I hope this is the right sub-forum for me to share a very sad experience I've ever had since I first stepped into Affiliate Marketing. Yesterday our Affiliate Manager had to fire a #1 affiliate for a certain program -- let's call this Program L -- in our network. Here is what transpired.
Since the first of the year our AM have been trying to police the trademark bidding by affiliates on Program L. This is further complicated because 4 dealers have special privileges and can trade mark bid. Policing includes Google, Yahoo and MSN.
So our AM started with Google AdWords and have been warning affiliates to not trade mark bid but we do allow them to bid on the trigger terms. The super affiliate actually educated our AM on geo targeting and day parting. The super affiliate poached on terms and our AM would send an email or call to discuss. They even met at Affiliate Summit in Miami.
In the last two weeks our AM have been heavily monitoring G/Y/M and writing daily warnings to affiliates who are trademark poaching. All have complied and some even asked me to approve ad copy. He was leveling the playing field and trying to get some push back on the dealers as well.
So, the top affiliate continues to trademark poach. Monday it all came to a head. Not only is the affiliate poaching but it is now doing it directly on the trademark. After a call from the CEO of LGL threatened our AM's job he sent a request for the ads to be taken down. This is at least the 6th time our AM have made such requests. Also this is on the heels of emails and a phone conversation last week.
Chain of events Monday:
9:03 AM warning sent.
9:06 AM 2nd ad found and additional warning sent.
2:42 PM Removal from Little Giant Ladder program email sent.
2:53 PM Network email that account has been declined sent.
2:53 PM email from affiliate asking ???
Our AM did not call because we had the same conversation the week before. The affiliate did call our AM upset that our AM would do this. They parted company and yes our AM removed the affiliate from all programs that we manage.
Why would an affiliate who made great commissions, given the highest commission rate and had a personal relationship with the AM so blatantly put trademark violations in our AM's face?