Published On: 16/02/20231.7 min read

Affiliate links are no new thing in the world of marketing. But, the small disclaimers at the top of articles often get missed by readers.

The process in which publishers can earn commission by promoting a product seems to be becoming more and more popular with media houses, but there can be some blurred lines not just for readers, but for brands too.

Influencer affiliate links drove £2.9 billion in sales last year. With over 18 million consumers shopping via trackable links. It’s clearly still a hot topic and one piece of the marketing puzzle that brands should utilise. However, it’s important to understand what it means for them across traditional media, and how this could affect coverage with titles.

In January, Storm PR London met with a number of journalists from Hearst. They are publishers oif titles including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Good Housekeeping, Esquire and Red. We discussed editorial opportunities in their various publications.

One of the key takeaways from our conversation was that digital publications won’t cover certain products depending on which retailer they’re stocked with. In their case, they won’t feature products stocked with Tesco or Asda. This is because the retailers aren’t signed up to affiliate marketing platforms such as Awin and Skimlinks.

Publishers are now operating as e-commerce sites through affiliate links as well as providing credible editorial articles. This means that a percentage of articles will be swayed by products that media titles will earn commission off. What’s more, those that offer publishers a higher commission rate, are more likely to be featured.

With that, and the fact that some retailers aren’t listed on affiliate marketing programmes yet, it’s worth thinking about stockists and how that could impact media cut through as affiliates become the new norm in journalism.

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