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Affiliate Marketing Compliance Guidelines

The United Commissions (UC) guidelines have been designed to outline marketing regulatory requirements for the UK & IE Markets where our brands can be promoted. These guidelines will be updated in accordance with UKGC (Gambling Commission United Kingdom) notifications & obligations.

If you are in doubt regarding your commitments & obligations under the United Commissions T & Cs or under UKGC legal requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager or reach out to us at:

[email protected]

As an affiliate, we rely on you to exercise the correct level of control over your marketing Communications. Whilst we appreciate that you are an integral aspect of our business, this needs to be balanced with the heavy regulation being applied to operators. We aim to ensure that our business and partnership with you develops sustainably into the future. However, this will only be because of your compliance and continuous assistance in ensuring that all Communications are in accordance with the law. Unless this happens, we will not be able to commit to you as an affiliate.

"Communication(s)” is to any and all marketing, promotional, advertising or other similar material of ours used to encourage consumers to sign-up to one or more of our participating gambling websites as partnered with you.

Marketing Channels & Sources of Traffic

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As an affiliate of United Commissions, it is a requirement to confirm and disclose all marketing channels & sources to ensure they are compliant, this must be agreed with your account manager before any promotional campaign is launched.

An Insertion Order must be signed by the affiliate which indicates the brands being promoted, the type of traffic, the URL from where UC brands are being promoted, the campaign start date and commission deal agreed between the affiliate and UC account manager.

Marketing Channels Excluded

Forms of Promotional Communication the UC Affiliate Programme does not accept with any exceptions are listed below. Any Affiliate found to be running these activities will have their account terminated immediately.

  • Email Marketing
  • SMS Marketing including, whatsupp, telegram, WeChat etc.
  • Snail Marketing
  • Streaming, Twitch, You tube, Snap Chat, tik tok etc.
  • Adult Networks
  • Piracy Websites, Torrent download webpages
  • Pop Under
  • Media Buying (unless a set domain list can be provided of exactly where the brand appears, and you are using our provided creative. If you are buying through an ad-exchange programmatically this type of activity is prohibited as part of the Affiliate Programme).

At any point, you must be able to disclose to us a complete list of URLs upon our request as to where you display and promote our Communications. If you can’t do this, then we shall be left with no option but to terminate our agreement with you.

Age Restrictions

Advertising to minors in any capacity is strictly prohibited, if this is undertaken in any form, your account will be terminated. Affiliates are not allowed to place any tracking Links, banners or creatives in any fashion on pages of the affiliates website aimed at persons under the age of 18 years or otherwise target, whether directly or indirectly, such persons for gambling-related services. gambling advertising must not appeal to minors in any way. This includes both the messaging and especially the imagery used. Examples include the use of games named after popular children’s fairy tales, books, TV series and movies for promotional purposes.

Under no circumstances are minors to be featured in advertising.

Affiliates must place in all promotional material both the 18 & begambleaware logos. These logos must be placed in the following: Material includes: 

  • Website footers
  • Social media cover Images
  • Social media - in all posts, cover photos and “about” sections
  • Affiliate ads and banners of all types and sizes.

In selecting media, affiliates must take appropriate steps when planning their campaigns to understand the likely audience of media where they intend to place ads. They should also take steps to exclude under-age groups from an audience where tools to do so are available.

Out of Date Offers

Promoting out of date offers is considered as misleading advertising by the ASA. Frequently, affiliate partners inadvertently promote offers that are out of date. It is the affiliates responsibility to update all offers once communicated by the UC Affiliate Team. Failure to comply will result in account closure. Updating an offer includes:

  • The actual offer itself
  • Significant Terms
  • Any review pages created on the brand in question

Call to Actions (CTA)

Under UKGC ads cannot create an inappropriate sense of urgency like those including “Bet Now!” “Join Now” “Sign Up Now”! offers. The language should be removed from all creatives & replaced with examples such as “Bet Here” or “Join Here”, “Sign Up Here”.

Impulsiveness and urgency - what does this mean? 

You must not use any of the following CTAs when marketing an opportunity with an impending deadline ro an advert in relation to live odds or specific in-play betting markets:

Bet Now Claim Now Play Now Join Now

You must not use any of the following in our market materials:

Hurry! Time is running out! You are at risk of losing/ missing out/ etc. The clock is ticking
Images of countdown timers Act Now! Overlay pushy imagery (think flashing led TV arrow) Be Quick

The following are acceptable terms, phrases and CTAs (not an exhaustive list):

Available Now Bet Here Claim Here Join Here
Jump In (although consider the text) Join In Click to Pay Click to Bet
Get Involved Play Here Sign Up More Info
Have a Go Place Your Bets Odds (make CTA clickable odds) Go to Game/Market

Website Footer

Website Footer must with no exceptions include the following elements:

  • 18 Logo
  • Hyperlink to the Gambling Commission
  • Hyperlink to Responsible Gambling
  • When the fun stops stop logo hyperlink to website
  • org logo hyperlink to website
  • Gambstop logo hyperlink to self-exclusion
  • GamCare logo link to website

A compliant example can be seen below.

Homemade Creatives Not Allowed

Any creative assets, that are used to promote UC Brands offers MUST be taken only from the UC Affiliate Marketing Tools section in the affiliate tracking platform. We strongly advise that you make use of the wide range of banners we provide. Any homemade creative assets, promoting UC Brands offers may lead to the termination of your account and removal from the Affiliate programme. This is to ensure that we can safeguard everybody’s interests with your Communication(s) being legally compliant.

Domain names/URLs

Affiliates are not allowed to register any domain names which include either of UC brands names. Any Affiliate who registers domain names in breach of this rule will have their account suspended pending an investigation.

PPC Affiliates

While we allow and work with Affiliates in the PPC space, there are a few conditions in which we do not allow as part of the Affiliate programme:

  • Affiliates must not bid on UC brand terms.
  • Affiliates must not use brand name in display URL’s.
  • Affiliates must not manipulate UC brand name in ads
  • Affiliates must also not bid on any problematic, harmful or ‘Responsible Gambling’ related keywords, including Gamble Awareness or Self-Exclusion trade bodies. For the latest list of Negative Keywords, Click Here:

https://www.unitedcommissions.com/negative-keywords

The below is an example of brand bidding by comparison site top10bestbingossites which is not allowed.

Misleading Offers

Do not use the terms: “Risk free” / “No risk” / “Safe bet” / “No lose”

An offer is not risk-free if it is:

  • Requiring customers to deposit and bet with their own money.
  • Providing the “risk-free bet” as a refund only available to qualifying customers
  • Providing the "risk-free bet" as a refund where the customer has to stake additional money to get a refund.
  • Refunding deposits only as bonus funds that cannot be withdrawn as cash.
  • Requiring bonus amounts to be wagered a certain number of times

Below is an example of misleading PPC offers – presented as “Free Risk” which is not true.

App Affiliates

Any Affiliates who are releasing apps into the app store must ensure that the app name does not feature any of UC brands names. Any Affiliate found to have released an app including any brand name, will be asked to remove the app immediately and may result in account termination.

Push Messaging

As push messaging is limited for space, it is difficult/impossible to include all the significant conditions in the message. To ensure compliance, if you are advertising a sign-up offer, please do not try to describe the offer in the push message. It is recommended that you keep the message generic and only explain that sign up offers are available, and direct customers to where they can find out more information. The landing page for the promotional offer should be no more than 1 click from the push message. 

Compliant example:

  • “New Customer Offers at Ruby Bet - View Here for Full Details. T&Cs Apply”

Non-compliant example:

  • “Ruby Bet New Customer Offer: Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets”

The above example is non-compliant as it describes the offer (Bet £10 Get £30 in free bets) but the message does not provide all the significant conditions of the offer or explain that other T&Cs apply. Failure to mention significant terms in an advert can be considered misleading. 

Significant Terms

What Are ‘Significant Terms’. Significant Terms are terms that are likely to affect a consumer’s understanding of a promotion; and influence his decision about whether to participate in the promotion.

If the ad includes a promotion (e.g. free bet or bonus), the Significant Terms of the promotion must appear prominently in the ad – above the fold, in readable color font and size.

Significant Terms must always be prominently displayed with an advertised offer.

Other T&Cs of the offer must be, at most, ‘one click’ away from the ad.

If the Significant Terms are not displayed with sufficient prominence, the ad will be considered misleading

Significant terms example below:

Exceptions

In social media posts or other space restricted platforms, you may place “T&Cs apply” link within one-click to where the Significant Terms of the ad are prominently stated (e.g. “T&Cs apply: insert URL”)

Only marketing communications that include a promotion and are significantly limited by time or space you can place “T&Cs apply” instead of Significant Terms, including as much information about Significant Terms as practicable.

Please note that the ASA is unlikely to consider advertisers own websites to be limited by space, therefore ensure Significant Terms are in the ad itself on the same page of the website.

Therefore, in any offer on your website Significant Terms must appear (including Online messages, banners, mobile ads etc.).

Please note: Since October 2019, ticker solution for SIG terms on mobile no longer apply. Any offers that contain SIG terms in tickers will not be considered compliant.

Advertising must be socially responsible

The advertising of gambling products and services must be undertaken in a socially responsible manner and you must comply with the UK Advertising Codes issued by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Our affiliates agree to promote our brands in a socially responsible manner, by complying with the industry’s regulations, codes of practice and guidelines to ensure that all advertising of our brands, games, and associated promotions is clear, transparent and not misleading. It extends and is not limited the following:

  • Must not encourage anti-social behavior (this includes portraying gambling with the consumption of alcohol).
  • Must not suggest that gambling can be a resolution to social, educational, personal, or professional problems.
  • Must not suggest that gambling can be an alternative to employment, a solution to financial concerns or a form of financial investment (e.g. “A life-changing win!”).
  • Must not portray gambling as Socially Attractive.
  • Must not portray gambling in a context of toughness or link it to resilience or recklessness.
  • Must not portray gambling as indispensable or as taking priority in life, for example over family, friends or professional or educational commitments.
  • Must not suggest peer pressure to gamble or disparage abstention from gambling (e.g. “Play Now!” “What are you waiting for?” “Hurry Up!” and similar messaging).
  • Must not suggest that skill can influence the outcome of a game that is purely a game of chance.
  • Must not exploit cultural beliefs or traditions about gambling or luck.
  • Must not suggest that solitary gambling is preferable to social gaming (e.g. “Bored at home? Play with us!”).

The below are 2 examples which are not allowed.

Social Media

If you choose to use Social Media for your Communications, you must:

  • Clearly show the ‘Over 18’ logo in all Communications and on your Account Profile itself; and
  • If you are from the UK, include wording around BeGambleAware on your social media accounts, such as “Gamble responsibly. www.begambleaware.org”. For any other countries, you should make reference to “Please gamble responsibly.”; and
  • Include a link where further gambling guidance and advice can be found, such as “Further details on responsible gambling can be found at www.begambleaware.org”; and
  • Be able to show and prove that your Communications are targeted and displayed to those above the age of 18. For example, with Twitter, you must use their age-screening function when marketing Communications to consumers. Similar options apply to other social media platforms; and
  • Be careful around the choice of images and words that you may use in any non-promotional material that is submitted from your social media account. For example, a “Facebook Post” that is not intended as an advertisement but relates to gambling.

Please ensure that you read, review and satisfy yourselves of the policies of the respective social media company. For example, Facebook requires real-money gambling-related Ads to be pre-approved before release.

In addition, before using Social Media, you must disclose to us, in writing, as to which platforms you are using, and a link to your profiles. This applies to any platforms that you might choose to use in the future as well. Failure to inform us of these details now, or as they change, will lead to immediate termination of your Agreement. We require these details to continually review and monitor your Communications via Social Media.

Enhanced Odds Offers

Must be made clear to player in the offer itself that winnings are received as Free Bets (rather than in cash).

Advertising Disclosures

 Advertising Disclosure must be added to comparison tables. An example can be seen below.

Player reviews

If your website allows people to review products or services, you should publish all genuine, relevant, and lawful reviews. You should also make sure that your processes to collect, moderate and publish reviews do not hinder this.

Compliance and UKGC Updates

As an Affiliate with UC we expect you to keep a close eye on any updates that we (or others) provide in relation to affiliate compliance. The law and applicable regulations are moving and changing continuously and we encourage you to stay updated on any and all changes that are made as a result of regulatory decisions or guidance notes.

More Information for Affiliates:

At all times, the Affiliate must comply with the Agreement, a copy of which is available here:

https://affiliates.unitedcommissions.com/terms_and_conditions.asp

As per these terms, the Affiliates should be aware of and comply with EGBA standards which can be found here:

https://www.egba.eu/

Documentation pertinent to the UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional (CAP Code) is available here:

The Gambling Commission’s advertising/marketing rules and regulations are available here:

 These links are provided solely for informative purposes and should not be seen to be exhaustive. For the avoidance of doubt, it is up to the Affiliate to ensure that they are compliant with all advertising guidelines and legislation around the promotion of online gaming in the relevant jurisdiction. Any transgressions will lead to the suspension and possible termination of your Affiliate account with the Programme