You’ve just been appointed the undisputed leader of the affiliate industry, ultimate power to change anything you want. With the click of your fingers you can instantly change the things that make you see red.

So, what would you tackle first? Glacial publisher payment times? Crappy build and burn voucher sites? Bad customer service? Staggeringly poor product feeds? Banishment of anyone who mentions the words ‘attribution’ or ‘incrementality’ (it’s still not a word however many times you say it)?

I’m sure if I was to survey 20 different brands, agencies, networks and publishers this list would multiply. The gripes that persist in the industry – many of them fully justified – also cut across all sections of the industry, albeit with differing consequences.

As an advertiser or agency, for example, you may be frustrated by spammy, cookie stuffing techniques. If you’re a publisher these same tactics can wipe out your hard fought for clicks.

How we tackle these issues and what we can realistically do to drive positive change, be it inwardly or outwardly, has been front of my mind for the past few weeks. I’ve been canvassing opinion on the need for an industry trade body that could tackle some of these frustrations, while also shouting about the positive impact of the affiliate channel for millions of consumers, day in, day out.

For those of you with a few affiliate miles on the clock, this might feel like Groundhog Day. For pretty much the whole of my whole Affiliate Window/Awin career I was involved in the only UK industry-wide group, tackling, with various degrees of success, problematic areas as well as establishing wider standards; the growing pains any nascent channel faces.

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