In light of today’s ruling in the High Court between Ordanduu and Optimus vs PhonepayPlus AIME’s intial response is as follows:
As a result of the Emergency Procedures that PhonepayPlus deployed in 2013 and prior to the instigation of this legal challenge, AIME Executive and Board worked extensively with PhonepayPlus to develop guidance for the premium rate industry that utilise digital marketing, particularly with affiliates.
AIME also collaboratively developed an early warning system for reporting instances of mobile malware, misleading affiliate practices and other tactics that would damage advertisers and create risk for consumers. This enabled responsible advertisers to investigate and deal with affiliate and other digital marketing fraud aimed at themselves, but affecting consumers in process. This tool is being actively used by industry.
The area of affiliate marketing as a promotion tool for connecting with mobile consumers exploded in 2012/13 and the risks to advertisers from affiliates who set out to mislead consumers or create malware was little understood by all parties. AIMEs role in assembling industry collaboration has resulted in a marked reduction in rogue affiliate issues affecting premium rate service marketing and we continue to monitor and react to the issue.
AIME also engaged extensively with senior representatives of PhonepayPlus to encourage and support a review of their enforcement procedures, the skill and independence of the code compliance panel and the robustness of adjudication case preparation in light of new technology and new ways for consumers to utilise premium rate services via the burgeoning growth in smartphones.
PhonepayPlus has demonstrated willingness to engage with industry on these matters while still prioritising its consumer protection remit and remaining independent.
AIMEs Chairman Edward Boddington said “It is vital for the premium rate industry that we have an effective regulator to ensure a stable operating environment for the companies that wish to provide consumers with great products, transparent pricing and honest marketing and the regulator should keep at bay the miscreants who are determined to wreck the industry and remove consumer confidence. AIMEs objective for its members is to ensure that PhonepayPlus has robust mechanisms to remove harmful products while applying efficient and precise procedures that will survive any legal challenge. Maintaining that balance is a tough role to play and AIME has encouraged and will continue to support PhonepayPlus.