23andMe Pulls Affiliate Marketing Program

alarmYou know those ads you see everyplace on the internet for 23andMe?  Well, you won’t anymore.  23andMe has cancelled their affiliate marketing program according to an e-mail sent to affiliates yesterday.

23andMe Affiliate Program Update

We are writing to let you know that 23andMe is suspending its affiliate program at this time.

We appreciate all the work you have done with us and sincerely hope we will be able to work together again in the future.

Today we have set all our publisher accounts, including yours, to expire from our Commission Junction program. After the standard 7 day grace period, you will stop receiving commission.

We ask you to remove any 23andMe links and promotions from your site.

Please let us know if we can answer any questions.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.


CJ Swenson, Online Marketing Manager

For a company whose entire business presence is electronic, this doesn’t bode well for the future.  It’s obvious that 23andMe is working to comply with the FDA’s 15 day cease and desist mandate.  It’s equally obvious that the resolution is not going to be simply another extension of time to comply with the FDA requirements while business continues as usual.

You know, last week, when I said that I wasn’t an alarmist and I really felt that 23andMe would pull through this and be OK….well, I’m not so sure anymore.

So, folks it’s time to start copying health results, downloading files and contacting your matches to be sure they have your e-mail.  Remember, your only way to contact them is through the 23andMe system, and 23andMe’s longevity is in grave doubt today.

Yep, I’m sounding the alarm.  The 15 business day grace period given to 23andMe by the FDA, depending on how you count the Thanksgiving holiday ends either on Friday the 13th (no joke) or on Monday or Tuesday, the 16th or 17th.  It’s time to get busy, just in case.



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31 thoughts on “23andMe Pulls Affiliate Marketing Program

  1. Roberta, in the worst case scenario, what do you think will happens to our dna samples? Doesn’t 23andme keep them for 20 years?

      • My fear, as one who tested with 23andMe, is that they’ll do what I always suspected they would – sell their database with everyone’s medical results. It always seemed strange to me that their test was so cheap, but after reading several articles on the growing biotechnical industry, it’s obvious there is considerable value in our results. The test was a loss-leader to obtain the database. Remember Sorenson?

  2. What about the data ouploaded to Gedmatch from 23&Me? Will that stay there? I hope so, because my FTDNA data has failed miserably to upload to Gedmatch twice, and it’s still not working, but the 23&Me data is. Are they just tucking tails and running? I hope not.

    • I had issues with uploading someone else’s 23andMe data to GEDmatch initially and this seemed to be because I had saved the raw data-file to a folder that was part of many subfolders. Once I moved it to a different location on my laptop with a less complicated folder structure (i.e., within a single folder within My Documents), this solved my problem. Maybe worth a try if this might be the issue with your FTDNA file.

  3. They could move their site elsewhere in the world, as well as their headquarters.

    The interpretation (health and ancestry) could be left to another company or even to a private initiative.
    23andme could keep only the testing part.


  4. I would think, since we had to *upload the data to FTDNA and GEDmatch, that they have it in their own databases. But, I could be wrong. Anyone know for sure?

  5. I know that I for one am not looking forward to contacting over 500 people (over 1000 if we count those who hadn’t responded to earlier invitations) in the next week or so. Guess I should have been giving them my email address right from the start, but while 23andMe’s message system has its flaws, I have a harder time keeping track of masses of email. I really hope 23andMe gets their act together and works things out with the FDA.

  6. I am going through my own and my father’s DNA Relative lists, and saving the “conversations” (23andMe messages) that I exchanged with matches. I first sent each one a message with my email, for possible later contact outside of the 23andMe messaging system. I did not mention anything related to 23andMe’s problems.

  7. Yes download your raw data the sky is falling because you aren’t getting a commission anymore. 23andme isn’t going anywhere.

  8. Jacques, yes, 23 and Me, will be creative and innovative, thinking outside the box, and because there is always more than one way to get from here to there. I see them taking it to the Supreme Court, and winning! I am just an old sage, and would like to say more but it would be too controversial. I will just say to the owner, “You go Girl”!!

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  10. Their bread and butter is health and they received funding and backing to harvest that hence the price to the product $99. The ancestry and genealogy is not going to sustain this company. That is a side dish. One should think….why can’t they market their product only “ancestry? ” No. Marketing is being pulled. FDA has been on them since 2008. Shoulda took car of business then. I wont be surprised in due time the ancestry testing comes under scrutiny. Though this is more entertainment.

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