Affiliate Industry Admits They Can’t Stop Fraud


Affiliate marketing fraud continues to be a major challenge in the industry. Executives from four leading platforms in the affiliate industry gathered at Affiliate Summit West to discuss this issue, among others. The keynote session explored the issue of bad actors in the affiliate marketing space. There is a growing concern among affiliates that advertisers and brands are not paying their outstanding bills before moving onto another network. This has led to a need for greater cooperation among networks to weed out these bad actors and protect publishers.

One of the executives, Adam Ross, CEO of Awin, spoke about the importance of paying affiliates before launching on a network. He revealed that a CEO from another network had recently informed him about a client who had stopped communicating and hadn’t paid their affiliates. In response, Awin decided not to launch this client.

This highlights the need for networks to share information about bad actors and work together to prevent them from exploiting the system.

David A. Yovanno, CEO of, suggested building a common source where information about bad actors could be shared throughout the industry. Jeff Wender, CRO of Rakuten Advertising, agreed, stating that the industry has to focus on this issue.

The panel’s commitment to start the conversation about weeding out bad actors and collaborating to protect publishers is a step in the right direction. Hello Partner, a publication in the industry, supports this commitment and will look to assist in ensuring that the momentum of this commitment continues.

Affiliate marketing fraud is still overwhelming and executives are grappling with ways to address it. The issue of bad actors who don’t pay affiliates is a major challenge that requires cooperation and collaboration among networks. The panel’s commitment to start the conversation about weeding out bad actors and protecting publishers is a positive step, and the industry should continue to work together to find a solution.

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