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  1. #1
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    FTC going after "Acai Berry Diet Exposed: Miracle Diet or Scam?"
    The FTC has filed suit against affiliates and CPA network Copeac that use fake news sites to promote products like Acai.
    FTC Seeks to Halt 10 Operators of Fake News Sites from Making Deceptive Claims About Acai Berry Weight Loss Products
    The FTC seeks to permanently stop this misleading practice and has asked courts to freeze the operationsí assets pending trial
    Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. IMM Interactive, Inc., a New York Corporation formerly known as Intermark Communications, Inc., also doing business as COPEAC and Intermark Media, Defendant

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Fake news sites are a sure way to get the attention of the FTC.
    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

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Interesting to see the FTC holding the network responsible for the actions of their affiliates. Or was the network acting as an affiliate, doing the same things, as well?
    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

  4. #4
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    It seems Copeac was also acting as an advertiser.
    The FTC said in the legal filing: IMM, which is also known as Intermark Communications and COPEAC, spent “over $1.3 million during roughly the last year to place over a billion ads on high-volume websites such as weather.com, msnbc.com, cnn.com, and usdatoday.com”.
    Over a million consumers have clicked on those ads

  5. #5
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Fake news sites are a sure way to get the attention of the FTC.
    I could write volumes about that statement. But ....not here.
    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, thereís no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Interesting to see the FTC holding the network responsible for the actions of their affiliates. Or was the network acting as an affiliate, doing the same things, as well?
    I guess Copeac had their own websites as landing pages for their ads. Maybe they were also using their network tracking with their own affiliate id.
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Plaintiff, v. Corporation formerly known as INTERMARK COMMUNICATIONS, INC., also d/b/a COPEAC and INTERMARK MEDIA, Defendant.
    http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/10232...419immmemo.pdf
    Here, Defendant has lured over a million consumers to its deceptive websites, and numerous consumers have been tricked into purchasing products due to Defendantís misrepresentations and false claims.
    I don't understand why Copeac was still running acai-berry ads after the 2009 Warning issued by Better Business Bureau.

  7. #7
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I have been arguing against these people for years.

    No matter how scammy their advertisements are, the offer is the worst part. It is a free trial that has fine print saying that the free trial starts when you order it, not when you actually get the product and start trying it.

    Many people get tricked by the fine print and end up with large charges on their credit card bills. The conversion rate of this scam was high enough that affiliates (and the company) could afford to out bid most other advertisers on most major sites.

    This scam has been one of the most visible ad campaigns online. This is terrible for our industry.

    I blame the company, the affiliates and also Google. It doesn't take a super search engineer from Google to see what was going on. Since it was such a major ad campaign, there was no need for a mathematical formula to detect it. Google was making good money from participating in this scam. The "Don't Be Evil" motto must have been put on hold while the revenues flowed in from this scammy campaign.

    I'm someone who thinks there is a role in the market system for a government referee. This is a good example of it. Google should have stopped this campaign long before the FTC needed to get involved. If we can't trust a company like Google to stop this type of nonsense, then it shows we certainly need government regulators to stop companies from doing similar scammy things in cases that aren't so obvious. Google, oil companies, food companies, banks, etc... all are tempted to scam their own customers in order to make some more profit.
    Last edited by OICUAM2; May 3rd, 2011 at 12:17 AM.
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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    I would not expect Google to do anything, they rarely do unless a DA or sever public pressure pushes them.

    In my segment they rank a company that has hundreds of thousands of complains about the "easy saver scam" high (normally #1 organic). The parent company even found a way around the Google double serving restriction (different company names & landing page for the same database driven web site), that allow them to have 3 or 4 PPC ads showing up on every search. Google makes a ton of money from them (and they are are on GAN) so I don't expect them to ever drop them. They are a big company doing anything possible to strip people of their money and pushing a company that will do anything possible to strip people of even more money. "Do no Evil" fell by the wayside long ago, now they just want "Mo' Money"

    But if you think about it: how many affiliates are pushing the companies behind the "easy saver scam"?

  9. #9
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    Never heard of "Easy Saver Scam". Thanks for the heads-up.
    EasySaver Rewards is an exclusive membership program designed specifically for ProFlowers, Shari's Berries, RedEnvelope and Cherry Moon Farms customers. Members enjoy access to a vast array of money saving benefits and discounts.
    When your screen comes up and says your order has been placed, there is a square that says "10% off of your next order with proflowers", and it tells you to click to get your coupon. You got a code to use, but when you clicked on it, it also enrolls you to easy saver.
    They charge your credit card account under Easy Save EasySaver. A $14.95 bill will come up monthly. Crooks!
    These companies have pretty successful affiliate programs. Shame on them.
    Pretty lame to mislead customers (and scam them) with bogus coupons and free shipping offers.
    Unfortunately, Google will not do anything to stop that.

  10. #10
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    Unhappy
    If this won't stop, affiliate marketing industry will be forbidden.

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