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ASW ’23 Key Takeaways

Written by Brook Schaaf

Affiliate Summit West was back in full force last week, with thousands of people in attendance at the confusingly named Caesars Forum, wayyy across the Strip from Caesars Palace Casino.

The FMTC team packed its schedule with valuable meetings, meals, and just a few circles around the bar, texting contacts, “Where are you?”

I put a hold on my calendar for the Wednesday keynote panel, which featured David Yovanno of, Adam Ross of Awin, Mayur Kshetramade of CJ, and Jeff Wender of Rakuten Advertising, moderated by a TV journalist-turned-agency founder Dhomonique Murphy.

The last panel like this was memorable for the kerfuffle between Yovanno and Awin’s then-CEO Mark Walters over “partner” versus “affiliate.” By comparison, this year’s panel was much tamer as most questions elicited predictable responses. Two exceptions jumped out at me:

First, an audience question about policing bad merchants that jump from network to network really struck a surprising nerve, receiving over 30 upvotes (most don’t get 10) and later commentary on LinkedIn and Slack. The executives pledged to work together on this issue.

Second, Ross cited a statistic that 60% of dollars go to Facebook and Google where they only get 30% of user time. This buttressed an early point by Wender that the affiliate channel is in competition with other channels for ad dollars.

As if on queue, Walgreens just announced “changes to how we are flighting media throughout the year,” i.e., pausing their program.

Here’s hoping we can all work together on more than policing bad merchants, especially.

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