Category: Affiliate Marketing

January 19, 2012

FTC Enlists Surprising Watchdogs to Police Marketers’ Practices

The FTC is building up its army of watchdogs to police online marketing content and practices.  Who those watchdogs are – and their relationship to the industry – might surprise you. Earlier this month, the agency entered into a settlement agreement with Central Coast Nutraceuticals, an Internet marketer of weight-loss and health products.  The agreement… Read More

January 8, 2012

HCG Marketers Face Hot Pursuit by FDA, FTC

Putting a snag in New Year’s resolutions for pound-shedding, the FDA and the FTC recently sent out warning letters to several companies that sell HCG-based diet products online. (These companies include Nutri-Fusion Systems LLC, Natural Medical Supply, HCG Platinum, LLC, theoriginalhcgdrops.com, HCG Diet Direct, LLC, and Hcg-miracleweightloss.com.) The warning letters, which came at the outset… Read More

November 22, 2011

Google, Microsoft Assume Roles of Judge, Jury and Executioner on the Web

Google, Yahoo! and Bing have suspended their accounts with hundreds of advertisers and agents associated with mortgage programs under federal investigation. The move by Google and Microsoft (Microsoft powers Bing and Yahoo!) has basically shut down these businesses: Without the vehicle of the search engines, these sites cannot effectively generate traffic. Why did Google and… Read More

November 20, 2011

Self-Regulation Reigns, for Now, on Consumer Data Privacy Issues

The online advertising industry is inching its way to more comprehensive policies regarding the collection of consumer data. Several announcements this month by different self-regulatory groups show that pressure from government agencies and consumer watchdog groups concerned about consumer privacy is taking effect . . . slowly but surely. The most recent pronouncement comes from… Read More

August 29, 2011

Google Agrees to Forfeit $500 Million: What Does This Mean for Affiliate Marketers?

In an unusual and little-noticed recent settlement, Google Inc. has agreed to pay a forfeiture of $500 million because it permitted Canadian pharmacies to advertise to United States consumers on its site using Google AdWords, resulting in the illegal sale of prescription drugs through online channels into the United States between 2003 and 2009. The… Read More

August 15, 2011

FTC’s Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule May Not Help Consumers

The FTC recently issued the Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising Final Rule. This rule is the FTC’s response to a congressional directive to address unfair or deceptive acts in the mortgage loan industry. Briefly, the MAP Rule (1) gives the FTC and state authorities the ability to seek civil penalties for deceptive mortgage advertising,… Read More

August 8, 2011

‘Tiny Belly’ Ads Conceal Large Credit-Card Scheme

The companies behind the ubiquitous “1 Tip for a Tiny Belly” ads are the most recent targets of a new FTC crackdown on online weight-loss ads that have conned millions of people. The ad seems innocent enough; it promises “1 Tip” to a svelte stomach. But this ad is actually the tip of something much… Read More

June 30, 2011

Internet Affiliates Fight Back in Court Against Illinois Retail Tax

An organization that represents online affiliates filed suit in federal court this month challenging the constitutionality of a new Illinois law targeted at collecting sales tax from Web retailers. Internet retail giant Amazon.com has threatened to cut off its marketing affiliates in Illinois in an effort to avoid paying the tax, and other companies are… Read More

April 24, 2011

New Illinois Tax Law May Strike Hard Against Affiliates

A new Illinois law purporting to preserve and create jobs in the state may soon be putting Illinois affiliates out of business. Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a law requiring online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases made in Illinois, on the premise that the companies have a presence in the state due to… Read More

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