As we move towards a cookie-less world, the future of advertising is looking increasingly contextual. As the below article demonstrates well, affiliate marketing presents a great opportunity for advertisers to reach a receptive target audience at the right moment and in a brand-safe environment. It also levels the playing field and allows affiliates to extract more value.
But affiliate marketing presents challenges from a consumer and data protection perspective. How can an advertiser ensure that its affiliate discloses that the content is sponsored, as required by the CPRs and the CAP Code? How should the parties position themselves from a GDPR perspective? How do they provide adequate privacy information to consumers, obtain valid consent from them and manage opt-outs in a coordinated manner? Is it fair that advertiser and 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 on marketing lawyers' minds over the coming years as the advertising landscape evolves.
The control advertisers have over contextual relevance in affiliate marketing is a key driver behind affiliate’s authenticity. Other advertising strategies, which have heavily relied on third-party cookie tracking, are great for brand awareness and achieving reach. But beyond blacklisting and whitelisting sites and terminology, marketers have limited control over the environments where their ads appear. What sets affiliate apart is the intimate experience it creates when ads align with content the consumer proactively sought out, in a setting that is comfortable and familiar to them.