Dos Equis Attacking Online Affiliates – They Ain’t Pyramid Schemes

Did the awesome alcohol brand purposely or by accident attack affiliates? That is the question.  In defense of the brand, anyone who works in marketing with big brands knows that there are many perils and obstacles working with legal departments. They take forever, hold things up and are often scared of their own shadow.The Most Interesting Man in the World is an awesome advertising and marketing campaign which the Dos Equis alcohol brand has been using for a number of years.  It has been credited with the increase of sales for the company.

But in one of their latest Facebook advertisements, Dos Equis’ newest Facebook ads ask consumers to “Turn my Facebook into a commercial”.  During ones’ visit they are asked to provide four photos – so the brand can create a personalized advertisement with “you” as the world’s most interesting man.  Smart marketing as it allows the brand to market to ones’ Facebook friends – and push Dos Equis at the same time. Seems similar to successful affiliate marketing, doesn’t it? Engage consumers with a brand and urge them to buy more, have a stronger affinity, etc.?

Reading the Code of Conduct Disclaimers of the brand would infuriate any affiliate marketer – they say “Code of Conduct. You will not upload, post, transmit, transfer, distribute, or facilitate distribution of any content or otherwise use this Application in a way that “contains or could be considered junk mail, spam, chain letters, pyramid schemes, affiliate marketing, or advertising (including, without limitation, money making schemes, discount cards, credit counseling, online surveys, or online contests).” Dos Equis is categorizing “Affiliate Marketing” with junk mail, spam, chain letters, pyramid schemes, money making schemes? Offensive language for any brand. Online marketers are smart, hard-working, results oriented – and in the business of selling products just as Dos Equis is.

Let’s hope this is the mistake of an over-zealous attorney inserting wrong language into a marketer’s great idea. Crucifying the affiliate marketing world is wrong – especially for a brand that wants to take my pictures and market to my friends. Don’t attack the online affiliate industry – not a smart move for anyone in marketing.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading independently owned PR Agency. Follow him on Twitter here.