Marketing Madness

ClickBank Kills JV Marketing Products

As we previous mentioned, ClickBank has been under enormous pressure by the FTC (Read Clickbank FTC) to make changes its program after numerous customer complaints and a rising chargeback issue with Internet Marketing programs. As part of that, they have started to make additional changes to the guidelines, some which are being announced this week as part of a expanding push to control JV marketer’s messages.

According to their own blog, ClickBank will no longer approve new JV and Internet Marketing programs that do not follow very strict rules, that they feel will prevent more FTC inquiries and consumer complaints.  Additionally, all current landing pages must be immediately changed or programs will be removed from ClickBank.

The changes that ClickBank Requires are as follows:

–          Customers must know what to expect while purchasing a product.
–          Must contain clear, detailed information about the product even in the pitch pages.
–          All software must list specifically what the software does. For example, “This software helps you find new keywords.”
–          No more general pitches allowed that make claims how easy the product is to use.

Of course, many of the IM Gurus are “up in arms” about these changes, claiming that they will ruin their current method of selling products through JV programs and they will no longer make money. Several of them have brought up the point that these guidelines are stricter than what is required from offline products and that ClickBank is over responding to criticism. They also believe that many IM products will just leave ClickBank and move to other processors and that because of that consumers will lose the guaranteed refund policy of ClickBank.

Still, a large amount of the industry believes these changes are positive. As Nick J. West said in Performance Marketing Insider, “These types of ‘JV’ and ‘information services’ scams have been running for years, with a big majority of them knowingly walking consumers down the path of misinformation and out of their hard-earned money. I am glad the FTC is clarifying their position on this issue, too bad the FTC virtually has no teeth when it comes to early enforcement actions against the biggest abuse.”

What are your thoughts?

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Pace Lattin

Pace Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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  1. I have two vague opinions on the matter. For one, it’ll definitely separate the marketers who promote BS digital products from the ones who promote products and services that actually assist the consumer in achieving whatever goal it is they’d like. On the other hand, I can understand why some of these IM’s may be upset – they may have the best product in the world and their main way of promoting it on ClickBank was just murdered because of the new FTC regulation. Anyhow, I think for the most part, the changes are positive, but you can only go so far I guess…

    1. Perhaps people will make REAL products that appeal to affiliates. Tracking202 / Prosper202 for example is a great business example of a real product that works, no need to upsell or trick people into downloading.

  2. finally. glad about these changes. always hated these “marketing” gurus” that sold tactical things they claimed they have done. gosh.

    1. I actually think I read recently a guru teaching his follower about a new amazing technique to make money. It was driving people to offers with “optins” attached to it. Uh… it’s almost like his followers didn’t know that CO-REGISTRATION has been around for a decade plus and is what drives every zip/email submit.

  3. As much as I hate to see regulations this was a necessary evil.

    Recent Clickbank products have been promising 6 figure revenue with 3-5 mouse clicks. The copy is written to keep you guessing. Then if you buy you are presented with several must have upsells and a 60 day guarantee.

    Many people charge back and refund when they discover this secret software requires MUCH more work than the promised 3-5 mouse clicks daily.

    I am a marketer and I totally get how these tactics work on the monkey brain. But using them puts us in a category with scammers. If your product is awesome it will sell itself, if not you need to market to monkeys and deal with their wrath.

    Make sure your product is awesome and you don’t have to sell like a douchebag.

  4. Good …

    Go figure before you buy something you actually want to know what you *actually* get.

    Imagine going into a hardware store and you want to buy a saw, but you have no idea what saw it is, what it comes with and even if it really is a saw.

  5. Now we’re getting somewhere.

    The FTC getting involved and wielding a big stick goes a long way towards pushing some of these networks to heed the cries of the masses. Some of the issues and recommendations made by bloggers trying to monetize their content (see Improvements Pave Way to Monetize Blogs”>Improvements Pave Way to Monetize Blogs) are addressed by moves like this.

    Pace, I am so happy to see you keeping this front and center. Here’s hoping there will be a snowball effect resulting in much better circumstances for all involved – marketers, customers, and networks.

  6. I’m curious as to whether or not any pressure was put on the bigger JV brokers themselves? I’ve seen a few marketers that typically would go thru ClickBank and the usual JV brokers that:
    1. Aren’t selling their newest product through ClickBank
    2. Aren’t going through the usual JV Broker channels.

  7. I can totally understand why they did this, no one needs to have the FTC crawling round them, I would point the finger of blaim at the ftc not clickbank or any other affiliate style company!

  8. Completely agree with these changes, and they’re hugely overdue.

    I’ve read through the terms carefully, and funnily enough they could just be replaced by “Don’t lie”. That pretty much covers everything they’re asking for.

    And all the people up in arms are probably those most comfortable selling poor (to put it mildly) quality products to people who should either know better, or don’t know enough to actually know better. I’m very glad ClickBank went down this route.

    All the shady products can now move to Plimus. Lucky Plimus.

  9. Any idiot could see that coming a mile away. In fact, I wonder why the FTC took so long to act.
    I was personally getting sick and tired of the lousy products with top-notch sales copy. I think these marketers who exploited the ClickBank network became an affront to all serious marketers or average consumer looking to get started in the IM industry. They spent more on the sales copy and affiliate tools than they did developing good products. Sadly this collusion was facilitated by PayPal. PayPal has shut down many marketers for spurious transgressions, yet CB kept going! I’m glad the FTC stepped in to correct an untenable situation.

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