The Promise of Weight Loss & Free Government Money… but at what cost?
It’s no surprise that millions upon millions of dollars have been made off of the latest acai berry craze. No matter where you go online, you see those “One Simple Rule: OBEY” ads and the weight loss banners that are wide spread across nearly all sites. If nothing else, this in itself just proves how much money is being made with acai offers.
However, making money with acai berry is nothing new. It’s the fake blogs, fake testimonials and now the voice of every one who signed up to one of those acai offers. In the affiliate industry it’s no secret why the acai berry offers are so hot. It’s not uncommon for affiliates to see click rate earnings of $1-$3 per click for acai campaigns. These offers are always paying over $40 per signup, just for the end user to request a trial and pay a small $3.95 charge. The buyer is later nailed for numberous $80+ charges if they don’t cancel within 14 days. It’s in the small print… but no one reads it.
So what’s the purpose of talking about acai berry offers now? We already know the market is saturated, huge media buys have banners everywhere and it’s a tough niche to break into if you haven’t already.
What’s drawing new excitement to acai is the backlash from consumer charges and how hard it is to actually cancel yourself from these occurring charges.
A great video just came out from from 10News.com, which has a couple buyers from the acai berry sites and how they are unhappy about their charges. This is nothing new, but what is funny, is when the reporter calls the acai supplier over the phone and how their “outsourced” operator insists they are from Florida, then hangs up when asked “where in Florida?“. Later on in the video, the news station visits the headquarters, and there is a scurry to close up shop and keep them out.
It’s no surprise the news is finally taking notice on this, but more of a surprise how slow they are at it. Even though Facebook allowed “weight loss / acai” offers for the longest time, they finally caught on with the fake blogs and auto billing.
The same holds true for the latest craze in government grants. Just like the acai offers, when a consumer pays a small shipping fee for their government grant kit, they are then autobilled. Once Facebook lifted most of their ad terms a few weeks ago, the network was loaded up with Obama government grant offers. A couple weeks later Facebook said “no more grant offers“.
The same thing that happened to acai berry offers, is now cycling through government grants and teeth whitening. The flogs (fake blogs) have proven to work, and will be beaten to death until they stop working or new terms come into place… which isn’t likely any time soon.
While acai berry is finding itself in the new more and more, some sources are catching onto the government grants as well. In the latest issue of Consumer Reports, they warn readers about signing up to government grant web sites, which will end up costing them more than saving.
Whether you think it’s a moral issue, bad business ethics or just about making money… you can’t point the finger at one person. The affiliates, networks and suppliers are in this one together, and they are all making money. What are your thoughts on the acai / government grants craze, and can (should) affiliate marketers be held liable their promotion tactics? I guess only time will tell…
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