Affiliate marketing insights: Policing the use of voucher codes

Way back in 2007, misuse of voucher codes via the affiliate channel was a hot topic, with numerous instances of big discounts intended for privileged groups of customers going viral. Big brands including Sainsburys, Littlewoods and Hamleys were forced to withdraw codes and issue public statements explaining the blunders.

Way back in 2007, misuse of voucher codes via the affiliate channel was a hot topic, with numerous instances of big discounts intended for privileged groups of customers going viral. Big brands including Sainsburys, Littlewoods and Hamleys were forced to withdraw codes and issue public statements explaining the blunders.

5 years on and the industry has come a long way. With robust tools in place for monitoring and policing the publication of voucher codes, our clients can rest assured that their exclusive codes won't be promoted by the mass affiliate base.

Services like Google Alerts have become invaluable for monitoring where our codes appear. We'll put alerts in place for "voucher code" terms for each of our clients and receive notifications to let us know where our code has been published.

Some of the major networks now have voucher code management tools in place, allowing the affiliate manager to upload codes intended for limited use. When the code is used for a sale attributed to an affiliate other than that for which it was intended, commission is declined. Naturally, this deters any naughty affiliates from publishing codes without permission, as they don't stand to gain anything from doing so.