Affiliates have grown weary of threats made in recent years by legislators looking to regulate the marketplace. The insistence that legal protections must be implemented to protect consumers is due in large part to the influx of shady, fly by night newbies infiltrating the space. Unfortunately for reputable affiliate marketers who already adhere to best practices, the bad often outshines the good. In the interest of easy political wins, pundits on the state and national level have been pushing the passing of the Affiliate Nexus Law. Proponents of the law insist it will even out the playing field by imposing the same sales and use tax obligations on both out-of-state retailers and small businesses with a physical storefront presence within a given state. Though that is framed to sound plausible and logical, it is misleading and potentially devastating to small businesses who will likely have to either close shops or drastically downsize.
Last week, the Performance Marketing Association took a definitive stand against the newly enacted law in Illinois by suing the Illinois Department of Revenue. And it is a stance that is long overdue. Apparently other performance marketers with a social presence feel the same. The hashtag #NoAdTax was trending well on Twitter and the press release PMA was widely distributed. It is too early to predict the long-term ramifications of the PMA’s actions, namely whether it will stave off future law passage. But the PMA has certainly energized its base of affiliates and publishers. And for that alone they should be lauded, appreciated and cited as champions of the performance marketer.