Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What's Going on with UK Affiliate Programs?

First the whole ASOS "Grubby little affiliates" thing (click here if you missed this one) and now UK travel site FlightMapping.com publicly blasts one of their merchant relationships for pulling the plug on their affiliate program:
"Flightmapping director, James Avery, said Flybe’s decision to cut its affiliate campaigns was unacceptable, adding: “It costs them virtually nothing to advertise through affiliates, and at just 1%, Flybe’s commission rate is one of the lowest in the business. How on earth can the airline have used up its budget?”

"Flybe has not played ball, and we find this particularly disappointing considering our tremendous respect for them as an airline. We hope our stance acts as a wake up call."
Finally some excellent advice:
“Learn to respect your affiliates, and they will continue to reward you with bookings at a considerably lower cost (up to 75% lower) than all of your other marketing channels,” he said."
I really have to wonder if Flybe or ASOS have any long term strategy in place as both seem extremely short sighted and misguided if they think they can treat affiliates this way and expect them to come back for more. Flybe should have considered themselves extremely lucky to have a site like FlightMapping.com promoting them for only 1% revenue share, instead they burned a bridge that seems unlikely to be repaired.

2 comments:

James Avery said...

Chris,

The Flybe issue was more down to a mis-understanding between us, and has been sorted out.

I'm hoping that we will see an end to this "so successful that the budget has run out" nonsense, but to be fair to all parties concerned, they have cleared this up very quickly.

I have stayed out of the ASOS furore, but as a whole, UK travel affiliate marketing is going from strength to strength, and many of us are looking forward to the affiliate session at the Eye4Travel conference in May.

Sometimes it takes a bit of aggro to realise how far things have come, but I think the Flybe situation is totally different to the kind of rampant arrogance that has been displayed by ASOS.

James

James Avery said...

Chris,

Well, it looks like I was wrong in my earlier post, and the merchant was asking for us to make changes in our news article which we just weren't prepared to do.

They then threatened to drop us from the programme, so we have decided that it is easiest for us to expire our publisher agreement with them.

This whole thing is a bit of a shame, because I think they are a good airline, but they have seriously messed up their affiliate relationship, despite already being the tightest players in the game. This just can't be allowed to happen.