This was almost a story. Thankfully, the people at Kosher.com handled this very well and didn’t let it blow up.
It came out a couple of days ago that Kosher.com was affiliated with JONAH–a Jewish organization that fights against homosexuality by trying to rid Jews of their gay feelings.
Affiliated is actually kind of a loose term. From the looks of it, Kosher.com didn’t even realize who the people at JONAH were. You see, Kosher.com has a program on their site that allows organizations to create coupon codes that give kick backs to the organization that sent traffic to Kosher.com. It just so happened that JONAH signed up for this program and was getting money from Kosher.com every time someone put in the JONAH code.
This is not uncommon. As someone in the office here pointed out, sites like Amazon and others do the exact same thing. Do you really think Amazon does a full background check on every group that signs up for their promotional programs?
So JONAH signed up for Kosher.com and Kosher.com probably didn’t realize who they were truly affiliated with. That doesn’t mean a scandal didn’t ALMOST break out. When someone emailed Kosher.com with a complaint, this was the response they received from a representive from the website’s marketing affiliate:
We are sorry to hear that you were disturbed with our affiliation with Jonah. However, we do not have any political agenda. Anyone can join our affiliate program. Our company does not have an opinion on the matter. We will create emails for any non-profit organization that is in need of funds. If you have any further questions or concerns I can get you in touch with someone in the company.
Probably not the most sensitive thing they could have responded with. Unfortunately for them, the person with the complaint brought this issue over to Queerty.com, where this issue suddenly was about to bring a lot of bad press to Kosher.com.
But as I said in the beginning, this was only ALMOST a story. In fact, Kosher.com handled it very well. Here is the statement they put out today.
Firstly we wish to apologize if any action taken by any member of our company offended anyone. Our affiliate program has pretty much been an automated system whereby any site can go and join the program and put our banners in their email blasts going to their members. In the past it was not something that we had monitored but considering the current reaction regarding jonahweb.org’s decision to send their members our affiliate offerings, we have decided to discontinue that affiliation and our management will review our affiliate programs guidelines going forward. Our agenda is simply to be a good company selling a good product and to be considerate of people’s feelings and sensitivities.
Good job Kosher.com. Just be a little more careful next time–and possibly hire a new marketing firm.