As we move towards a cookie-free world, the future of advertising looks more and more contextual. As the article below makes clear, affiliate marketing presents a great opportunity for advertisers to reach a receptive target audience at the right time and in a safe environment for the brand. It also level the playing field and allow affiliates to extract more value.
But affiliate marketing presents challenges from a consumer and data protection perspective. How can an advertiser ensure that their affiliate discloses that the content is sponsored, as required by the RPCs and the CAP Code? How should parties position themselves from a GDPR perspective? How do they provide adequate privacy information to consumers, obtain valid consent from them, and manage withdrawals in a coordinated manner? Is it fair that the advertiser and the affiliate bear the brunt of this compliance burden equally if the former is a big brand and the latter is an individual influencer? The answers to these questions are, in many cases, fact-specific, but are likely to play in the minds of marketing lawyers over the next several years as the advertising landscape evolves.
The control that advertisers have over contextual relevance in affiliate marketing is a key factor in affiliate authenticity. Other advertising strategies, which rely heavily on third-party cookie tracking, are ideal for brand awareness and reach. But beyond blacklisting and whitelisting sites and terminology, marketers have limited control over the environments in which their ads appear. What sets the Affiliate apart is the intimate experience they create when the ads align with the content that the consumer is proactively looking for, in a setting that is comfortable and familiar to them.
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