first direct, the UK’s most recommended bank, have consolidated their affiliate marketing into, Online Media Group’s affiliate network, following a review.

Whilst affiliates have previously only been allowed to promote first direct by invitation, any OMG affiliate can now apply to join the new programme, subject to their sites being approved by first direct. Commissions paid to affiliates for each account application are also increasing to coincide with the change.

Having previously run affiliate programmes via Trade Doubler and currently via Commission Junction, first direct launched a test programme through OMG in January.

According to Claire Gunson, Advertising Manager at first direct ‘Having experienced the quality and speed of service from OMG, and seen how quickly they were able to reflect changes to our offer across all affiliate sites, we were convinced that they were the best network to run a manageable and effective open programme for first direct.’

OMG, which runs affiliate programmes for many of the UK’s leading financial and retail brands, works closely with affiliates to maximise the impact of campaigns, whilst protecting brands. ‘Whilst the human relationships between the network and affiliates are crucial to maximising sales and compliance, dynamically served creative and editorial enables us to ensure that product details remain accurate across thousands of websites. For a brand like first direct it is essential that their message is consistent wherever it is displayed – for the sake of their brand and their reputation.’ said Oli Matthews, Client Services Director at OMG.

Since its launch in 2002, has focused on taking the pain out of affiliate marketing for major brands. By working on a performance only basis, with no set-up, management or access charges, OMG lowered the barriers to entry and created a transparency between merchant, network and affiliate. In 2004 OMG ran a four month project to enabling its merchants to continue running programmes uninterrupted when new FSA lending and insurance regulations were implemented.

first direct’s online banking service is the most highly rated in the UK. The Virtual Online Banking Survey (VOBS) found that is by far the most highly rated bank website, in terms of providing product and service information to customers and non-customers. In fact, 64% of all internet banking customers described first direct's site as excellent or very good, 11% ahead of the nearest competition.


For more details please contact:
Oli Matthews, Client Services Director, Online Media Group, T. 01603 697779, M. 07968 145454 /

More information about first direct can be found at

Published on: 12:00AM on 2nd June 2005