Awin - TFAQs

These FAQs have been developed by IAB UK members from different parts of the industry to help buyers understand more about the companies operating in digital advertising and where value is being added.

Content correct as of June 2020

 The questions fall under three different categories:


What is your business model and how do you make money?
Awin operates on a performance-based business model, commonly known as affiliate marketing. Partnering with advertisers and publishers, Awin negotiates a cost-per-acquisition commission payment that an advertiser pays for a completed action, typically a customer sale. Awin then charges an additional percentage on top of the commission payment as its fee. There may also be platform access fees on top of these payments. As an example, a retailer may decide to pay 5% of the value of a customer's basket to a publisher who has converted that customer interest into a confirmed transaction. If that basket is £100, the advertiser pays £5 commission to the publisher. If the network fee is 30% of the commission, an additional £1.50 is added to the cost of the sale which is paid to the network who tracks, apportions, reports and facilitate's payment, which means the £100 in revenue has cost the advertiser £6.50 in commissions and fees, an ROAS of £15.40 for every £1 spent. Awin facilitates this relationship and tracks the transaction, paying the publisher. The payment structure is completely transparent and 100% of the commission is paid to the publisher.

Can you outline the full details of the agreement on a booking form / contract?
Yes, commissions, overrides and additional fees are all agreed up front. Advertisers may choose to vary the commissions based on the range of commercial opportunities. For example, if they have a new product or service launch, they may offer enhanced commissions which may also be tied to additional promotional coverage. These commissions may vary based on the type of publisher, their routes to market, the types of customer they generate and their reach. Commissions also vary based on the margin available. So an electrical retailer may have different commission rates for white goods and brown goods, televisions and fridges, etc. Because the model is performance based, it is typically straightforward to work out the return on investment and margins available to drive sales.

Will you share who your trading partners are?
Our website includes a full list of advertisers and publishers we partner with. When advertisers are assessing the publishers they want to work with they have complete control over who they approve to promote them. Our user interface enables the ability to manage all these relationships and partners.


Do you own the inventory you sell?
No, we act as an intermediary between publishers who own their inventory and advertisers who can promote their brands and products using this inventory via our network. All advertisers and publishers have the ability to communicate directly with each other, with contact details provided within Awin's user interface.

If you don’t own your own inventory then how do you access inventory and which platforms do you use?
All publishers own their own inventory. Awin simply provides the ability for them to connect with advertisers and track sales. This is done via tagged links and creative facilitated via Awin. Awin also provides a reporting platform and arranges commission payments.

Do you specify your media placements and positions?
Publishers will work with advertisers to offer a range of promotional coverage. Advertisers can choose the level of control over media placements. The process is completely flexible, with some publishers better fitted to particular advertisers. Advertisers may choose to focus on certain publishers and channels at different times during the year based on their changing business needs.

What insights do you provide back to advertisers?
Awin provides a reporting interface that includes a breakdown of each publisher's activity including clicks, impressions and sales. There are deeper date insights available such as new and existing customer data and device splits that help further optimise campaigns. Revenue is also tracked back to individual publishers providing return on investment data for each of them as well as their ad placements. Awin also offers attribution data that shows how affiliates contribute to the overall path to purchase.

Does the inventory you own or access include UGC content?
Yes, some publishers have this as their primary business model. Again the choice to work with these publishers is completely dependent on the specific business needs of each advertiser.

What brand safety measures do you use?
All publishers have to undergo a manual and automated series of checks prior to joining Awin. The business also requires a nominal fee in order to verify their identity. The fee is reimbursed in the publisher's first payment. In addition advertisers can manually approve all publishers to their affiliate campaign as well as set additional terms and conditions. All publushers are bound by the network's standard contract as well as an additional publisher agreement. Awin also has a series of proprietary and third-party tools in order to monitor ongoing performance.

Which industry standards have you been certified against?
There is no current affiliate marketing certification. Awin however, adheres to the self-regulatory framework the industry has created including codes of conduct regarding different types of affiliate activity. These include the voucher code of conduct, downloadable software code of conduct and best practice around product feeds, cookies and transparency. Awin remains the only affiliate network that built it's user interface according to IAB the existing Advertiser and Publisher Standards guides.

Do you have a policy in place for ad-misplacement?
Yes, as well as our publisher terms and conditions, we also request all publishers sign up to our publisher code of conduct that explains how to market responsibly:

Are you happy to share your optimisation tactics?
Yes, we publish content that explains how to maximise affiliate performance and many publishers share their tactics with the brands they promote. We have a dedicated 'Market Insights' section on our website and publish an annual definitive guide to the industry in the 'Awin Report'.


Under GDPR what legal basis are you providing your services under?
Legitimate interest. Affiliate marketing is generally light touch in terms of the personal data collected which is typically limited to IP address and customer order reference

If consent is the mechanism then can you prove how you obtained it?

Are you using the IAB Framework?
We are monitoring whether we need to be included. As the framework is primarily focused on the programmatic industry, it isn't designed for the affiliate industry.

What other 3rd party data partners require consent for your business to deliver its service?

What do you do with data you obtain from advertiser’s campaigns or data tags?
We do not use the data for any targeting or marketing. The data stored by Awin is used to apportion sales and commission payments.

Are advertisers permitted to appoint their own 3rd party partners for verification and measurement?

Will you provide a link to your privacy and data policies?

Will you share how you build audience, contextual and targeting segments?
Awin offers a directory of publishers and all publishers are able to create their own profiles featuring their promotional methods. They are also free to contact advertisers directly through centrally stored contact details.


To find out which other companies have completed the FAQs, please visit our members directory here

Please note the answers given are self-declared and are not verified by IAB UK or independently audited, unlike under industry-owned programmes such as JICWEBS. To view the latest JICWEBS Certifications, visit

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