Okay. That's fine. I'm not promoting them anymore anyway. But I have encountered this before and had to stop promoting a merchant program that I was doing well with.
First of all, I DO think that it should be very clear that affiliates are not allowed to present themselves AS the merchant. That could even include using similar colors on their website, landing page, etc, use of certain images or logos, blah, blah, blah. That could turn ugly if allowed and I can respect their concern in that regard.
That being said, what I don't understand is them banning affiliates from bidding on those terms at all. After all, their competitors are going to do it!
If there are 8 paid spots on a page in Google (not including the image ads!) and the merchant has one, that leaves 7 slots available for their competition to swoop in and convince potential buyers that they're a better option.
Wouldn't it be better if some of their affiliates, who they'd make a lot of money from even though they're paying them a commission, were in at least a few of those other 7 positions?
Wait a minute! Aren't those affiliates also paying for their OWN advertising costs with the hope of attaining a commission?
Why in the world wouldn't a merchant prefer that over having 7 competitors bidding on those terms? I could also understand a merchant imposing a bid restriction where they couldn't bid over a certain amount, but to disallow it makes no sense to me at all.
I'm stumped. Could someone please explain the logic in this, if there is any?