I forgot how cheesy the “success guy” at the end of the CJ signup process was until I walked a new client through the process today. Reminds me of a certain success kid…
Commission Junction is currently sending out this very legal sounding email to publishers encouraging them to perform due dilligence with a link to a PDF from NY state’s tax office…
As you may already know, the State of New York recently enacted new legislation that addresses tax registration, collection, and other time-sensitive obligations. As with all laws, this law may or may not apply to you and your business. We are actively monitoring the law and will use reasonable efforts to protect ourselves and our publishers as we deem appropriate.
The application of the law is dependent on particular business and factual circumstances, and Commission Junction is not in a position to provide legal and tax advice regarding this law. However, we encourage you to perform the appropriate due diligence as it relates to your business.
For your convenience, we have provided a link to a memo from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Office of Tax Policy Analysis, Taxpayer Guidance Division that addresses the new legislation:
While certainly not as personal and emphatic as ShareASale’s response on their blog or on the ABW forum, it is a little heart warming to see CJ addressing the issue.
I was hoping for more of a “these are the steps we will take to educate merchants and protect our publishers” type email, but it looks like this is all we’re going to get from CJ at this point.
Kerri Pollard, GM of Commisson Junction, joins me in a special podcast.
We cover the Pepperjam controversy, CJ's perspective on the current status of affiliate marketing and where she sees the industry heading in the next decade (and whether or when CJ will blog).
The podcast runs about 25 minutes and is a must-listen.
This morning, eBay is announcing that they are moving their affiliate program in house to the eBay Partner Network effective April 1, 2008 (no fool’s day joke). eBay is also bringing Half.com over to the new network. Affiliates and publishers need to have links changed over by May 1, 2008.
Of course, this means that eBay is leaving Commission Junction as its affiliate network platform. This is a blow against CJ in terms of a solid long lasting program with significant revenues and strong brand name in a month where CJ is already wrapped up in a PR food fight with Pepperjam Network.
With over 60,000 affiliates here in the United States and 100,000 affiliates worldwide, eBay is a significant powerhouse in the affiliate marketing world. So why the move?
I spoke to the Senior Manager of the eBay affiliate program, Will Martin-Gill, and he emphasized that the move had nothing to do with a dissatisfaction with CJ or ValueClick.
Instead, Martin-Gill said it was time to bring the affiliate program in-house the same way eBay brought their search services in-houe a couple of yeas ago. Martin-Gill told me eBay is also looking to build in more flexibility and innovation into their program to reach and sustain the more diverse crowd of affiliates and publishers on the web today and to have a direct relationship with those affiliates (key point, I believe). In short, eBay wants more control over data and wants to be able to coordinate across marketing channels.
Martin-Gill said the international factor was also a major reason for the move away from CJ to in-house managing of the affiliate program. eBay is looking to turn its program into a global platform where publishers and affiliates can sign up to all the various country-specific programs at once through the same interface.
Shopping API’s and eventually RSS will be implemented into the program as well as in-depth reporting.
I also spoke with ValueClick VP John Ardis and CJ’s Dave Osmond on Friday about eBay’s departure. They emphasized the mutual good will on both sides and said the move was not a surprise, but something that CJ had been working with eBay on for the last couple of years realizing the needs that eBay had for their affiliate program.
Ardis also pointed out that eBay is not severing all ties with ValueClick or Commission Junction since VC’s Mediaplex tracking solution is being used for the eBay Publisher Network and Tradera AB, ProStores, Reseller Marketplace, Media Marketplace, eBay Stores and StubHub will continue to be on the CJ platform.
This is certainly a major development and could signal a sea change for the place of the networks in the affiliate marketing world. We’ll have to see how affiliates and merchants respond to the news.
In the most recent Commission Junction newsletter, there was a big announcement concerning a change to Yahoo Search Marketing policies regarding direct linking by publishers: