Of course you have bills!
But, this post isn't really about your bills. It's about your merchants' search policy and restricted trademarks.
By using “Got Bills?” in the title of this post, I may be in violation of LowerMyBills affiliate search policy, as ‘GOT BILLS?' is a ‘Restricted LowerMyBills TMs'.
Here is a portion of the LowerMyBills.com search policy:
There are many ways for affiliates to market LowerMyBills.com. While we encourage entrepreneurial creativity among our publishers, we would appreciate your adherence to the following regulations regarding our affiliate marketing practices.
The email mentions specific promotional techniques and Restricted LowerMyBills TMs to avoid, including:
- Linking to our site directly from any search engine.
- Using triggered-event headlines such as “Get a $600K mortgage for $300 a month”
- MORTGAGE QUOTES. FAST. EASY. FREE.
- EASY COMPARISONS. MORE CHOICES. BIGGER SAVINGS.
- GOT BILLS?
- BILLPAY PLUS
If it seems ludicrous to worry about using the phrase ‘got bills?' in the title of a blog post simply because it is one of my merchant's registered trademarks; you may have missed my ‘Affiliate's Corner' column in Revenue magazine in late 2006.
In it, I wrote about the struggle I had to retain affiliation with a credit card merchant after being accused of allowing their trademarked terms to appear in comment spam on one of my blogs.
That accusation was completely ludricous because I didn't own the ‘suspect' blog, and their failure to do proper research cobmined with a ‘guilty until proven innocent' approach wasted so much of my time that I could not in good conscience continue to promote their product. BTW, I get more junk snail mail from this bank than all the others combined. How's that for ironic?
Anyway, if that merchant took issue with blog comment spam – how might your merchants react if you post their trademarked terms in your blog titles? Is that an infringement of their policy?
The point is that if you don't know — ASK.
Read your merchants' search policies, ask questions and abide by the rules if you want to continue your affiliation. Most reasonable merchants will send you a warning – however, as you now know, not all merchants are so reasonable. 🙂