Friday, January 23, 2015

Missguided show how affiliate and native advertising can merge together

UK retailer Missguided have launched the “Missguided Active” sports range. To kick off the campaign they’ve emailed affiliates. This is a good start. When you’ve a new range; tell your affiliates.

What’s caught my eye is that Missguided have taken it a step further and are looking to marshal affiliates into the realm of content. This starts to become native advertising or perhaps even a form of Outreach & Engagement more commonly associated with SEO.

This is what the affiliate newsletter said;

We´re super excited to announce the launch of Missguided Active, and to celebrate we´re looking to team up with our top content partners to create amazing editorial to showcase the collection. We´d love to discuss any opportunities you may have available to promote Missguided Active to your readers.
With commission increases available, we´d be happy to discuss options to make this a successful collaboration.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!
The Missguided Affiliate Team

I like the approach but there are some pit traps the Missguided team will have to watch out for.

They’ve used the word “editorial”. That’s what brands want as editorial pieces have the credibility and coverage that advertorials don’t have. Advertorials are regulated as ads whereas editorials are not.

Right now the implicit default is that an editorial piece from a site that earns money from affiliate activities is still an editorial piece. In fact, it’s generally the case that a blog post can link through an affiliate tracker, straight to the brand or product in question, and still be considered editorial. I won’t be surprised when this starts to be challenged.

In contrast, when a blogger is paid a flat rate to review or write about a product or brand this needs to be disclosed

In this case Missguided are stepping deeper into the grey. They’re tempting affiliates with the possibility of affiliate increases.

So does this count as incentivising coverage?

I suppose it might but I’m still not sure whether regulators will get their heads around this space any time soon and, if they do, what their decisions as to whether these posts would become ads will be.

For now, I think projects like this need to be carefully managed but could work very well.

Disclaimer: This very post uses Skimlinks. This program turns some brand and product mentions into affiliate links.

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