Saturday, January 14, 2006 Affiliate Program - Strange Terms and Conditions

I'm really glad that I'm not an affiliate of Because if I were an affiliate of their program, I wouldn't be allowed to use the word "classmates" on a page promoting their product.

Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?

But I was going through Commission Junction's available affiliate programs, doing some brainstorming today, and I took a look at their affiliate program. And here are some of the terms and conditions for the Classmates program:
  • Publisher may not appear above on any search listing including the terms "classmate" and "classmates". (My comments: Theoretically, the search engines decide where to rank my site in the listings, so this is a silly condition to have for an affiliate program.)
  • Publisher may not bid on the trademark term (My comments: I'm okay with this, even though I think it's a little bit silly.)
  • Publisher may not use the dictionary terms "classmate" or "classmates" in advertisements, domains, URL strings, landing pages, or any other content. Publisher may use "high school", "alumni", "schoolmate" or other synonyms. (My comments: This is absurd. Why would anyone be interested in promoting an affiliate program with such a draconian clause? I could understand requiring that they not allow a trademarked term to the left of the tld, but anywhere in the search strings or content? That's crazy.)

Luckily, I'm not an affiliate of their company. So I can use the phrase classmates anywhere in my URL string, landing page, and other content any time I want.