This morning I got an email from ShareASale with the subject line “Sunshine Rewards: Urgent Compliance Issue.” That’s the kind of subject line that makes you stop in your tracks and drop everything else that you are doing.
With my heart racing, I immediately opened the email and read it as fast as I could. Skimming through I found the words “compliance team,” “forcing clicks through an image tag,” and “against the Terms of Agreement on ShareASale.” Holy crap! What have I done?? I’m a rule follower. I’ve been outspoken in our industry against cookie stuffing, cheaters, and even people who walk the line. Did I all of a sudden become one of them? I literally felt sick to my stomach. Like I had been called to the principal’s office for cheating. Only much worse.
Guilty As Charged
Thankfully Brian wasn’t vague. I’ve gotten the dreaded Google emails before that basically say “You broke the rules. We’re shutting you down.” Not only do you know you are in trouble but you can’t even figure out what you did to get there or how to fix it. In this case, I was directed to the page with the offending image. I knew which merchant was the problem. I didn’t know exactly what I had done to screw things up, but I also knew in my brain (and my heart) that no one in my company would have done it intentionally. [Read more…]