Don’t Let Amazon Deactivate Your Affiliate Account!
Let me begin by saying how much I value the Amazon Associates program. No other online retailer converts like Amazon, at least in my experience. For that, I love them. The remainder of this post may sound as though I have it in for the online giant (not that they would care). I love the program, despite my aggravation with a couple of their recent moves.
This morning, I received the following email from Amazon Associates, requiring me to declare that my websites are not “directed at children under 13.” If I fail to do so within six weeks, they will stop paying me, and two months after that they will deactivate my account. Other affiliate friends have also received the same notice. What’s the real story?
Subject: Important Action Required – Child Directed Policy
Thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates program. We’re reaching out to remind you that sites targeted at children under 13 are not eligible to display links and advertising from the Amazon Associates program. To continue your participation in the Amazon Associates program, you need to declare that none of your sites are directed at children under 13.
August 31, 2015 – We will begin to withhold advertising fee payments to accounts that have not completed their declaration.
October 31, 2015 – We will close accounts that have not completed their declaration.
To complete the declaration:
1. Sign in to your Associates Central account at: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com
2. Click on “Account Settings”, then click on “Edit your website list”
3. Ensure ‘Your website list’ is accurate – by adding new websites or removing existing ones from the list.
4. Click on “Next” and complete the declaration process.
If you have questions or issues regarding your Amazon Associates website list, please contact Amazon Associates Customer Service at: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/contact.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
The Amazon Associates Team
What are they doing?
Of course, I immediately complied and “declared” my sites are not directed towards children and so should you. I wasn’t even going to blog about this, but I searched for news stories and blog posts about this topic and came up empty. Even the Amazon Associates blog is void of any mention of this. Amazon’s actions lead me to believe that they are probably looking to backdoor a way to withhold commissions from affiliates who aren’t paying attention. Sure, maybe someone on their legal team advised them to do it. Could they not have constructed this in a way that called for sites to declare that they ARE directed at children, rather than requiring a declaration in the negative.
The bottom line is that you should follow the steps in the quoted email message and ensure that you’re still going to get paid. Also, don’t forget to edit all of your Amazon Associate creative links before July 31st to avoid losing out on those commissions, too.