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Acai Era Is Over

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by heiny, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. heiny

    heiny Regular Member

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    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Consumers should be skeptical of health and weight-loss claims of the increasingly popular Brazilian fruit, acai, and the free trial offers that ask for their credit card information, a nonprofit health group said Monday.

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest said companies offering free trials of diet pills made with the acai berries have bilked thousands of consumers using fake celebrity endorsements and blogs to lure customers.

    Consumers are asked to provide a credit card to pay shipping and handling charges, but begin almost immediately receiving $80 to $90 monthly charges. Thousands of consumers have had trouble stopping those charges once they canceled the free trial offer.

    Acai (pronounced a-sigh-EE) comes in a number of forms including juice, pulp, powder and capsule. The berry has been touted as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and an antibacterial. The fruit is said to contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential to human health.

    Claims of weight loss are unfounded, said the CSPI.

    "There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that acai pills will help shed pounds, flatten tummies, cleanse colon, enhance sexual desire, or perform any of the other commonly advertised functions," according to the organization's press release.

    Acai's popularity has surged on bogus marketing claims, said Jonny Bowden, a certified nutrition specialist and author of several health books.

    "Virtually every berry -- blueberry, strawberry, goji, acai -- are anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants," Bowden said. "This particular one is exotic. It's found in Brazil. It's been marketed to have more of a magic ingredient. It's been over-hyped and marketed to death. There are claims to curing cancer, curing baldness that is all over the place."

    Like most berries, acai has good nutritional qualities, but "there is not a drop of research" that supports marketing claims that it prevents weight gain and facial wrinkles, Bowden said.

    Acai juices sell for as much as $40 per bottle.

    "The expensive acai berry is triumph of marketing over science, that's the bottom line," Bowden said. "It's not useless, but it's not anything that people are claiming it is."

    Companies including FWM Laboratories of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Hollywood, Florida, Advanced Wellness Research of Miami Beach, Florida, and other acai companies are accused of using fake diet blogs to steer consumers to sites plugging the free trials.

    After a doctor listed acai as a healthy food on the Oprah Winfrey show last year, and a guest on Rachael Ray's cooking show mentioned the fruit, ads popped up directing consumers to sites selling acai weight loss products as if endorsed by the celebrities. Winfrey and Ray have publicly disassociated themselves from those sites.

    Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating numerous complaints and said a lawsuit against FWM Laboratories is very likely.

    According to the Better Business Bureau, FWM Laboratories received an F rating, the BBB's worst. Other acai companies with the BBB''s F rating include Advanced Wellness Research, AcaiBurn, FX Supplements and SFL Nutrition.

    "There are no magical berries from the Brazilian rain forest that cure obesity, only painfully real credit card charges and empty weight loss promises," Blumenthal said. "Aggressive acai berry pitches on the Internet entice countless consumers into free trials promising weight loss, energy and detoxification. These claims are based on folklore, traditional remedies and outright fabrications unproved by real scientific evidence."

    Keri Gans, dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, recommends that customers turn to fruits and vegetables at their local produce markets.

    "If you're going on the Internet to find them and paying shipping fees, you should go to a market and buy local vegetables and fruits," she said. "It'd be a lot less expensive."

    Acai berries could be part of a well-balanced diet of different fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Gans said consumers should be skeptical whenever any one food seems too good to be true and should not to rely on one "miracle food" to boost health.

    "If [people] hope to find answers in one food for longevity, I would say they're mistaken," she said.

    CNN NEWS

    When the AG gets a hand on those companies and fine them it's game over :)
    Anyway...Oversaturated niche. I only made a thousand off it since I joined in late lol.
     
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  2. mrsix

    mrsix Power Member

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    was just a matter of time honestly. that whole acai thing was/is total hype and anyone with 1/4th of a brain knew it.

    The REAL problem is the insane rebill price and the company not honoring the cancellations.
     
  3. heiny

    heiny Regular Member

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    Think about how many of us promoted this product. We were only paid 1/5 of what that was actually made. It's insane how much these companies made.

    LOL is all I can say though as they'll probably be getting a million USD fine which is a drop in the sea for the companies.
     
  4. bindasj

    bindasj Junior Member

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    It'll just be on to the next product. People will always want an easy way out for weight loss or whatever (baldness, bad teeth, ugly fingers) and people will always be fooled into paying more than they should.
     
  5. secretboy08

    secretboy08 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    the hype will just shift to something else.
    first it was hoodia(or something like that) then acai and then it will be something else.
     
  6. ..Q..

    ..Q.. Junior Member

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    next gonna be either guarana or restavolwhatever...

    maybe during transition slimming tea is making a
    comeback ;)
     
  7. contentRus

    contentRus BANNED BANNED

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    LOL than It's going to be skin products as well this is fucked up!
     
  8. The Joker

    The Joker BANNED BANNED

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    the one thing i rekin we should all take away from this is not that fact that Oww noo acai is over But what is the new "acai berry" i know i'l b on the look out.
     
  9. virus_1720

    virus_1720 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    what goes up must come down. But I sure made a couple hundred bucks with this though so googd for me.
    Time to move on........
     
  10. the_demon

    the_demon Jr. Executive VIP

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    I watched it in the news yesterday. While that's going to kill sales. People still want to buy it based on hope... I think it'll last a while longer just not as much. Though I believe the CT district attorney or maybe the US cannot remember. Is launching a formal investigation. The irony is that on all of our landing pages we say featured on {major news news networks here}... We don't say why though ;). Never said it was for good reasons. *wink*

    And yeah the rebill price is insane... To my fellow black hatters if you want to buy it with no strings attached just use a VCC loaded with like $5 - $10 or a little over the shipping and get it for free... Best of all the news said they send it before they even bill you for the resupply so you might even come out with a few bottles before they stop sending it... Exploit the Exploiters. hahaha
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  11. Tom

    Tom Regular Member

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    It's not OVER, just going to slow down.

    I promote a company that sells a "miracle" health product, even though they have been fined numerous times by the federal government for claiming their product provided health benefits, and have had various lawsuits against them, people are still buying it. The fact is that people want to believe in it, you just need to give them that extra assurance they seek.
     
  12. blackhatnoob

    blackhatnoob Junior Member

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    Any hints on the next big thing? I just bought a domain yesterday for an acai site, but Im trying to get a refund on it now.
     
  13. aj113

    aj113 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Heh, it ain't over just because CNN says it is, it's over when the sales stop.
     
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  14. Whisker

    Whisker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    Indeed.
     
  15. blackhatnoob

    blackhatnoob Junior Member

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    Yeah, I guess its not over. But its overused and its probably too late to get into it now. I heard theres something with the same "benefits" as acai berrys and recent research is being performed on it. Ill let everyone knows what it is once I confirm it.
     
  16. adamster

    adamster Regular Member

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    Anything to do with a CPA company is s scam.
     
  17. blackmagiquellc

    blackmagiquellc BANNED BANNED

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    lol newbs are too cute :)

    Acai is still big such as prostitution and illegal drugs. CNN said they are bad but people still want them.

    Acai is still a xxxxx$ a month market for me and I love it. I drink natural acai myself daily.

    It's just hard to make sales for new people starting off
     
  18. Hugo

    Hugo Newbie

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    The reality is, anything with a profit margin high enough to pay $30-$40 CPA is going to be overpriced. The internet, as a channel of distribution, is getting very expensive.

    The CPA on a free+shipping offer I'm running right now is $42. Understand, I am not MAKING $42 a sale, I'm F*cking paying that! In 2 weeks, you bet your a$$ that person is going to get hit with a $89 rebill. And 70% of them will actually end up paying it a 2nd time too. But then again, you take out 12% to merchant the sales. Plus another 10-15% to pay the customer service floor in Manilla to take the cancellations. Then it's $4 each for the garbage product. Several k per month to maintain the servers, plus lawyers, plus HR staff to write all the affiliate checks...

    It doesn't even make sense as a business unless the volume is HUGE. Then we have to sell the names to Tele-marketing floors to see if we can't pull another few hundred out of these people before they realize they're paying us $89 a month for access to a useless website...

    (Btw- we sell cd's, not pills. I can't even imagine what a headache the diet business would be!)

    Bottom line guys, in order to make big $$$, you either have to sell ALOT of something, or sell it at a 'justifyably' high enough margin that you can make lots of money for selling practically nothing. Preferably, you want to figure out a way to do both.

    -Hugo
    p.s. The info I've heard is that once acai is dead, the next wave of 'supplements' are all going to have "uncoupling agents" in them. Hydroxycut in fact just released a new "uncoupling" product line.Some process apparently converts fat in your body to ketones (mild acids) that leave the body when you pee. The fat "melts" away.. Also, HCG (pregnatyl) hasn't even begun to peak. Within a year, an oral capsule version will probably be on the market and cheap enough to wholesale that it'll most likely end up being the next acai. (hcg has the added benefit of actually working)
     
  19. MrVentures

    MrVentures Junior Member

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    It seems that everyone and their mother has a "report" on whether or not the acai berry is good for you. The consumer is as confused a ever. The only ones making money are the companies rebilling customers. I was also in the heat of the acai rush and like any other campaign it was profitable if you found that sweet spot.
    As far as losing out on money due to loss profits on rebilling, just buy a acai palm and sell your own juice. I have a acai palm on the way myself and look forward to the palm tree chillin' in the sun room. My 2 cents.
    MrVentures:)