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.

New Whitepaper: Using Images and Copyrighted Works On Your Blog

The PMA Compliance Council has released a new whitepaper entitled “Using Images and Copyrighted Works on Your Blog: What You Need to Know.” The paper answers frequently asked questions by bloggers such as: Can I use any image under the “Fair Use” doctrine? Can I use an image if it has already been used on another site? Can I use an image if I attribute credit it to the owner? Can I be sued even if I made no money off of the post? In addition, the paper includes an overview of copyright law and various ways to lawfully obtain images for use on blogs. Special thanks go to lead contributor on the document, Adam Dahlen, Director of Client Development at iAffiliate Management. Download the document for free today. The Compliance Council is chaired by David Naffziger, Co-founder and CEO of BrandVerity. Learn more about the Council including its mission, membership, and other documents that it has... read more

Retailers: The PMA Introduces Membership Levels Just for You

The Performance Marketing Industry is made up of 3 major groups – Two of those (Affiliates/Publisher and Service Providers) are likely mainly focused, if not 100% focused on Performance Marketing.  In those cases, membership in the PMA is a must for staying on top of trends, and doing their part to help grow the industry. However – another group in the industry, Retailers and Merchants, participate in many advertising channels, and Performance Marketing is just one – albeit an important one.   Recognizing this – The PMA has introduced membership levels that specifically address the cost concerns of Retailers while allowing them to participate fully in an industry critical to their success. Membership in the PMA allows Retailers & Merchants to showcase their leadership in the Performance Marketing Industry. Membership entitles you to a variety of benefits that offer education & training resources, company networking opportunities, high visibility and the ability to effect change in the industry. To learn more about the Retailer and Merchant Membership levels –... read more

Message from PMA Executive Director

As you have likely already heard, the Performance Marketing Association recently announced that I have been hired as the new Executive Director. This is a significant step forward for the organization because the Board of Directors and Council chairs have been performing the bulk of the work for some time. I am thankful to all of them for continuing to donate their time month after month to make the group successful. Although this presents a shift for the PMA, it does not lessen the contributions that we need from our members in terms of both time and money. Rather, it gives us an opportunity to take what we have and grow to something even bigger. To get there, I would love to hear from you what makes you glad you are a part of the PMA as well as what things you would like to help us do differently. We have some exciting things coming out of the Councils soon such as an Image Copyright Compliance guide for bloggers, the most recent Salary Survey results, and a best practices document for merchants. Other initiatives are in the pipeline that could use more voices and input–perhaps yours? I look forward to getting to know more of you over the coming months and learning how we can ensure that your PMA membership is working for you. If you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback, you can reach me directly at tricia@thepma.org. Tricia MeyerExecutive Director, Performance Marketing... read more

Announcing Our Executive Director

I’m pleased to announce that after years of the organization being fueled by the volunteers on our working Board of Directors, the Performance Marketing Association has hired an Executive Director to oversee strategy and day-to-day operations. Before noting who we’ve been fortunate enough to hire, I’d like to thank the members of the Board of Directors from the last few years who have given countless hours of their time, donated company resources and have generously written checks to keep the PMA operating and strategicaly focused.   Meet Our Executive Director: Tricia Meyer Tricia is no stranger to the PMA. She has served on the organization’s Board of Directors for the last 3 years, most recently as the Board’s Secretary. In this role, she worked as a liaison between the Board and the Councils and as an active, decision-making member of the Executive Committee. Tricia Meyer has been a full-time affiliate marketer for over 10 years and is the owner of Sunshine Rewards, Helping Moms Connect and other niche sites. She speaks and writes about topics such as monetizing blogs, managing affiliate relationships, and current events in the industry. A graduate of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, she combines her legal background and marketing experience to educate and open conversations about legal and ethical issues. As a consultant, she helps companies figure out how affiliate marketing can help them grow their businesses. A Milestone and a Leap Forward Hiring an Executive Director is truly a milestone for the PMA. For years, we’ve worked to build up membership and budget availability for this position. The fact that we’ve reached this... read more

Louisiana Nexus Alert

Louisiana does have an active bill – which has now passed and active as of April 1, 2016.   CAREFUL reading of the bill is encouraged – listed at http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=985206 as it is very focused on in-state solicitation and activities that specifically focus on creating a market in the State of Louisiana.   The law does also contain rebuttal provisions, and a minimum cumulative amount of $50,000.  ... read more

Merchant Best Practice Project

The Coupons & Deals Council is working on a Merchant Best Practices document that will provide helpful information for advertisers new to the performance marketing industry. Affiliate marketing can be overwhelming with its abundant use of different terms and concepts. Our goal is to have a one-stop location for demystifying these common concepts. We are gathering links to articles, sites and documents, and providing summaries on their content. So far we have information on the following: Basics of Affiliate Marketing Choosing Networks SEO Affiliate Recruitment / Activation Strategies and Tips Affiliate Marketing Industry Events Learning Industry Definitions (linked to the PMA Glossary) A few topics that we want to add, but need more content for are: OPMs Different types of affiliates (Content/Niche, Loyalty/Reward, Coupon/Deal, Services/Tools, Software/Technology, Malls/Comparison) Things to watch out for when launching an affiliate program Mistakes to avoid We’d love to hear your ideas on what to add and are also taking article submissions! Email me at larissa@fmtc.co with any info you’d like to provide. We look forward to completing this project and creating a great resource for merchants looking to grow their knowledge and understanding of performance... read more

Important FTC Rulings: Disclosure

FTC Settles with Lord & Taylor re: Blogging Disclosure The FTC had charged the Lord & Taylor paid bloggers to promote a specific line of clothing, the 2015 Design Lab Collection.  Additionally, Lord & Taylor gave 50 dresses to select bloggers and paid promotional post fees to those bloggers. Key to the FTC argument was that Lord & Taylor had approved and reviewed the posts as part of the campaign. Despite the payments, and the review by Lord & Taylor – no disclosure of the paid relationship was provided on the blog. It is highly recommended that you read the following release, directly from the FTC, detailing the charges and settlement. Lord & Taylor Settles FTC Charges It Deceived Consumers Through Paid Article in an Online Fashion Magazine and Paid Instagram Posts by 50 “Fashion Influencers” | Federal Trade Commission National retailer Lord & Taylor has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by paying for native advertisements, including a seemingly objective article in the online publication Nylon and a Nylon Instagram post, without disclosing that the posts actually were paid promotions for the company’s 2015 Design Lab clothing collection. Google Releases Guidelines Friday, Google warned that within product reviews, any links back to the company should be “no-follow” ‘d PMA Corporate Member and longtime industry veteran and leader Adam Riemer wrote up an extensive article on the guidelines, and their effect on your SEO efforts. Why Advertising Disclosures Are Important for SEO Have you been avoiding using an advertising disclosure? Have you placed it in the footer of your site or hidden in a drop... read more

Utah Nexus Update

As we reported last week, Utah resurrected internet sales tax legislation claiming that affiliates constitute nexus in the state and require online retailers to collect and pay state sales taxes. Not only was the House bill resurrected, but so was a similar bill in the Senate. Utah affiliates and bloggers have stood up against the bills. They attended hearings, spoke on behalf of their peers and have been suiting up and heading to the state capitol each day to sit down and talk with legislators about these bills and how passing them will negatively affect their businesses. Utah-based member organization AvantLink has been rallying the troops and leading the efforts to fight these bills on the ground. Chad Waite from AvantLink gives us this update: The Fight on the Ground The fight against the two Utah Tax Nexus bills is ongoing. The bill from the House will likely be voted on mid-Wednesday morning, [the secondary bill from the senate was voted on and unanimously passed in a last-minute call to vote]. The Utah PMA Coalition is fighting both of these bills on all fronts, however, our efforts are concentrated currently in two places: 1. Exposure/education of the bills and showing a unified voice and opposition. This is being done through a public online petition in which any concerned Utah citizen, affiliate marketer, or business owner can sign and express their opposition. We’re nearing 900 signatures at the time of writing this. It’s filled with heartbreaking stories on the devastation these bills present: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/vote-no-on-utah-sb182-hb235/ 2. Grassroots contact with the elected officials that represent every affiliate. We’re asking each affected affiliate marketer or... read more

Utah Nexus Alert

UPDATE** The Utah legislature has NOT passed this bill for the 2016 session.     UPDATE** The Utah legislature has H.B. 0235, the Remote Transactions Parity Act on the floor in both the House and a corresponding Senate Bill.  February 24th the bill passed the House Committee 8-5 and the Senate Committee unanimously.  If you are a business based in Utah that would be affected by this legislation the time to act is immediate. Earlier:  The Utah legislature has resurected H.B. 0235, the Remote Transactions Parity Act. Yesterday (February 22nd), the House sent the bill to the Standing Committee. A hearing will be held tomorrow (February 24th). The public is welcome to attend and speak on their own behalf, letting legislators know how this bill will affect them, their businesses and families. WHEN: Wednesday, February 24th at 2pm  WHERE: State capitol, Salt Lake City, in Room 445 The PMA encourages members and others in the affiliate marketing space to attend this hearing and ensure that the state understands how this bill affects business, affiliates, publishers and bloggers in the state. Utah businesses and residents, we’ve created a Coalition group on Facebook to help you connect with one another, and to provide you with steps you can take to let your state officials know how this bill would affect you and your... read more

Colorado Affiliates Eligible for Amazon Associates Program Again

As of February 3, 2016, Amazon is once again allowing Colorado affiliates to apply for their Associates Program. The change was made to their operating agreement “Effective February 3” but states that it applied started February 1. Amazon had previously dropped all of its Colorado affiliates in March 2010 after the Colorado legislature passed a tax law that implicated out-of-state retailers. A change in Amazon’s practices rather than a change in the law resulted in the decision to allow the Colorado affiliates back into the program. Amazon began collecting sales tax on purchases sent to Colorado addresses starting this week. Affiliate marketing veterans such as Jen Goode of 101 Directions have already reported having their applications re-approved. Though it’s not a win for internet sales tax reform, this is still positive news for the performance marketing industry. Amazon’s willingness to collect and pay sales taxes in order to (among other things, presumably) bring back affiliates from Colorado highlights the importance of their referral program and the value they place on their affiliate partnerships. Despite efforts from the PMA and other organizations towards internet sales tax reform, the battle remains a state-by-state struggle. For up-to-date information on how nexus laws are affecting affiliates in each state, click... read more

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