Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2008
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    21
    Celebrities, Illinois AG, Sue Over False Endorsements and Phony Offers in Internet Ad
    I don't get on here as much as I should.
    But, I was sure I'd find affiliates here talking about Oprah, the Illinois Attorney General, Acai, and CPA deals in general.
    I can't find anything.

    No one have anything to say?

    Did you see this notice from a Network today?

    Dear Affiliates,

    It has been brought to our attention that certain affiliates have been
    using third party copyrighted images to promote our products. More
    specifically, Oprah and Dr. Oz have been used in connection with our
    offers over the past few weeks. According to Section 3.c.ii in the
    affiliate T&Cs, an Affiliate may not "infringe on any personal,
    intellectual property or copyrights of any third party;". We strongly
    stick by this as we know the ramifications we may suffer if we allow
    trademarked terms to be used without express written permission from
    the trademark holder.

    Please examine your sites and methods used to promote our products.
    If you feel there may be some gray area, please feel free to contact
    your AM to discuss. Again, under absolutely no circumstances may
    Oprah, Dr. Oz or anyone associated with Harpo Productions be used to
    promote ...... Marketing's offers at any time.

    Thank you,
    ....... Compliance Team


    -------------
    Expect to see many more of these over the next few days. Also expect to see many networks simply turning the offers off.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    My sites don't promote any of these products, so I'm not pretending anything.

    Having said that, I have read about the issue.

    The network email suggests that the endorsement claim was made by affiliates. Slippery slope indeed, if that's the case. I pay a lot of money for the rights to use celeb photos on my site - I can't even imagine placing one next to a product as an "endorsement".

    From what I understand, Harpo/Dr Oz are also going after sites who own variations of their names. Now that's a practice I would like to see end as well.

    False claim sales pages give our industry a bad name.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 3rd, 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    536
    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmark
    I don't get on here as much as I should.
    But, I was sure I'd find affiliates here talking about Oprah, the Illinois Attorney General, Acai, and CPA deals in general.
    I can't find anything.

    No one have anything to say?
    Most people on here don't promote that kind of stuff. There's another affiliate marketing forum with more of a CPA focus where I'm sure you can find a bunch of threads about it.
    --

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    I didn't realize the Oprah issue was related to CPA programs (not familiar with the vendor names) - assumed it was a case of misleading sales pages that indicated she endorsed the product.

    Either way, it's a reminder that as publishers, we are responsible for the content of our own sites.

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2008
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    21
    two issues in play
    teezone - good to hear that you are using celeb photos in the right way - you're helping to offset the bad rep others are creating for us as an affiliate industry. In placing Oprah, Dr. Oz and other celeb photos on sites in ways that appear to be endorsements they are creating a bad rep for all of us.

    Having said that - celeb endorsements are fabulous - if you can get the real ones that is awesome.

    Some sites are pretending to be news sites, consumer reports etc., blogs etc. they look just like the real thing other than a tiny disclaimer stating its an advertisement I don't think these are helping anyone other than the guy/gal making all the money on commissions - if in fact they are working at all.

    So my first argument here is - let's make some real sites.
    As I have said in the past along with others - Let's put the marketing back into affiliate marketing.


    Second issue - this is not my issue this is what the AG of Illinois is suing over. Free Trials. I won't go into much detail here but I'll simply say - AGs are going after them....Google is going after free trial campaigns. (I'll find a blog post I read recently about this and post later on - unless someone else read the same thing I did and can post that here for me - thanks)

    The bottom line is the $2.99 free trial simply gets consumers hooked into the continuity program or as it is called here on ABW - rebill offers.

    Once they are hooked what happens? Many companies large and small do it - but can the customer get out? Where they aware this was going to happen? All these things are the matters now in question.


    I mentioned in my original post here a letter I got from a network - well, indeed the networks are on this - here's another sent out this morning.

    This is not what I would call a CPA network - this is a big one that we all work with on a daily basis.


    Dear Publishers,

    For several years now, the ….. Network has prided itself on being an industry leader in online marketing compliance, often taking a far more conservative approach than most in our overall marketing standards and investing millions of dollars into compliance tools and resources, both human and technical. The events of the last 48 hours, highlighted below, underscore the reasons why we have taken this approach and been so steadfast in how we advise you, our valued affiliates, each and every day.

    The Illinois State Attorney General’s Office, Oprah Winfrey, and Dr. Oz have filed a number of suits in the past day which may affect your business. The lawsuits send a clear message that using deceptive ad content, e.g., fake celebrity endorsements, not disclosing the price and re-bill terms, using fake blogs, etc., will not be tolerated. Please read the following for more information:
    The Illinois State AG has filed actions against three parties for deceptive advertising practices in the marketing of acai berry products and other dietary supplements. Please keep in mind that the regulators are choosing to directly pursue affiliate marketers for their marketing practices. The full text of the press release can be found here: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.g.../20090819.html.
    Dr. Oz and Oprah Winfrey have also filed a lawsuit in New York for copyright and trademark infringement against approximately 50 companies, including advertisers, suppliers, ad networks, and affiliates. To put it bluntly, they are very unhappy of their celebrity status being used to market dietary supplements and cosmetics, without their permission. They have specifically listed hundreds of affiliate sites they want discontinued immediately, because the URLs use their name or the sites claim endorsements from Oprah/Dr. Oz. The full story can be found here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32483484...t-celebrities/
    Finally, keep our guidelines in mind when you are creating your ad content. An advertisement or affiliate:
    Must not use falsified consumer testimonials or postings.

    If any testimonials/photos/first person accounts/etc. are used, appropriate documentation must be submitted to .. Talk to your network manager for more information.
    Must not use photos of celebrities or falsified endorsements.
    Must not use altered pictures and represent that those pictures are of actual consumers.
    Must not use fake blogs or fake news sites to promote content.
    Must not use of the word “FREE” on anything that is not completely free. ‘Free’, ‘Try it Free’, ‘Free Sample’, etc. are not acceptable.
    Must not have a “comments” section without a “reply” or “post” option.
    We hope that this information has been helpful to you. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to your Affiliate Manager, or me, directly.
    --
    As you can see – this is serious stuff. The suits are against affiliates too – not just the networks.
    We all need to do the right thing from the beginning and give credit where credit is due.
    All of us, yes me too, need to figure out what we are doing that could cause us any problems or mislead any consumer and make the necessary changes. As we do this we’ll help build up the reputation of our industry.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Norwalk, CT
    Posts
    846
    What is the "Network" that sent you this email?
    OpA! Giasou Ti kanies!

  7. #7
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    8,443
    cougarmark, I totally agree with your position and that of the Illinois Attorney General. But, it took be several reads and many of the follow-up posts to understand what you were getting at, primarily because of your misleading and confusing title. Would you consider asking a mod to change the title so readers will know what this thread is really about?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Newbie
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2008
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Magi
    What is the "Network" that sent you this email?
    I'll just say its a big network. If anyone else received the email I have seen I'll let them post the name.

  9. #9
    Newbie
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2008
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
    cougarmark, I totally agree with your position and that of the Illinois Attorney General. But, it took be several reads and many of the follow-up posts to understand what you were getting at, primarily because of your misleading and confusing title. Would you consider asking a mod to change the title so readers will know what this thread is really about?
    I'm sorry for the confusion.
    Title - what would you suggest?
    I'm open.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    8,443
    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmark
    I'm sorry for the confusion.
    Title - what would you suggest?
    I'm open.

    Mark
    Something like:

    "Celebrities, Illinois AG, Sue Over False Endorsements and Phony Offers in Internet Ads."
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  11. #11
    Newbie
    Join Date
    April 25th, 2008
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    21
    Sounds pretty logical to me - I'll ask Haiko to update it.

    Thx

    Mark

  12. #12
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    8,443
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager bs0101's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 10th, 2008
    Posts
    74
    read up on this earlier today and got presented with a fraudulent PPC offer above an organic result about the case...

  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    Hilarious. Hope you clicked it a bunch of times.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 3rd, 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    536
    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmark
    I mentioned in my original post here a letter I got from a network - well, indeed the networks are on this - here's another sent out this morning.

    This is not what I would call a CPA network - this is a big one that we all work with on a daily basis.


    Dear Publishers,

    For several years now, the ….. Network has prided itself on being an industry leader in online marketing compliance ...
    That one is from Azoogle, which is indeed a CPA network.

    "Industry leader in online marketing compliance" is BS. Maybe they mean that they're the leader in walking so closely to (and over) the line that they're the ones the AG's go after first. Azoogle has a long history of being associated with spam and shady behavior. CPA Empire (now Affiliate.com) is pretty much in the same boat. Unfortunately, none of these outfits get fined enough to deter the rest in the next gimmick they go after, and consequently there are even worse players out there than Azoogle.
    --

  16. #16
    Full Member snappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 21st, 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay Florida/Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    387
    One of my cpa networks I work with just emailed me. I do appreciate the heads up....
    This is what was written to me:

    Dear Snappy,

    We have recently been advised that a large number of US (and UK) affiliates have received US lawsuits from legal representatives of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah Winfrey herself,and her on-air physician Dr. Mehmet Oz in relation to the use of their names in endorsements, testimonials, recommendations, and other product promotion activities.

    Subsequently, we are strongly urging all affiliates to remove ANY reference to any representative of the Oprah Winfrey show (and other 'celebrity endorsements') to avoid becoming the subject of possible immediate legal action.

    This is an urgent matter, and we recommend immediate action from all affiliates this relates to.
    I attract success and abundance into my life because that is who I am.

  17. #17
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    5,904
    Quote Originally Posted by snappy
    One of my cpa networks I work with just emailed me. I do appreciate the heads up....
    This is what was written to me:

    Dear Snappy,

    We have recently been advised that a large number of US (and UK) affiliates have received US lawsuits from legal representatives of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah Winfrey herself,and her on-air physician Dr. Mehmet Oz in relation to the use of their names in endorsements, testimonials, recommendations, and other product promotion activities.

    Subsequently, we are strongly urging all affiliates to remove ANY reference to any representative of the Oprah Winfrey show (and other 'celebrity endorsements') to avoid becoming the subject of possible immediate legal action.

    This is an urgent matter, and we recommend immediate action from all affiliates this relates to.
    Note that they say to do this to avoid legal action...... not because it's immoral, wrong, and most likely illegal.

    I love CPA networks.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  18. #18
    Member BrettSaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 29th, 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    158
    yea, I really can't see how anyone could think using a false endorsement would be a good idea. Most all companies, when notified of copyright infringement (or false endorsements, in the case of celbrities) will crack down on it fast. But I guess you never know. The state fair had a ride called "Hot Wheels" that clearly used the Hot Wheels (toy cars) logo, but I doubt that Hot Wheels would authorize a tilt-a-whirl. Then again, I suppose the carnies will be gone in a week or so anways, so good luck tracking them down.

  19. #19
    Full Member snappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 21st, 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay Florida/Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    387
    Oh IC well I didn't promote anything that has to do with celebrities or their endorsements but of course this had to be a long time coming I can almost guarantee that dr phill is next tons of products claimed to be good and promoted by him......lol he really isn't a doctor hes a carpenter.....
    I attract success and abundance into my life because that is who I am.

  20. #20
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    8,443
    Quote Originally Posted by BrettSaver
    Then again, I suppose the carnies will be gone in a week or so anways, so good luck tracking them down.
    They have a regular circuit and can be easily found at the next scheduled site.

    Quote Originally Posted by snappy
    ... I can almost guarantee that dr phill is next tons of products claimed to be good and promoted by him......lol he really isn't a doctor hes a carpenter.....
    That bag of makes a fortune promoting everything under the sun. I'm sure there is very little with his name on it that he doesn't get paid for promoting.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  21. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Featured: PMA Illinois Lawsuit Victory Upheld by Illinois Supreme Court
    By Chuck Hamrick in forum Illinois Affiliate Tax
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: October 22nd, 2013, 09:14 AM
  2. Featured: Judge Rules Illinois Internet Tax Law Unconstitutional
    By cowboysfan in forum Illinois Affiliate Tax
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: July 25th, 2012, 10:57 AM
  3. Question About Policitical Endorsements & Sales
    By sweat in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: January 24th, 2004, 08:23 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •