As if the credit card gods needed any more power, their latest napalm like sweep of the continuity space would make even Attila the Hun blush.
Not that I am against this latest move. Actually I am all for thinning the herd when it comes to deceptive practices. I mean you would have to be pretty dense if you didn’t see the writing on the wall. First the FTC re-iterates its guidelines on online advertising, in particular weight loss and biz opp at the beginning of December. Then on the 15th they file proceed with actions against some larger players. They then proceed to cut off all Acai berry advertisers from their merchant accounts. And in a stunning move, in mid January, both Visa and MC take aim at the continuity community.
Under the banner of “brand damaging”, the credit card companies have decimated almost every well known Biz Opp continuity advertiser there is. This caused a tsunami like effect on the CPA networks, squashing massive amounts of offers under their well buffed wing tips. In what appeared to be a blanket approach rather than a pinpoint attack.
But from the ashes rises a Phoenix. There will be a new set of ground rules. Unfortunately no one knows exactly sure what will take place next. Is continuity dead, well not for some. Magazine publishers, online application providers and software providers won’t have to worry much, since they seem to deliver value in the eyes of the gods. For those who run information products delivered by web only or a Free Trial DVD mailed to their home, well it is a different story.
I spent three days at Affiliate Summit, and a fair amount of that time speaking with Transaction Processors about the situation. Their summation, be compliant and transparent, or face certain elimination. There were several companies there touting that they can get continuity campaigns back up and running as before. Some using European accounts, others utilizing other means to get advertisers back taking credit cards for continuity.
Most solutions seemed like short term stop gap measures that, in my opinion, will only end up getting shut down in another wave of whack-a-guru. I admit, that there will be some advertisers who have been able to weather the storm, and those tend to have rock solid processing relationships with their processors. But the majority have lost most of their continuity business for good.
I recently did an interview with Daegan Smith, an old friend and one of the smartest network marketers I know. We talked for over an hour on how these latest changes are reshaping our industry and how both advertisers and publishers need to be aware of the implications of running campaigns that are not compliant.
Take a listen or better yet, download it to your MP3 Player and take it with you. If you sell anything online or are thinking about it, listen to the podcast with Daegan. I am confident you will find something that applies to your business. If not, then you probably still think CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant.
Or download it here.