Leading UK consumer populated deals website HotUKDeals.com (HUKD) is in discussions with the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), following alleged breaches of its voucher code of conduct.

The HUKD 2004-founded site, which was co-founded by Paul Nikkel, who also co-founded popular cashback and voucher code site Quidco, acts as a ‘community for deal seekers, allowing users to find and share the best deals, promotional codes and vouchers from on and off the web’.

The IAB UK is currently in talks with HUKD with regard to ‘several complaints’ about alleged violations of the IAB UK Affiliate Marketing Council’s Voucher Code of Conduct. While the exact specifics of the breach have not officially been revealed, it is thought the concerns are related to the posting of non-monetised unauthorised links on HUKD by consumers.

Many voucher code and online deal sites build relationships with advertisers in order to secure exclusive ‘site specific’ vouchers. However, if another website displays these exclusive codes on its own site this could be a breach of the Voucher Code of Conduct guidelines.

Industry Reputation & Preservation

Given historical stigmas associated with the affiliate marketing sector, or now more commonly known as an integral part of the performance marketing industry, the IAB and key players from many of the industry’s companies, agencies and networks, work together to try and stamp out any bad practices and to improve and preserve the reputation of the channel.

A spokesman from the IAB UK said: “We are in discussions with HUKD with regard to several complaints alleging HUKD’s breaches of the IAB UK Affiliate Marketing Council’s Voucher Code of Conduct.

“These discussions have yet to be fully concluded. As the representative industry body for the UK’s affiliate marketing industry, the IAB’s principle task is to uphold the principles of transparency and control which underpin the Voucher Code of Conduct.

“In particular, the IAB recognises the industry’s considerable investment in a set of agreed standards designed to protect and enhance the reputation of the channel and which are intended to address all affiliate-enabled businesses, whether IAB members or not. HUKD is not currently a member of the IAB.”

Avoiding Confusion

The IAB’s code of conduct for voucher code sites and affiliates who make use of voucher codes, was set up to ensure voucher traffic sent from affiliate sites to merchants is not done in a misleading or confusing way and that consumers receive a good user experience.

In a brief comment from HUKD, the company said: “If someone has a complaint in regards to the IAB code they should bring this up with the IAB.”