I rarely get involved in any kind of public speaking, and even more rare is my involvement in anything related to politics. However, this advertising/internet aka Amazon tax issue in Colorado is something I feel very strongly about. So of course, if someone want's to ask questions I am happy to answer. Yesterday I got a request from the house reporter to talk a bit about my view on what happened with Amazon.
I appreciate the opportunity to share my view.
However, when comments are taken out of context or narrated in addition to statements, the messages can become skewed or disoriented. I feel like I need to address this.
I made a statement that I feel like it's the legislation that is a big portion of the problem with the current advertising tax issues. It's not the legislators. I realize our state's lawmakers are trying to do what they feel is best and they did work with the affiliate community a great deal to make the changes they made. I feel like the problem is the actual bill itself, not the people behind it. There is a lot going on behind the scenes when creating a bill and theres a lot to juggle. It just so happens, in this outcome, I don't think the bill was a good one, changes or not – but I think for the situation and climate it was created in, it turned out better than it started.
In a perfect world, there would be a federal solution only because having the laws different makes it more difficult for each merchant to manage.. and the affiliate channel of marketing is so small, sometimes it's a better business decision to dissolve the affiliate marketing facet than to work through all the various jumbled laws.
Listen to me on the radio news report about Amazon and the Colorado Internet tax
I also feel like Amazon is working on a much bigger agenda that really doesnt have anything to do with affiliates or even Colorado specifically. This is all only my own speculation, but it seems to me, if I were in the middle of a battle (Amazon in NY) and smaller little battles kept popping up.. the best move would be to push forward with a single goal and clear perspective of purpose. Vering from that to make an exception would be sending mixed signals.
I always use food analogies, so if this seems off, I apologize ahead of time.
If you were trying to prove a point that you believe sugar is bad for you and you won't tolerate sugar in your diet, you don't make an exception because your neighbor just made you cookies for Christmas. You can politely decline and explain your reasoning, it doesn't make yu any less grateful for the gift and it shows you stand behind your beliefs.
Sugar is bad.
Now, obviously sales tax is no where near the same as sugar, and Colorado is not Amazon's neighbor… although I have ordered some really good cookies through Amazon. (normally I would put an affiliate link to Amazon right here, but now I can't so it's a link Gourmet Cookie Bouquets.com)
The point is, I stand behind my beliefs and respect those that do as well. Business is business and It doesn't mean I agree of even like their beliefs. I also did not bad mouth my state legislators in my interview yesterday, but listening to the clip today, it felt to me like some might think otherwise.
I don't agree with Amazon did, but I can understand why. I don't agree with the legislators and I don't like the bill, but I'm not about to claim I can do a better job.
Overall I think the radio interview was a good look at a few views on the topic. I think Representative Pommer needs to learn more about the industry and how it works before he continues to go on about “Amazon firing” their affiliates. It doesn't work like that sir, which is why this is a bigger issue than most non-performance marketing professionals realize. It's information for another post.
I feel like a broken record now. Maybe someday sooner than later the information will “click” for someone new. pun completely intended.
Now I'm heading down to the capital building for a press conference being held at 3pm. I have no big loss of money story to share, but I do want to show my support. Maybe I'll see you there?