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Tesco and Silvertap?!

In all honesty I can tell you that I am not entirely happy about what happened about Tesco and Silvertap. I could have said that I'm not happy about what Tesco did to Silvertap. I speak from personal experience, and here's the story as I see it...

Tesco is a well-known supermarket, famous in the UK and other places, and particularly known for household goods being cheaper than their rivals in the supermarket business.

Silvertap is an online marketing company with special emphasis on affiliate marketing, which is the new form of advertising where people can read stuff online and decide for themselves.

For a long time, there was a special relationship with Tesco and Silvertap, as Silvertap had specialised to be a special promoter of Tesco. Do you hear alarm bells ringing? I say in my guide on How to Set Up and Run Your Own Business that you should beware of any business arrangement where you are "all eggs in one basket" and your continuance of business is dependent on one company. Heeding such advice is good for keeping your company free of being "in administration" or in the courts of bankruptcy, or some other awful thing which may befall a business.

It's an observed fact in the world of business that some big companies are especially to beware of in terms of having them as your main customer. It's like having a friendly lion round to tea. It might look great in the publicity, but there is a risk that you and your small company may end up being the lion's lunch. I have heard of several cases where small companies have been "eaten up" in this way, and the names of the "lions" are often the usual suspects. They are sometimes respectable highstreet names such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer! Take a look at the page of How to Set Up and Run Your Own Business and you'll see that there are some basic lion-taming guidelines that may save you.

Those wise people at Silvertap already had this sussed, and so when Tesco played their ace card and pulled out of Silvertap, they were not left in shtuck. Silvertap played their joker card and showed that they were not wholely dependent on Tesco, and they had their company properly compartmentalised so that it would not go bust just because Tesco pulled the rug out from under them.

The effects here, at this distance from the epicentre, are that we say Well Done to Silvertap for surviving that. In my opinion, I'm afraid Tesco come out of this smelling less of roses, but not so bad that I refuse to promote them. So, yes, there IS still a nice page of Tesco here! However, what happened to all the "egg" which was lost from the basket in question, some of it ended up on Tesco's face, and some of it ended up lost. Some of that loss is in the form of affiliate commission, ie we the affiliates have not been paid for some sales which we brought to Tesco in good faith. Well of course the thing to do is to register at The Administrators as a creditor. However, as you may know if you have ever been a creditor of a company that's "in administration", you can guess that you'll probably get so-many pence in the pound and not the amount that's owed. (For example, I put in a claim to KPMG that Escom owed me some money when they went bust, and over the years since then I have received no money from them, however I have received some interesting financial reports which I've filed in the archive).

Anyway, getting back to the subject, Silvertap and Tesco, I believe that Tesco should pay up any money owed to affiliates, and then that keeps everyone happy. I don't know the whole story of exactly what happened, and even if I did I'd probably not divulge it all because of reasonable confidentiality and the public interest. The bottom line is that Tesco should do the right thing and should pay affiliate commissions properly.

Plus, I would strongly advise any company wishing to do business with Tesco, that they should be careful not to be cornered.

I trust that Tesco will do the right thing in paying affiliates properly now they're at Affiliate Window, a company that has many hundreds of merchants (ie not dependent on any one merchant).

Silvertap will continue, and thanks to good financial sense on their part having a wide portfolio and multiple aspects, they should continue to prosper. Long Live Silvertap! Silvertap in the form of Brand Conversions are especially glorious here, thanks to the success of Coral Casino and the way the pages here are good for high-roller gamblers. Sometimes the gamblers win a lot of money and sometimes they lose, but generally the prosperity of the affiliate program on the gambling is very good and it makes Tesco Financial look very pale in comparison.

Update: Following the publishing of this page of fair comment about Tesco Financial and Silvertap, Tesco Financial have expelled this affiliate from their affiliate programs! The message by Tesco Financial is clear: "We don't want affiliates who say anything bad about us". As such, it's almost as if Tesco Financial expect to be above criticism. Here's my response: Tescoff