Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Monday, 14 May 2012

MoreNiche affiliate marketing and the Office of Fair Trading

I have expressed concern previously about the quality of evidence used to support statements made about the products sold by MoreNiche affiliates and written about a number of products (see below). Ironically this means that I now get some of the keyword traffic although I'm not selling anything.

The Office of Fair Trading recently concluded an investigation into MoreNiche and determined that more needed to be done to make it clear to visitors to the affiliates' sites that affiliates will receive payment when someone clicks on the 'buy now' link. MoreNiche have already addressed this by providing guidance to their affiliates and the OFT noted that they engaged with the investigation and were keen to be transparent which is good.

What surprises me is that OFT didn't question the evidence (or irrelevant testimonials) used to sell products.

As an example, one capsule-based product contains a number of plant-based ingredients but instead of providing trial evidence of the complete product the marketing content talked only about evidence relating to the ingredients when investigated individually. This seems to be a fairly common technique, and it isn't good evidence unfortunately.

Some of my blog posts about MoreNiche products

I'm hoping there'll be more to come on this later, but probably not from the OFT.

Further reading
MoreNiche must come clean about online plugs by Andrew Penman in Mail Online (25 April 2012), amusingly this was tagged as 'online scams'.
The Office of Fair Trading has investigated concerns that "reviews and product endorsements running on some affiliates' websites were presented as independent consumer reviews when they were actually commercial promotions".

MoreNiche discusses OFT's quest for transparency in affiliate marketing - Q&A by Simon Holland on Affiliates4U (April 2012) - interview with Andrew Slack, MoreNiche's Managing Director.

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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).