Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising, an FTC staff paper, provides additional information for online advertisers. The paper discusses the factors used to evaluate the clarity and conspicuousness of required disclosures in online ads. It also discusses how certain FTC rules and guides that use terms like "writing" or "printed" apply to Internet activities and how technologies such as email may be used to comply with certain rules and guides.           
What the chart above doesn’t show is the role of the affiliate marketing network (e.g., Commission Junction or LinkShare). From the publisher’s point of view, the affiliate network is involved very early on in the process, generally supplying the ad creative and affiliate links used to refer traffic. They’re also involved at the last (and most important) step in the process: a portion of the commission earned by the affiliate goes to the network who matches them up with merchants and handles the various administrative functions.
With the introduction of the internet, advertisers realised that they could increase their revenue by rewarding websites who refer customers to your site that go on to buy something from you. In essence, this is affiliate marketing or performance-based marketing. An advertiser rewards a website a set amount of commission for each customer that the site refers who goes on to make a purchase.
Many networks provide metrics on the earnings of other affiliates with certain offers. The standard metric is EPC, or earnings per click. This unit is generally presented as the total earnings for every 100 clicks received. An EPC of $97 means that for every 100 clicks on an affiliate link to that merchant, affiliates are generating $97 in revenue.
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
The terms of an affiliate marketing program are set by the company wanting to advertise. Early on, companies were largely paying cost per click (traffic) or cost per mile (impressions) on banner advertisements. As the technology evolved, the focus turned to commissions on actual sales or qualified leads. The early affiliate marketing programs were vulnerable to fraud because clicks could be generated by software, as could impressions.
You are responsible for all activities that occur under your Account Identifiers and/or Data Feed Access ID, as applicable, regardless of whether those activities are undertaken by you or any other person or entity. Therefore, you should contact us immediately if you believe that someone other than you may be using your private key or password, or if your private key or password is otherwise disclosed, lost, or stolen. You may not use any Associates tag parameter, Account Identifier, or Data Feed Access ID assigned to anyone other than you or that we did not specifically assign to you.
The Negative Option Rule applies to sellers of subscription plans who ship merchandise like books or compact discs to consumers who have agreed in advance to become subscribers. The Rule requires ads to clearly and conspicuously disclose material information about the terms of the plan. Further, once consumers agree to enroll, the company must notify them before shipping to allow them to decline the merchandise. Even if an automatic shipment or continuity program doesn't fall within the specifics of the Rule, companies should be careful to clearly disclose the terms and conditions of the plan before billing consumers or charging their credit cards. 
A relative newcomer to the affiliate space, MaxBounty was founded in 2004 in Ottawa, Canada. MaxBounty claims to be the only affiliate network built specifically for affiliates. MaxBounty is exclusively a CPA (Cost Per Action/Acquisition) company that doesn’t deal with ad banners or the like, just customer links that the publisher (blogger) chooses where to place on their website.

In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[18] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[13]

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