4th of July Thoughts on FTC Crackdown on Online Work at Home Scams

This article is a reprint of an Offeratti newsletter sent to it’s Publishers. Happy 4th and enjoy your freedom, it has a price.

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Happy 4th of July for our Publisher and Network Partners!

As July 4th marks the independence of a great nation, so too does it remind us that with freedom also comes responsibility.

In our industry that comes in two flavors, responsibility of the Advertiser to provide a quality product or service to the consumer. And in turn, the responsibility that Publishers bear to promote campaigns in a non-deceptive, straightforward manner.

Wednesday, July 1st marked a new chapter in online marketing responsibility particularly for one of our core niche verticals, Work From Home Business Opportunities. If you are not aware of the recent action, please visit this article about the FTC‘s recent crackdown on Con Artists and online work at home scams.

Big advertisers in this niche of online performance marketing that the FTC specifically targeted included, Jeff Paul, John Beck, John Alexander, as well as the campaign Google Money Tree and several others. The FTC is accusing these advertisers campaigns of violating federal laws related to telemarketing and consumer fraud.

At Offeratti we have to take on the responsibility from both ends of the spectrum. Our advertisers are selected based on a careful screening process that weeds out the would be online work at home scams. We specifically look at an advertiser’s track record with refunds and customer service related issues, as well as financials and several other business practice criteria, including interviewing actual buyers of their products. And while not everyone can please all the people all the time, Advertisers who make Customer Service a core mission tend to stay in business a lot longer.

The Offeratti Network is a place where we want publishers and networks to know that you can be proud to promote our FTC compliant advertiser campaigns with 100% assurance that you are not going to end up in hot water. In other words, you don’t feel like you need a shower after you put up our links. And in turn, Advertisers know that we heavily screen our publisher and network relationships in accordance with our Zero Tolerance for Fraud policy.

So on this July 4th weekend, let’s have a great time, do some barbecuing, have a few beverages and watch something amazing happen – the cleaning up of the biz opp affiliate space. The freedom to work on the Internet also comes with a fair amount of responsibility to not mislead or deceive consumers. Offeratti is proud to be part of the movement toward greater transparency and truth in online advertising.

Because if we really want growth in the performance marketing sector, we have to attract larger advertisers with monthly budgets in the 7 figure range. They will not come if they perceive this slice of the Internet Marketing pie to be fraught with the stigma of fraud and deception. They will simply pull their massive TV budgets and place them in display or search. But they won’t be spending it on lead gen or direct sales campaigns in our space.

So relax and enjoy the much deserved time off, and raise a toast to Billy Mays. Long live the infomercial king in our hearts and in our strategies.

A few related articles on the FTC Crackdown.

AP Story

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-ftc-scams,0,969609.story

FTC Operation Short Change

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/07/shortchange.shtm

Cheers,

Jim Lillig

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