The chair of the new Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAIG) trade body Clive Hawkswood is already making meetings with key stakeholders to discuss the necessity for affiliate-specific regulations, as the marketing sector looks to protect its image.
In an interview with AffiliateINSIDER, Hawkswood was asked if gambling affiliates and affiliate marketing practices were misrepresented within existing UK advertising codes.
“There are probably two points here,” he commented. “The first is that the affiliate sector in general has been misrepresented and there is a real risk that the reputation of every affiliate has been tarnished by the activities of outliers, who in some cases have acted appallingly.
“The second is whether there should be regulatory provisions that apply specifically to affiliates. That remains to be seen and I have arranged meetings with, among others, the ASA, Gambling Commission, and DCMS to get a better understanding of where their thinking is on this before we formulate a long-term work programme.”
RAIG was launched last week with former RGA CEO Hawkswood at the helm and initially comprises three major players in the UK gambling affiliate sector; the Racing Post, Oddschecker and Better Collective.
The purpose of the association is to promote social responsibility within the affiliate marketing sector to create a safer environment for online users, with the hope that the association will grow, and other like-minded companies will join in due course.
Hawkswood explained that it was something he was keen to see during his time at the RGA: “Having an association for affiliates was something I had been a supporter of for some time, and had sat on conference panels with people like Tom Galanis for the last two or three years to say exactly that. So when I was approached recently about getting involved it was really a case of putting my money where my mouth was.”
He conceded that it had taken a while to get things together, but that in itself was not unusual for these types of bodies: “This is not unique to the affiliate sector. Companies are commercial entities that are competing in the marketplace. Getting over that natural hurdle is not easy and even then it requires a degree of consensus on a range of complicated issues. There have been some really good people grappling with this for a while and so it was always more a question of when, rather than if it would happen.”
Read the full interview on AffiliateINSIDER here.