cap code, philosopher, rules, affiliate program

Affiliating yourself with the CAP Code

What is the CAP Code for affiliate marketers. and why is it so important for you to know about it?

CAP stands for the Committee of Advertising Practices. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s independent advertising regulator. The ASA makes sure ads across UK media adhere to certain advertising rules (the Advertising Codes).

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is the sister organisation of the ASA and is responsible for developing and writing the Advertising Codes. The ASA and CAP work together to help regulate advertising messages in a way that is transparent and makes brands accountable for consumer messaging being evidence-based, consistent .

Similar to the Federal Trade Commission and other regulatory bodies around the world the CAP code helps marketers understand where and how they can promote their brands and that’s why it’s so important for affiliates and managers to know about these rules when running new campaigns.

Based on these guidelines – we’ve used them to put together a list of common CAP Code starting points to ensure that you’re running ethical affiliate marketing campaigns and program.

Be Transparent

Make sure you are up front with commission rates, payment structures, tracking methods and what you expect to gain from the marketing campaigns that your affiliates are doing for your brand. A more informed affiliate is always a better affiliate. You will not only keep your affiliates happy across the board with fair opportunities, but you will build and nurture relationships with your affiliate partners faster. With transparency, communication, and support, you will create trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with your affiliates.

Always give valuable content

The rule for short form video content and the rule for good marketing in general is to not SELL but MARKET to your customers first. Point your creators towards showing your products in content that offers something more. Whether that’s education, entertainment, satisfaction, or any other external value, the point is to not just offer an elevator pitch in a video. Give the audience something more. Not only will this save you from being portrayed as an annoying brand that is always answering when no one asked, but your brand and your content creators will gain from offering something more.

Fairness and ethics

You want to foster an ethical, win-win relationship with your affiliate partners in order to be a trustworthy partner. Review your commission rates and practices regularly to ensure that you are treating everyone with respect. According to a 2021 survey by Rakuten Advertising, over 65% of affiliates say finding profitable programs to promote is a challenge. Offer reasonable commission rates that don’t decrease without warning or without reason, and don’t play favourites with your affiliate partners to offer higher rates to others.

Honest reviews

Encourage your affiliate partners and content creators to give honest reviews. Customers simply aren’t going to believe a review that’s over the top in its glowing reviews – in fact, it’s become something of a meme in the past few months. Encourage them to say anything they don’t like and trust your customers to decide if it’s a dealbreaker for them. Most likely it isn’t.

Aside from avoiding exaggerating and making false claims that will hurt your reputation down the line, customers will gain more affinity to the creator and the brand they are showing.


If you’re unsure of where you stand or what practical steps moving forward, make sure you are up-to-date with your advertising regulation compliance codes. In the US this is most likely to come in the form of following FTC guidelines, but even companies in the US with an EU market should heed the warnings of the EU. It’s important to keep up-to-date with the tech news as regulations are currently evolving rapidly. In other articles, we’ve covered Canada’s fight with journalism online, the UK’s Online Safety Bill, and the EU’s Digital Services Act. All of them were established this year and have far-reaching effects.


It’s a good idea to always review your affiliate program terms. Keep a watch on your  affiliates content and sign up for the industry regulatory body news to ensure your program is always operating within the correct advertising codes and conduct. Understanding best practices is an important part of your role as an affiliate program manager.

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