It’s not very often that I take political sides in a posting or journal entry, but when logging into Commission Junction this morning I noticed that the Republican National Committee is now marketing an affiliate program where website owners and bloggers will get 30% of the take (up to a $300 cap) when people donate to the RNC through the affiliate’s web site.
At first this struck me as odd because if someone truely supports a candidate, they would show their support by asking their site readers to donate to that candidate’s, or their party’s, election fund.
The RNC must be banking on the middle of the road site owners who would normally not promote Bush or Kerry on their sites, but do attract interested decision makers and potential swing voters. For 30% of a donation, who can argue.
The RNC affiliate program interestingly enough does not allow search engine marketing, possibly because such affiliates would be competing against themselves or the RNC (it wouldn’t have to pay out the 30% bounty if people could just find them easily in Google AdWords or Overture), however email spamming – something the right wingers seem to love given my inbox of Bush playing cards and Reagan tShirts, is still up for grabs.
Here’s the legal from the Commission Junction site:
This program is to acquire online donations. You will receive 30% of each donation (capped at $300). Please note that search marketing is NOT allowed. Affiliates will NOT be paid for donations generated through search engine marketing.
From a purely marketing perspective, I’m intrigued as to why the RNC is paying out such an amount when they claim to be a grassroots group. You normally don’t have to pay off grass roots supporters.