Motonation to Dealers: Amazon.com Affiliate Program a No-No

Publish Date: 
Jan 23, 2010
By Arlo Redwine

MORE THAN A YEAR has passed since Amazon.com launched its online store for motorcycle- and ATV-related products. Since then, many dealers have signed up to fulfill orders placed with the e-commerce giant. But some critics — most notably Anthony Bucci, the co-founder of dealer RevZilla Motorsports — argue that the affiliate program violates some subdistribution and MAP policies because Amazon is a third-party marketer that collects payments.

Now distributor Motonation has changed its advertising guidelines specifically to stop its dealers from partaking in Amazon’s program and any program similar to it.

In a message to dealers and sales reps, Motonation president Bill Berroth wrote that programs like Amazon’s were not “in the spirit” of the company’s prior advertising guidelines. But because the prior guidelines did not specifically address such programs, the company has sent to its dealers updated ones with the following change:

“Having firm advertising guidelines for Motonation’s USA exclusive products is a key element of Motonation’s marketing program. Motonation has the exclusive rights to use and assign the Sidi, SDS, Vemar and AGV Sport trademarks as it sees fit within the USA market. NO customer of Motonation ever has the right, or Motonation’s permission, to assign rights to these trademarks to any third party without Motonation’s permission. Lastly NO dealer of Motonation is authorized to subdistribute or resell any product offered by Motonation to another wholesale retailer for resale without Motonation’s written permission.”

Said Berroth: “If any Motonation dealer is presently involved with the Amazon affiliate program with the Sidi, SDS or Vemar brands, please be advised that these efforts must be stopped and removed from the Amazon site by Monday, Feb. 22, or they will be in violation of Motonation’s advertising guidelines and will have their account placed on no-ship.”