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Clickbank's new policy on actors in videos ...

Discussion in 'Clickbank' started by OTrap, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. OTrap

    OTrap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Sales videos have gotten grossly out of hand, and Clickbank is putting a new policy into place. At first, I was a bit annoyed, but after reading the actual verbiage, I think this will be a great move toward more honest marketing.

    The whole of it can be found here: http://www.clickbank.com/help/vendo...selling-basics/vendor-promotional-guidelines/

    Regarding actors in sales videos:

    1. There is no verbiage on actors just selling, so long as they don't embody the vendor or tell the vendor's story, meaning if you just want a pitch person, that is still allowed without a disclaimer.

    2. It is still permitted to use an actor to tell the vendor's experience (in either first or third person), so long as there is a disclaimer in the video stating that the person is an actor representing the vendor.

    I think this is a perfect balance of curbing deceptive marketing without stifling the marketer.
     
  2. Narrator

    Narrator Power Member

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    Those are FTC regulations, I'm surprised they allowed it for this long.
     
  3. OTrap

    OTrap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    That has me curious.

    Does "Flo" in the Progressive Insurance commercials come with a disclaimer? Or the old "Chad" guy from the Alltel commercials?

    Flo is certainly not a customer service rep for Progressive, but an actress personality pretending to be one.

    I've never looked for a disclaimer, though.

    I would hope that the FTC wouldn't have a double standard in this regard.
     
  4. wowhaxor

    wowhaxor Executive VIP Premium Member

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    "Flo" is not stating that she made $1,000 a day with this proven system, etc.

    She is not an actor protraying the vendor's experience at all.
     
  5. hgear

    hgear Power Member

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    Yeah just got the email too regarding actors...it's been that way for a long time but I think they are starting to enforce it now with FTC pressure on their back.

    FTC does not mess around...so get ready for more of this
     
  6. ScrapeBoss

    ScrapeBoss Elite Member Premium Member

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    Clickbank is doing that when money is already off the table.:D
     
  7. OTrap

    OTrap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    The industry doesn't (or shouldn't) matter though.

    She IS pretending to be a service rep of the "vendor" (which is a whole company) in this case. I suppose if she's a full-time employee of the company, that might justify it to the FTC.

    Interestingly, such insurance companies DO often come up with atypical claims in terms of saving ("customers are saving $XXX a month" language). Moreover, there seem to be a scat-ton of people complaining about them as a scam.

    No problem with them, but it IS funny that often, the people who complain about elements of the "make-money" niche don't even notice them in others.

    That's not intended toward you or anyone else specifically. Just something I notice from time to time.
     
  8. wowhaxor

    wowhaxor Executive VIP Premium Member

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    You're interpreting it incorrectly. When someone makes a claim like "I did this to save xxx dollars" or "I used this and my teeth became 10x whiter" then they are either posing as the vendor or a customer and this is what it is talking about. These also require disclaimers on TV and have for a long time (look at the print next time you see if pop up, will say paid actor, not typical earnings, etc.).

    If you do a commercial where its just some chick pitching the product in a skit sort of setting that's fine because she is not pretending to be using the product/service and not making claims about what the product/service did for her.

    Basically these laws have been around forever for TV and just now being rolled out to the Internet after the new FTC stuff.

    That's different again. They are using actual statistics, they have customers that earned such and such an amount. You can make those claims also if you can back them up. But, again, if you have an actor saying "I" saved $xxx a month etc there would have to be a disclaimer saying "paid actor blah blah blah" which is already the standard for TV. You'll notice it in fine print in informercials especially and sometimes even with a guy talking real fast saying it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  9. Narrator

    Narrator Power Member

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    Just like how those fiverr video "testimonials" could get you in trouble.
     
  10. OTrap

    OTrap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Gotcha. That makes sense. Admittedly, this was literally just something I was spitballing, and I know next to nothing about television rules, laws, etc.

    I was certain there was a policy in place that stipulated that a make-money product wasn't permitted to say "you could make," or any similar claim. Is that a Clickbank term, but not an FTC term?

    Or hell, am I just not remembering correctly? That's equally possible.

    Yep. I try not to do those anymore, though in all fairness, I did give people free access to the offer and let them "try it out" before they gave the testimonial. I also carefully scripted it so that they didn't make any actual claim about how much they made.

    There has been a way around this already in place for years, though. On the back end of your offer, you say something like, "How did the <insert product here> work for you? Let us know! Submit your testimonial, and if we use it on our site, we'll give you $100!"

    You're asking for honest testimonials, but people reason out in their heads what will be used, so you're going to get positive testimonials after asking for honest ones.
     
  11. ``Yousef

    ``Yousef Power Member

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    It's definitely a step up for ClickBank, but I think there's a lot more to still be done. They're not stupid, and they clearly know 95% of the sales volume pushed through their networks is for shitty products (Forex bots, MMO, etc) that prey on general ignorance, so they'll definitely be hesitant.

    I think over the next couple of years, we'll see much more regulation imposed on digital "course" products, especially those in the MMO industry.

    I for one hope that they introduce a higher level of pre-requisites to become a ClickBank vendor, as well as outlaw the use of ridiculously misleading titles such as "I made $1,209,384 in 30 days" or at least require official documentation to be sent to the FTC to prove such claims.

    I doubt it will happen, but I still hope :).
     
  12. OTrap

    OTrap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Since this all goes through Clickbank's payment processor, I think it would simply be sufficient to force vendors to provide documentation of such claims to Clickbank itself ... which they already do for screenshots (which I found out they regularly check on). That way, when the FTC comes a-knocking (on Clickbank's door, since they're the ones with a merchant account connected to all this), they have the proof on file.

    Ultimately, the MMO products are actually cleaning themselves up right now. Among the circles of top-tier IMers, it's sexy to have a product that offers some semblance of value, reducing the refund rate.

    While many of them still catch a lot of flak on here (by users and non-users alike, which is puzzling), they can be valuable to the average newbie who doesn't have a community of knowledge like this.

    Believe it or not, every single product launch I've been a part of actually has success stories: people who use a strategy pitched in the offer (mixed with some work ethic, patience, and a touch of their own brain power) and make good money off it.

    Now the MMO niche is like the weight loss niche. People don't see ANY results if they don't put in the necessary effort (Do most people who use weight loss methods fail? I'd venture to guess they do.), and very very few are going to get the kinds of results worth of advertising.

    Just the way it works.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  13. ``Yousef

    ``Yousef Power Member

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    Yeah you're right.

    ClickBank already does this for screenshots though? Surely they can't be that thoroughly looked at, as I was under the impression screenshot faking was common practice.

    A bump up from this would be to check with the payment processor if such amounts were made in the time period stated. For their own platform, this would be easy, however they'd have to convince PayPal and such to verify transaction details, rather than just taking a screenshot or a vid as proof.

    EDIT: In regards to them being valuable to the average newbie, I definitely think that's true. I first got involved back in 2007 when I was like 13 by purchasing a guide from eBay called "AdSense riches" or something. Did I actually make money off of it? No. Was it full of exaggeration and outright lies? Yes. Would I be where I am today without it? Probably not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  14. Mreese601

    Mreese601 Newbie

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    It's about time clickbank did something about all this hype up products and not producing the result they claim that they will.
     
  15. OTrap

    OTrap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    It used to be VERY common practice. However, in November or December of 2009, the FTC put Clickbank's nuts in a vice, and Clickbank verifies all screenshots prior to approving any vendor page. I know. I've had to go through the process several times, and I've had to verify my Clickbank stats with them (they ask for the account with which the earnings were generated and the timeframe, if not already available).

    They do this as much as they are capable, I believe. Once you're beyond a year back, though, I believe it gets more difficult. Still, they have tax forms, so if the screen shots are a year's earnings, then they can still verify those dating as far back as 1998.

    See I actually bought a product back in 2007 as well, and I made a little bit off it. Did I make as much as the highest testimonial? Of course not. Nobody, except that one person, will do that, and most won't even come close. But the sales page didn't say I "would" make thousands a day. It said I "could" make thousands a day. They had at least one person as evidence (as I would find out later, because I actually got to sit down and talk to this success story guy ... name was Scott).

    Find me one that says it "will" produce results. That's not even rhetorical.


    Marketing, in all niches and through all mediums, is less about what you say and more about what you don't say.
     
  16. timothywcrane

    timothywcrane Power Member

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    I really do not think that a disclaimer is a bad thing, if you put a twist on it.

    I believe that the regulations state that you have to provide the information about the actor-vendor relationship, but it does not to my knowledge, unlike cigarette disclaimers, restrict you to any certain verbiage.

    The legislation is also become very prominent, and I believe that Clickbank knows that it can now have to cough up some loot to those that buy your products. Clickbank itself states in its TOS that misleading advertising now takes new definition since the mortgage bubble, and has flowed into the online industry for monetary compensation reasons (remember that the next time you spam your mesothelioma ads ;) )

    There has been a pretty standard ruling that all of this legislation follow the example set in 16 CFR Part 321 which can be found here.

    Code:
    www.[B]ftc[/B].gov/os/fedreg/2011/07/110719mortgagead-finalrule.pdf
    page three, column three pretty much spells out in plain English exactly what your statement has to contain, Prominence! There are some simple common sense inclusions that must be in your statement, but the main point the courts made in the video media explicitly, is the prominence of your statement over its content. That can be a good thing, as as any video without a statement can be materially held as damages, it is worse for you than any spam may be (If you are Clickbank). But that doesn't mean that you can "deal with it" on the positive tip.. as the ambiguity of the statements linguistic content allows for plenty of play.

    Something like "Vendor A uses professional actors to provide our viewers with the information of our success... We're to busy making more money."

    Perfect for the IM market, actually gives you some cheesy cred in the reputation management arena as the news of this is getting to be mainstream, and all sales videos w/o a statement will be the first to ban. So twist and Shout! It might makes your videos stick longer... LOL
     
  17. mp3man

    mp3man Registered Member

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    I think that a more solid and verifiable proof of income system would weed out 80% of the high income claimers. Screenshots and logins never convinced me of anything. Anybody can claim anything and fake everything. "Show me your tax returns and the name of your certified accountant?" LOL
     
  18. OTrap

    OTrap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Believe it or not, most of the screenshots have been accurate since about December of 2009.

    Now, as for whether or not the claims are the result of the actual method, that's another story.
     
  19. almir

    almir Power Member

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    Honest marketing = 18 years old Swedish virgin :)
     
  20. beeHWfan

    beeHWfan Regular Member

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    Honest marketing? FTC? Have you watched tv lately? Read the newspaper, looked in magazines? These guys are ridiculous. The average man found a way to make as much money as the corporations so the big corporations do all the can to make sure only they get to play in the game.

    What are we supposed to do on all our website put a big statement
    " Hello I started this site with the pure intention of making money off of you"

    Hello, I do not actually have any products or services I only try to sell things that other people make through clickbank. I am just one man sitting on my couch making this website now that looks professional, but I don't want to do false advertising.

    And the whole having to be able to back up testimonies? Cmon. R u telling me that every lawyer comercial 1800 this I was in an accident blah blah, that all of that are real stories?

    They are holding IM to different standards.