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Month: August 2019

Legal Issues Associated With Affiliate Marketing For Product Vendors

Posted on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized

The contract which regulates the legal relationship between Affiliate Marketers and Product Vendors in the online marketing of goods is a critical document. The terms defining the rights and obligations of the parties should be very clear. Perhaps the most important clause to include in the contract is a termination clause, in the event that a Product Vendor needs to take decisive action to put an end to harmful practices engaged in by an Affiliate which are damaging to it’s interests and brand.

When an Affiliate promotes products online they often have a global presence and are doing business in a different jurisdiction than the Product Vendor. Whilst it is helpful to insert a jurisdictional clause stating what jurisdiction and law will govern any disputes which arise, such a clause will not always be conclusive. There may still be uncertainty as to where a relevant act or conduct has occurred which gives rise to a dispute and what law and forum a dispute should be determined in. Where legal action is commenced in the Affiliate’s home jurisdiction, on the basis that this is more convenient in order to facilitate enforcement of a Judgment against an Affiliate, there is a possibility an Affiliate could try to frustrate such proceedings by arguing that there is a clause in the Contract which nominates a jurisdiction to be applied for the resolution of disputes which arise. Therefore there is no clear answer as to whether jurisdiction or forum clause should be inserted into an Affiliate Marketing Agreement to protect your interests.

When a product vendor enters into a contract with a third party Affiliate Service Provider, it is customary for the provider to refer a network of Affiliates to the Product Vendor which may only have access to the physical address of the relevant Affiliate Website, but no information regarding the identity of the Affiliate Marketer. In the absence of reliable whois information, acquiring this information through the use of discovery procedures such as through the use of subpoenas may be difficult and impractical.

A successful Affiliate may invest significant time and effort in understanding the products they are promoting, but may not be familiar with the legal and regulatory landscape in a particular jurisdiction. A Product Vendor who discovers an Affiliate engaged in making misrepresentations regarding their Product may incur vicarious liability for their illegal actions. Careful consideration should be given to addressing these issues in the Affiliate Agreement. A Product Vendor may consider closely pre-screening Affiliates or subjecting them to an approval process prior to appointing them to ensure they are reputable and have the relevant knowledge of the regulatory framework where they will be operating.

Many affiliates employ email marketing and it is important to ensure that an Affiliate promoting your product isn’t purchasing customer lists without ensuring that customers listed have given permission to be contacted in an affiliate email marketing campaign. The only legitimate way to use email marketing is to send offers to targets who have given permission to email them. List building is a challenge faced by Affiliates who are sometimes tempted to use purchased spam lists or email harvesting software which will generally result in them being banned from a marketing network. Illegal email marketing practices may not only incur liability but also tarnish the Product Vendor’s brand and attract significant penalties from regulators depending on the spam laws in the relevant jurisdiction.

Cookie stuffing is an illegal practice used by some Affiliates to gain credit for a sale from a user who has visited their website. The placement of cookies on a user’s computer is done without their knowledge and without any referral to the product vendor’s website. Affiliates have engaged in this practice to ensure they receive the credit for a sale even where there was no referral from them leading to the sale of the product. Adware companies have been prepared to act as Affiliates, resulting in the installation of software on an end user’s computer without their consent. Irritating pop-up ads to promote the vendor’s product not only cause disruption to the end user experience but cause end users to attribute blame to the Product Vendor. The practice may also breach anti-spyware laws, exposing a Product Vendor to legal liability for the Affiliate’s actions.

Affiliates who elicit fake product reviews and make misleading and deceptive claims about products or features are also likely to be in breach of consumer laws. As a matter of urgency, the most pragmatic course of action is to terminate the affiliate’s appointment upon discovery of such behaviour to mitigate damage and exposure to legal liability and sanctions

It is also important to monitor whether the Affiliate is implicated in unauthorised use of trademarks or the registration of domain names deceptively similar to your trademarks or brands. The best way to address this contingency is to ensure trademarks and domain names are registered in the most significant markets in which you trade. This contingency should be addressed in the Affiliate Agreement and if an Affiliate won’t respond to take down requests, Google’s complaint service may be used as a preliminary step to legal action.

Affiliates often promote competing products, placing them on comparison websites. It is advisable to monitor activities to ensure Affiliates aren’t using a Product Vendor’s product to sell a competing product which yields a higher commission. Some Affiliates have been known to use search engine strategies to direct users to advertising for a Vendor Product containing unfavourable reviews for one product they promote, coupled with favourable reviews for a competing product with a higher commission.

It is important to realise that whilst Affiliate Marketing is an excellent way of promoting sales of your product there are legal and practical considerations to be aware of. Most Affiliates are professional, knowledgeable and act with integrity.

However It is recommended that Product Vendors be aware of the dangers associated with Affiliate Marketing and also keep up to date with the latest marketing and advertising laws in the jurisdictions in which they trade. The Federal Trade Commission for instance has updated their Guidelines regarding advertising practices which both Internet Marketers and Product Vendors should familiarise themselves with.

This is the best way to ensure that Affiliate Marketing results in the promotion of both sales and brand and doesn’t expose the Product Vendor to unnecessary legal or commercial damage.

Online Gambling Laws in New Zealand

Posted on August 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

New Zealand is currently a burgeoning gambling market. Millions of residents take part in some form of gambling activity everyday, and the population of recreational gamblers has been growing rapidly over the course of the past few years. While the land-based gaming market is seeing a great deal of growth, so is the online casino market. However, the laws regulating online gambling in New Zealand can be quite complex, so here is a brief overview of legality of online gaming in the country

New Zealand’s online gambling laws are regulated under the Gambling Act 2003, along with all other forms of gambling in the country. Up until 2003, online gambling was not regulated by any laws, so the legislation is still quite new and residents believe there are still some kinks to work out.

According to the Act, remote interactive gambling is prohibited. This applies only to gambling that is organized or conducted within New Zealand. Offshore operators can face fines for offering their services to residents of the country, but few have been prosecuted by local authorities. Some local online gambling operators are able to offer their services online, including TabCorp, a gaming operator which has a near-monopoly on gambling in Australia and New Zealand.

The advertisement of offshore online casinos is also prohibited. Therefore, gambling companies which are not based in New Zealand may not advertise their services to residents. This includes sports sponsorships and television commercials, as well as in-print and online advertisements.

Recognizing that New Zealanders are keen to take part in online gambling, the government has decided to allow some forms of online wagering to take place. It has recently been decided that players would be allowed to play the local lottery online. NZ Lotto has launched its own online gambling website, so that players can purchase all sorts of lottery products online. The website also offers online bingo and keno, adding to the range of choices that players have when it comes to gambling legally online. NZ Lotto’s website is a huge step forward for the country’s online gambling market; however, residents would still like to have more choice when it comes to playing casino games online.

There are some exceptions to the rules, however. The New Zealand government has stated that some cases of online gambling that may be disputed. As such, the local gaming commission would have to assess these situations on a case-by-case basis to ensure that players and operators across the country are receiving fair and safe treatment in the online gaming world.

The Benefits Of Purchasing Cigarettes Online

Posted on August 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

Whether you are buying cigarettes from your local gas station or the smoke shop that next town over it can really begin to put a large hole in your wallet. What many of those who smoke are starting to realize is whether you are smoking Marlboro, Camel or Virginia Slims it is very possible to buy cheap discount cigarettes online. Now you might just be wondering what the benefits are of purchasing your tobacco products on the Internet?

Saving money of course is a huge benefit when you are looking for an online retailer of your favorite brand of smokes. While looking through any online tobacco shop on the World Wide Web, you are bound to see that many offer their cigarettes at a cheap discount price. If you look even closer, you should be able to see that even with shipping figured in that the prices that a quality online tobacco shop can provide you with is likely to beat the prices in your local area. Many websites offer free shipping on their products, which further increase your savings.

The cigarettes that you can buy online cheap can save you time as they can be shipped right to your home. No more waiting in line and hoping that your favorite brand of cigarettes is not sold out. All you do is simply choose the cigarettes that you are going to purchase and once you have them paid for they are brought right to your door.

You are also much more likely to be offered a deal while you are shopping for discounted prices of tobacco products online. While a lot of local retailers will offer you a buy two packs get one pack of smokes free type of offer there are many merchants on the internet that offer even better deals like the ability to earn credit with your purchases that you can utilize for future shopping with that particular site.

Another huge benefit to buying your tobacco products online is that you can find a brand of smokes that has never been or is no longer carried in your area. For example, say that there was a limited edition brand of Marlboro cigarettes that you very much enjoyed smoking. Unfortunately, the retailers in your area were only scheduled to carry that particular type of cigarette for a certain amount of time. Now if you went in search of cheap cigarettes online at a sale price it is quite likely that you could run across an internet merchant that carries that smokes that you can’t get locally anymore.

Now there are many smokers that may be wondering if it is a legal practice to buy and sell tobacco online. The answer to this very important question is yes it is legal for retailers to sell cigarettes online just as it is legal for customers to purchase them. A reputable online merchant that sells discount cigarettes will have parental controls on their websites as well as a disclaimer that if making a purchase for cheap smokes from their website the customer has to acknowledge that they are of legal age to purchase this type of product.

So as you can see there are several great benefits to deciding to buy your tobacco items online. You can not only save yourself time you can also end up saving a ton of money.

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Shopping Online For The Holidays – Don’t Get Ripped Off

Posted on August 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

We are quickly approaching that time of the year where the Internet pays off in spades – the holidays. Here’s a primer on protecting yourself while buying online.

Avoiding the Malls

I hate going to the malls during the holidays. They are packed with people, elbows are flying and I inevitably get in line behind the person who needs a price check or lost their checkbook. Thankfully, the Internet has largely solved this problem.

Millions of people now do most or all of their holiday shopping online. Frankly, it is hard to imagine how many brick and mortar stores stay in business. While shopping from your desk is great, you need to keep in mind the following legal cautions.

Don’t Buy Off An Email

In a few weeks, you are going to get bombarded by emails from businesses. Unfortunately, there is no way to be sure the email messages are actually from the business in question. Phishing scam artists have become masters at kicking out email messages that look extremely authentic. If you get an email message and want to visit a site, do not click the link in the email message. Instead, type the site domain name directly into a browser or find it through a search engine. Doing so will get you to the real site, not a fake.

Credit Cards

Most people have multiple credit cards and use them willy nilly. When shopping online, try to limit all of your charges to one credit card that doesn’t have a massive credit line on it. Also, print out all receipts. If a scam artist gets a hold of your credit card information, this should limit the damage. When you receive the credit card statement, make sure to check the charges against your receipts. If you find unauthorized charges, report them immediately.

Delivery Times

Sites selling products online have to comply with “prompt delivery” rules. To this end, sites are encouraged, but not required to tell you how long it will take to deliver products. In addition, they absolutely must deliver within 30 days unless stated otherwise on the site. When ordering gifts, make sure you note how long it is going to take to receive the item. If you are going out of town, make sure you keep the departure date in mind before you leave.

The Internet is a godsend when it comes to avoiding the stress of holiday shopping. Just keep an eye on those credit card statements!

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