (Michigan’s sales tax) on the purchase. You’d remit the amount to the State of Illinios who would then send the tax to the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse would credit it to the State of Michigan. But… It’s Not That Simple Despite the term “Simplification” appearing in the bill’s name, it’s not all that simple. State sovereignty is clearly an issue the bill’s sponsor is sensitive to. If the bill passes, each state will have a choice whether or not to participate. So, there are contingencies around participation. Furthermore, there are states that currently don’t impose a sales tax, so those contingencies spread to cover situations in which a buyer or a seller reside in a sales tax free state. Participating states would be required to create programs and processes to certify merchants and manage monetary and data receipts from them. Merchants, whether they are in... read more

New PMA Resource Guide for Affiliate Managers

Navigating the waters of affiliate marketing can be confusing, especially for new affiliate managers.The PMA Coupons and Deals Council has released a new document aimed at helping new affiliate managers learn the basic terminology, strategies, and dangers in running an affiliate program. The Resource Guide for New Affiliate Managers pulls together suggested reading from industry veterans and PMA members including Geno Prussakov, JEBCommerce, RhinoFish Media, AffiliateManager.com, Apogee, Shawn Collins, and many others. The Guide includes topics such as: Affiliate Networks and Tracking Solutions Types of Affiliates Outsourced Program Management Nexus Affiliate Recruitment/Activation Mistakes to Avoid Download the PMA Resource Guide for New Affiliate Managers for free today. Thanks to the following Council Members for their work on this valuable resource! Council Chair : Larissa Feuerstein, FMTC Council Members: Mike Allen, Shopping BargainsSimone Brandt, ComprigoScott Wanamaker, eAccountableMarie Lundbom, PromoCodes.comCraig McGlynn, VigLinkLisa Hahn, All Inclusive... read more

FTC Disclosure Public Workshop

FTC Disclosure Public Workshop On September 15, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission will be holding a public workshop to examine the effectiveness of disclosures. Although the workshop will include various types of disclosures including privacy policies and nutritional labeling, the part that will most impact performance marketers will be the discussion regarding social media, native advertising, and other online advertising.  Although the public can attend the workshop in Washington, D.C., we understand that is not practical for most of our members. Instead, you can view a webcast of the event and a link to that will be made available the morning of the event on the event page. Further, you can already view the full agenda. Of particular interest on the agenda for our industry are: Evaluation Procedures and Methods (This session will provide an overview of the procedures and methods to evaluate disclosure effectiveness and a discussion of the costs and benefits of using various evaluation procedures and methods.) Comprehension (This session will discuss studies that evaluate whether people understand the information conveyed in disclosures.) Impact on Decision Making and Behavior (This session will discuss studies that evaluate the impact that disclosures have on consumers’ decision making and behavior.) Case Studies The Future of Disclosures? One of the case studies is: Colin Campbell Dept. of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Kent State University“When Disclosure May Not Be Enough: Social Media, Native Advertising and Multiple Ad Recognition Cues” For more information about the workshop, see Putting Disclosures to the... read more

PMA Represented at Affiliate Summit East

PMA Represented at Affiliate Summit East The PMA was well represented at Affiliate Summit East in New York last week. Hundreds of members were spotted at our events, speaking in sessions, and sporting PMA stickers around the halls. In particular it was great seeing members come together at our party and our table. PMA Networking Cocktail Party We kicked off the conference with a networking event held at the Marriott. We sincerely appreciate our sponsors AffiliateManager.com, HasOffers by Tune, and TriMax Media. Over 50 people enjoyed drinks and speed-dating style networking while learning more about each other and the PMA. Board of Directors members and Council chairs were on hand to give updates about what we have done this year and what is coming in the rest of 2016. Meet Market Booth On Sunday, members donated their time in hour-long shifts to work our Meet Market table. We connected with current members and educated others about what the PMA is doing and why it is important to the industry. We came away with some great contacts to follow up with in the coming weeks about joining the organization. A “thank you” goes to all of the members who spent their time working at the booth as well as the following sponsors: iAffiliateManagement Impact Radius KemKlicks LinkConnector Pepperjam PerformanceMarketingJOBS rewardStyle VirusPositive We look forward to seeing everyone again at Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas! Don’t forget that PMA members are entitled to one free Affiliate Summit pass a year plus discounts on all other pass purchases. In addition, if you are interested in sponsoring one of our events in January,... read more

Meet the PMA at Affiliate Summit East

We’re just days away from Affiliate Summit and your chance to meet up with PMA members at various events. Whether you are looking for industry information, networking, or organization updates, PMA members will be all over ASE16! Where can you find us? The PMA Networking Cocktail Party Get your tickets for the Networking Event to be held Saturday night from 6-7pm. It’s a great opportunity to meet industry movers and shakers in a casual setting. Join us for drinks and a round robin networking session. Tickets are free for members and $10 for everyone else. The Meet Market The PMA will have a table at the Meet Market where you can meet current members and learn what the PMA has done this year and what we have planned for the next year. Tell us what impacts YOU in the industry and how we can help. Thanks to the following generous sponsors who are making that table possible: iAffiliateManagement Impact Radius KemKlicks LinkConnector Pepperjam PerformanceMarketingJOBS rewardStyle VirusPositive Be sure to stop by and pick up your PMA member sticker to wear on your badge! Panels and Presentations Many members of the PMA were chosen to speak at Affiliate Summit. From SEO to Attribution to Program Management, we’re covering a lot of areas. View the full list of members speaking and their topics. We look forward to seeing you at any or all of these events in New... read more

PMA Affiliate Summit East Networking Event

The Performance Marketing Association will be having its semi-annual Affiliate Summit networking event on Saturday, July 30, 2016, from 6-7pm in the Empire Complex of the New York Marriott Marquis. This year’s event will be a little different than those in the past to provide new opportunities for interaction. As always, we will be offering members the chance to meet with Board Members and Council chairs to learn more about what the PMA has been doing this year and how it benefits them. In response to member feedback, however, we will also feature a round robin of networking across members to maximize the number of interactions throughout the hour. Tickets are free for members based on their membership level (1 for Solopreneurs, 2 for Corporate, Retailers, and Merchants, and 4 for Industry Champions). Non-members may purchase tickets in advance for $10 each. We have a limited amount of space, so tickets MUST be reserved or purchased in advance through our Eventbrite page. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank our sponsors for making this event possible: AffiliateManager.com Has Offers by TUNE TriMax Media Bring your business cards and grab a drink to kick off ASE16 with the... read more

PMA Releases 2016 Salary Survey Results

On behalf of the PMA, I am excited to announce that the 2016 Salary Survey Results are now available. The survey was conducted in February through March of this year, and it is the second time we have conducted it. Because of that, we were able to include not only the results of the survey but also insights comparing year over year results. The survey was conducted across over 100 performance-based marketing companies including agencies, vendors, affiliates, and merchants. The report includes: Salary ranges for C-Level employees and Executives including CEO, President, CFO, CTO Salary ranges for Marketing Department employees including Affiliate Managers and Senior Affiliate Managers Salary ranges for Sales employees including Business Development Manager Salary ranges for Technology department employees including a comparison of CTO salaries to Vice President of Technology salaries Non-salary compensation statistics for all included job titles Participants in the survey will receive a copy of the results for free. In addition, the report is free to all PMA members. Non-members can purchase the report for $49. I would like to thank the following members of the PMA Measurements and Insights Council for all of their hard work on this project: Eric Nagel, CTO, FMTC, @ericnagel Carolyn Kmet, Senior Lecturer, Loyola University of Chicago Mike Carney, President, PerformanceMarketingJOBS Download the PMA 2016 Salary Survey... read more

PMA Board of Directors Welcomes Joe Sousa of Fanatics

I am excited to announce that Joe Sousa, Affiliate Coordinator at Fanatics, is joining the Performance Marketing Association Board of Directors. I have had the pleasure of working with Joe for many years and know that he brings experience, enthusiasm, and knowledge to our Board. A little bit about Joe: Joe has been in the SEO/Affiliate industry since 1998. He started out doing SEO for clients but quickly transitioned into a full time affiliate and affiliate manager. Over the years Joe has built hundreds of different sites in many different niches and has experience in PPC, SEO, video, blogging, affiliate management, and social media. Since transitioning into affiliate management 4 years ago Joe has won the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for Affiliate Manager of the Year once and the Exceptional Merchant award twice for his work on the Fanatics.com affiliate program. Joe is currently the Affiliate Coordinator for Fanatics.com, FansEdge.com, NBAStore.com, NFLShop.com, shop.MLB.com and other related properties. Please join me in welcoming Joe to the... read more

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