Friday, October 18, 2019

What is the Affiliate Union?

The Affiliate Union ( is an
organization of affiliates and merchants
dedicated to promoting communication and
disclosure in the affiliate industry. The
movement arose out of a need for standards in
a burgeoning industry. Union members have
drafted standards and criteria for certification of
merchants. As any perceived gold rush, the
opening of the online affiliate market attracted
both legitimate businesspeople and its share of
charlatans and snake oil salesmen. Predictably,
people, merchants, affiliates, and customers
began to get burned by unclear, poorly planned,
Fortunately, the Internet is an information
medium and this allows legitimate business
people to compare notes quickly. Merchants
and affiliates work together to create a set of
standards based on disclosure. Keep in mind
that disclosure is based on honesty, not on
quality. The AU plans to examine and certify
merchant programs that honestly outline to their
affiliates the responsibilities of both parties, and
tell affiliates what, when, and how to expect
compensation. At this point, the AU does not
presume to evaluate what a "good" or "fair"
program is, and the affiliate is still responsible
for reading and understanding a contract before
signing it.
The AU is a mutually beneficial, cooperative
effort between merchants and affiliates
designed to facilitate communication and
disclosure. Moreover, the AU will decrease the
amount of fraud and abuse, lessen the
victimization of affiliates, and lend dignity to the