One website: 542 Advertisers

I recently visited a website I had never been to before because I needed an image. Naturally, I was presented with the “We care about your privacy, accept cookies” dialog.

Image result for accept cookies

This website was different, however, in that it provided a list of every company they share your data with, with toggle switches to accept or reject, plus a link to each company’s privacy policy.

You can set consent preferences for each individual third-party company below. Expand each company list item to see what purposes they use data for to help make your choices. In some cases, companies may disclose that they use your data without asking for your consent, based on their legitimate interests. You can click on their privacy policies for more information and to opt out.

By interacting over time with that particular website, I would be sharing data about my activity with these companies:

A Million Ads Limited, A.Mob, Accelerize Inc., Accorp Sp. z o.o., Active Agent AG, Acuityads Inc., Ad Unity Ltd, ad6media, Adacado Technologies Inc. (DBA Adacado), ADARA MEDIA UNLIMITED, AdClear GmbH, AdColony, Inc., AddApptr GmbH, AdDefend GmbH, AdElement Media Solutions Pvt Ltd, Adello Group AG, Adelphic LLC, Adevinta Spain S.L.U., Adform A/S, Adhese, adhood.com, Adikteev / Emoteev, Adimo, ADITION technologies AG, Adkernel LLC, Adledge, Adloox SA, Adludio Ltd, ADMAN – Phaistos Networks, S.A., ADman Interactive SL, AdMaxim Inc., Admedo Ltd, admetrics GmbH, Admixer EU GmbH, Admotion SRL, Adnami Aps, Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Audience Manager, Adprime Media Inc., ADRINO Sp. z o.o., adrule mobile GmbH, Adserve.zone / Artworx AS, Adsolutions BV, AdSpirit GmbH, adsquare GmbH, Adssets AB, AdsWizz Inc., Adtelligent Inc., AdTheorent, Inc, AdTiming Technology Company Limited, ADUX, advanced store GmbH, ADventori SAS, Adverline, ADYOULIKE SA, Aerserv LLC, Affectv Ltd, affilinet, Affle International, Alive & Kicking Global Limited, Alliance Gravity Data Media, Amobee, Inc., AntVoice, Apester Ltd, AppNexus Inc., Arcspire Limited, Arkeero, ARMIS SAS, Arrivalist Co., ATG Ad Tech Group GmbH, Audience Trading Platform Ltd., AudienceProject Aps, Audiens S.r.l., audio content & control GmbH, Automattic Inc., Avazu Inc., Avid Media Ltd, Avocet Systems Limited, Axel Springer Teaser Ad GmbH, Azerion Holding B.V., B2B Media Group EMEA GmbH, Bandsintown Amplified LLC, Bannerflow AB, Beachfront Media LLC, Beemray Oy, BeeswaxIO Corporation, BEINTOO SPA, BeOp, Better Banners A/S, Bidmanagement GmbH, bidstack ltd, BIDSWITCH GmbH, Bidtellect, Inc, BidTheatre AB, Bigabid Media Ltd, BILENDI SA, Bit Q Holdings Limited, BLIINK SAS, Blis Media Limited, Blue, Blue Billywig BV, Bmind a Sales Maker Company, S.L., Bombora Inc., Bounce Exchange, Inc, Brand Metrics Sweden AB, Browsi Mobile Ltd, Bucksense Inc, BusinessClick, Cablato Limited, Capitaldata, Captify Technologies Limited, Celtra, Inc., Centro, Inc., CerebroAd.com s.r.o., ChannelSight, Chargeads, CHEQ AI TECHNOLOGIES LTD., Clicksco Digital Limited, Clipcentric, Inc., Cloud Technologies S.A., Codewise Sp. z o.o. Sp. k, Collective Europe Ltd., Collective, Inc. dba Visto, Colpirio.com, Comcast International France SAS, Commanders Act, communicationAds GmbH & Co. KG, comScore, Inc., Confiant Inc., Connatix Native Exchange Inc., ConnectAd Realtime GmbH, Consumable, Inc., Contact Impact GmbH, Converge-Digital, Conversant Europe Ltd., Crimtan Holdings Limited, Criteo SA, Cuebiq Inc., Cxense ASA, Cybba, Inc., Cydersoft, Czech Publisher Exchange z.s.p.o., D-Edge, Dailymotion SA, Dataxu, Inc., DeepIntent, Inc., DEFINE MEDIA GMBH, Delta Projects AB, Demandbase, Inc., Densou Trading Desk ApS, Digilant Spain, SLU, Digital Control GmbH & Co. KG, Digital East GmbH, digitalAudience, DIGITEKA Technologies, Digitize New Media Ltd, DigiTrust / IAB Tech Lab, district m inc., DoubleVerify Inc.​, Dr. Banner, Drawbridge, Inc., dunnhumby Germany GmbH, Duplo Media AS, Duration Media, LLC., DynAdmic, Dynamic 1001 GmbH, EASYmedia GmbH, Effiliation, Emerse Sverige AB, emetriq GmbH, EMX Digital LLC, Etarget SE, Eulerian Technologies, Exactag GmbH, Exponential Interactive, Inc, Eyeota Ptd Ltd, Ezoic Inc., Fidzup, Fifty Technology Limited, Flashtalking, Inc., FlexOffers.com, LLC, Forensiq LLC, FORTVISION, Free Stream Media Corp. dba Samba TV, Fusio, Fyber, Gamned, Gamoshi LTD, GDMServices, Inc. d/b/a FiksuDSP, Gemius SA, Genius Sports Media Limited, Getintent USA, inc., GlobalWebIndex, Go.pl sp. z o.o., Goldbach Group AG, Golden Bees, Goodway Group, Inc., GP One GmbH, GRAPHINIUM, Greenhouse Group BV (with its trademark LemonPI), GroupM UK Limited, GumGum, Inc., Haensel AMS GmbH, Happydemics, hbfsTech, HIRO Media Ltd, Hivestack Inc., Hottraffic BV (DMA Institute), Hybrid Adtech GmbH, ID5 Technology SAS, IgnitionAi Ltd, IgnitionOne, Illuma Technology Limited, Impactify, Impression Desk Technologies Limited, Improve Digital International BV, Index Exchange, Inc., INFINIA MOBILE S.L., InMobi Pte Ltd, INNITY, Innovid Inc., Inskin Media LTD, Instinctive, Inc., Instreamatic inc., InsurAds Technologies SA., Integral Ad Science, Inc., Intent Media, Inc., Intercept Interactive Inc. dba Undertone, Internet BillBoard a.s., Intowow Innovation Ltd., INVIBES GROUP, iotec global Ltd., IPONWEB GmbH, Jaduda GmbH, Jampp LTD, Jivox Corporation, Join, Jointag S.r.l., Justpremium BV, Kairos Fire, Kayzen, Keymantics, Knorex Pte Ltd, Kochava Inc., Kubient, KUPONA GmbH, LBC France, Leadplace – Temelio, LeftsnRight, Inc. dba LIQWID, Leiki Ltd., LEMO MEDIA GROUP LIMITED, LifeStreet Corporation, Liftoff Mobile, Inc., Ligatus GmbH, Linicom, LiquidM Technology GmbH, Little Big Data sp.z.o.o., Liveintent Inc., LiveRamp, Inc., LKQD, a division of Nexstar Digital, LLC., Localsensor B.V., Location Sciences AI Ltd, LoopMe Ltd, LotaData, Inc., Lotame Solutions, Inc., Lucid Holdings, LLC, M32 Connect Inc, Madington, Madison Logic, Inc., MADVERTISE MEDIA, mainADV Srl, MAIRDUMONT NETLETIX GmbH&Co. KG, Marfeel Solutions S.L, Market Resource Partners LLC, Maximus Live LLC, Maytrics GmbH, mbr targeting GmbH, McCann Discipline LTD, Media.net Advertising FZ-LLC, MediaMath, Inc., mediarithmics SAS, Mediasmart Mobile S.L., Meetrics GmbH, MGID Inc., Mindlytix SAS, MiQ, Mirando GmbH & Co KG, MISSENA, mobalo GmbH, Mobfox US LLC, Mobile Journey B.V., Mobile Professionals BV, Mobilewalla, Inc., Mobsuccess, Mobusi Mobile Advertising S.L., My6sense Inc., Myntelligence Limited, N Technologies Inc., Nano Interactive GmbH, Nativo, Inc., Near Pte Ltd, Neodata Group srl, NEORY GmbH, Netsprint SA, NetSuccess, s.r.o., netzeffekt GmbH, NEURAL.ONE, Neustar on behalf of The Procter & Gamble Company, Neustar, Inc., News and Media Holding, a.s., NEXD, NextRoll, Inc., Nielsen Marketing Cloud, Norstat Danmark A/S, Noster Finance S.L., Notify, nugg.ad GmbH, numberly, Oath (EMEA) Limited, Ogury Ltd., On Device Research Limited, OneTag Ltd, Onfocus (Adagio), Online Solution Int Limited, Onnetwork Sp. z o.o., Ooyala Inc, OpenX, Opinary GmbH, Optomaton UG, Oracle, Oracle AddThis, Orion Semantics, ORTEC B.V., Otto (GmbH & Co KG), Outbrain UK Ltd, PaperG, Inc. dba Thunder Industries, Parsec Media Inc., Passendo ApS, Perform Media Services Ltd, Permodo GmbH, Permutive Ltd., Permutive Technologies, Inc., Pexi B.V., pilotx.tv, Pixalate, Inc., PIXIMEDIA SAS, Platform161, Playbuzz Ltd., PLAYGROUND XYZ EMEA LTD, plista GmbH, Pocketmath Pte Ltd, Polar Mobile Group Inc., PowerLinks Media Limited, Predicio, PREX Programmatic Exchange GmbH&Co KG, Programatica de publicidad S.L., Proxi.cloud Sp. z o.o., PROXISTORE, PUB OCEAN LIMITED, Publicis Media GmbH, Publishers Internationale Pty Ltd, PubMatic, Inc., PubNative GmbH, PulsePoint, Inc., Purch Group, Inc., PurposeLab, LLC, Qriously, Quantcast International Limited, Qwertize, R-Advertising, R-TARGET, Radio Net Media Limited, Rakuten Marketing LLC, Readpeak Oy, Realeyes OÜ, realzeit GmbH, ReigNN Platform Ltd., Relay42 Netherlands B.V., remerge GmbH, Research and Analysis of Media in Sweden AB, Research Now Group, Inc, Revcontent, LLC, Reveal Mobile, Inc, RevLifter Ltd, Rezonence Limited, RhythmOne, LLC, Rich Audience, RMSi Radio Marketing Service interactive GmbH, Rockabox Media Ltd, Rockerbox, Inc, RockYou, Inc., Roq.ad GmbH, RTB House S.A., RTK.IO, Inc, RUN, Inc., salesforce.com, inc., Samba TV UK Limited, Sanoma Media Finland, Scene Stealer Limited, Schibsted Norge AS, Schibsted Product and Tech UK, Seeding Alliance GmbH, Seedtag Advertising S.L, Seenthis AB, Sellpoints Inc., Semasio GmbH, Seznam.cz, a.s., ShareThis, Inc., Sharethrough, Inc, SheMedia, LLC, Shopalyst Inc, Shopstyle, ShowHeroes GmbH, Sift Media, Inc, Signal Digital Inc., Signals, Simplifi Holdings Inc., SINGLESPOT SAS, Sirdata, Sizmek, Skaze, Skimbit Ltd, SlimCut Media SAS, Smaato, Inc., Smadex SL, Smart Adserver, Smart Traffik, Smartclip Hispania SL, smartclip Holding AG, Smartme Analytics, Smartology Limited, SMARTSTREAM.TV GmbH, SmartyAds Inc., Smile Wanted Group, Snapsort Inc., operating as Sortable, Social Tokens Ltd., Sojern, Inc., Solocal, Somo Audience Corp, Sonobi, Inc, Soundcast, Sourcepoint Technologies, Inc., Sovrn Holdings Inc, Spolecznosci Sp. z o.o. Sp. k., Sportradar AG, Spot.IM Ltd., Spotad, SpotX, StackAdapt, StartApp Inc., Steel House, Inc., Ströer Mobile Performance GmbH, Ströer SSP GmbH, Sub2 Technologies Ltd, Sublime, SunMedia, Switch Concepts Limited, SYNC, TabMo SAS, Taboola Europe Limited, TACTIC™ Real-Time Marketing AS, Tapad, Inc., Tapjoy, Inc., TAPTAP Networks SL, TARGETSPOT BELGIUM SPRL, Teads, Tealium Inc, Teemo SA, Telaria, Inc, Telecoming S.A., Telefonica Investigación y Desarrollo S.A.U, Teroa S.A., The ADEX GmbH, The Kantar Group Limited, The MediaGrid Inc., The Ozone Project Limited, The Reach Group GmbH, The Rubicon Project, Inc., The Trade Desk, Think Clever Media, Thirdpresence Oy, Timehop, Inc., TimeOne, Totaljobs Group Ltd, Tradedoubler AB, Tradelab, SAS, TradeTracker, travel audience GmbH, TreSensa, Inc., Triapodi Ltd., Triboo Data Analytics, TripleLift, Inc., Triton Digital Canada Inc., TrueData Solutions, Inc., Tunnl BV, Turbo, twiago GmbH, UberMedia, Inc., ucfunnel Co., Ltd., Underdog Media LLC, Unruly Group Ltd, uppr GmbH, Uprival LLC, usemax advertisement (Emego GmbH), Vdopia DBA Chocolate Platform, Ve Global, VECTAURY, Venatus Media Limited, Vibrant Media Limited, video intelligence AG, Video Media Groep B.V., Video Reach, Vidoomy Media SL, ViewPay, Viralize SRL, Visarity Technologies GmbH, Vuble, WebAds B.V, Webedia, WebMediaRM, WEBORAMA, Welect GmbH, WhatRocks Inc., Whenever Media Ltd, White Ops, Inc., Widespace AB, Wizaly, X-Mode Social, Inc., xAd, Inc. dba GroundTruth, YellowHammer Media Group, Yieldlab AG, Yieldlove GmbH, Yieldmo, Inc., Yieldr UK, YOC AG, Yormedia Solutions Ltd, ZBO Media, Zemanta, Inc., zeotap GmbH, Zeta Global, Ziff Davis LLC, ZighZag

Most of these companies make their money by getting you to look at advertisements. Most of them will happily share your data with anyone who has two coppers to rub together. Many of these companies use your data without your permission, and many times if you share your location with one website, you’re sharing it with countless others.

The conclusion in today’s world is unavoidable. Even if we are paying for the service, we are essentially the product.

They know what we’re watching. They know what we like. They know where we are. We cannot escape.

The drums. The drums in the deep. They are coming…¹

The Old Wolf has Spoken


¹ This is a bit of sensationalistic hyperbole, in case you weren’t sure. Most people who use the Internet are aware that their browsing habits are being tracked so that companies can serve them ads that are more likely to generate sales. But the more I think about it, the more disturbing it does become; the concept of “privacy” on the web is essentially a non-entity. If you want privacy, get off the Internet altogether.

♫ You can’t get there, the road is under construction ♬

Mad Magazine™ was wonderful back in the ’50s and ’60s. I seem to recall that as I grew older, either my sense of humor changed – I started appreciating Harvard Lampoon’s work in the late ’60s – or the quality of the writing diminished.

At any rate, some of the early stuff was priceless, and still relevant to today’s challenges. One example that keeps surfacing in my mind every time I hit a detour is this gem, written by Tom Koch and illustrated by Bob Clarke.

Peeved at Obstructions
(Sung to the tune of “Eve of Destruction” Barry McGuire)

You save up all year long to take a nice vacation.
You make a lot of plans to drive across the nation.
You dream of all you’ll see with great anticipation.
You’ve only got a week to reach your destination,
But that seems like enough, you feel no consternation.
Then they tell you over and over and over again, my friend,
That you can’t get through; the road is under construction.

You’ve never been to Maine or Utah’s scenic section.
You call the auto club to help make your selection.
You pay to get your car a thorough trip inspection.
So you can drive afar and feel you’ve got protection.
Then, when you’re almost there, you seek a cop’s direction.
And he tells you over and over and over again, my friend,
That you must turn back; the road is under construction.

Vacation here at home, our president keeps sayin’.
Don’t spend your dough abroad, he fervently is praying.
So you head for New York do do your summer playing;
Or maybe to the west a travel plan you’re laying,
To see those snowy peaks and geysers wildly sprayin’.
But the signs warn over and over and over again, my friend,
That you can’t get there; the road is under construction.

The challenge is real. In preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, UDOT undertook the I-15 corridor reconstruction project.

“The project involved the reconstruction of 16.2 miles of interstate mainline and the addition of new general purpose and high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes through the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. The project also included the construction or reconstruction of more than 130 bridges, the reconstruction of seven urban interchanges, and the reconstruction of three major junctions with other interstate routes, including I-80 and I-215.”

While the project was sorely needed and the end result was beneficial, for four years, the commute from outlying areas to Salt Lake City was a major pain in the patoot, with commuters searching out and jealously guarding favorable and secret bypass routes.

But wait, there’s more!

In 2009, UDOT undertook the I-15 Core reconstruction project, rebuilding 24 miles of I-15 from Point of the Mountain to Payson in just 35 months. The design-build strategy meant that the entire stretch was torn up at once, instead of doing a few miles at a time. The inconvenience was so significant that I was moved to memorialize the experience in video:

In retrospect, I really shoudn’t complain at all; nowadays our nation’s crumbling infrastructure could use a bit of help, and I think subsequent generations would appreciate our putting up with some inconvenience if it means that their bridges won’t collapse underneath them. But when you’re behind the wheel and trying to get to work (or to a vacation destination), the aggravation can certainly raise one’s blood pressure.

Bonus Section

Since I happened to be on the subject of MAD Magazine, another extract from the same article is precisely the reason our family threw out all our TVs over 20 years ago (the kids were absolutely devastated, but somehow they survived):

The TV Victim’s Lament
(Sung to the Tune of “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan)

How many times must a guy spray with Ban
Before he doesn’t offend?
And how many times must he gargle each day
Before he can talk to a friend?
How many tubes of shampoo must he buy
Before his dandruff will end?
The sponsors, my friend, will sell you all they can.
The sponsors will sell you all they can.

How many times must a man use Gillette
Before shaving won’t make him bleed?
And how many cartons of Kents must he smoke
Before the girls all pay him heed?
How many products must one person buy
Before he has all that he’ll need?
The sponsors, my friend, will sell you all they can.
The sponsors will sell you all they can.

How many times must a gal clean her sink
Before Ajax scours that stain,
And how many times must she rub in Ben-Gay
Before she can rub out the pain?
How many ads on TV must we watch
Before we are driven insane?
The sponsors, my friend, will sell you all they can.
The sponsors will sell you all they can.

Full disclosure: My mother single-handedly raised me on the income from commercial advertising, so I feel a bit sheepish about this, but the onslaught of advertising, much of which has now moved from the airwaves to the internet, still rubs me the wrong way.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

GoDaddy goes after affiliate marketers

I have often posted about snake oil vendors on the internet and the operation of scummy affiliate marketers that flood our inboxes and search results with come-ons for worthless products that hook vulnerable people into giving up credit card numbers and signing up for endless refills of overpriced trash.

After some brilliant internet sleuthing, GoDaddy just killed 15,000 spammy domains that hawk these products. The article is worth the read if you’re interested in protecting your loved ones from bogus marketing and scams.

It certainly won’t be the end of the problem, but it’s a good thing and I give them props for the effort.

Even if torpedoing 15,000 domains won’t put much of a dent in one of the most pervasive scourges of the web—as Miller-Osborn fully acknowledges—it at least shines a light on the problem. You can’t clear all the rats out of the sewer, but you can at least remind them that you’re there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Really Not Important

Sandwiched between articles on “A New Reason for Dehorning” and “Brown Coal” in the Kansas City Sun of May 6, 1921, one finds this little bit of whimsy – perhaps the editor was desperate for something to fill two column inches on a really slow news day.

Whatever the case, the text reads:

Really Not Important

An investigator claims to have discovered in some dusty archives that back in the days when the pilgrims landed each person coming to America from England was required to bring with them eight bushels of corn meal, two bushels of oatmeal, two gallons of vinegar and a gallon each of oil and brandy.
In view of the fact that nothing of importance hinges on the truth or falsity of this statement, not much time need be consumed to ascertain whether this is truth or fiction.


I was pointed to this gem by the inimitable XKCD, which cites a grudging respect for the fact-checker of the Kansas City Sun that day.

The rest of the page is viewable as a free clip here; some of the articles are stolid and mundane, others exude a hint of humor – such as this ad for the Peerless Bowling and Billiard Parlors:

Of course, like the green-coffee extract hawkers of today, the copywriter may have been deadly serious in claiming that bowlers never get appendicitis.

Perusing old newspapers can be just as entertaining as Netflix.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The “Blog Follower” Bots are Still Busy

Yesterday I posted an article about affiliate marketing and the underhanded, despicable lies they use in their come-on websites to hook gullible people into buying worthless products.

Surprisingly, this post attracted a flurry of new followers:

  • Online Health Offers
  • Net Millionaire Dudes
  • Online Arts Marketing
  • Digital Tools For You
  • Motivated to Lose Weight
  • Marketing Trends Secrets
  • Digital Marketing Blog Updates
  • Set Up Multiple Income Streams
  • Create Your Own Lifestyle Online Business
  • Three “empty” blogs
  • Marketer’s Handbook
  • Lose Fat in 21 Days
  • … and three empty blogs, placeholders for who knows what.

Clearly the keywords that triggered this inrush were “Marketing” and “Weight Loss.” Now, I’d like to think that all of these “fine people” were interested in what I have to say, but every single one of these was clearly out to promote their own product/scheme/system/scam, take your choice.

For what it’s worth, all of these were deleted this morning, just on general principles, but I have one very persistent follower, a cryptocurrency hawker, who came back five times before he finally gave up.

I can only assume that they think the more blogs they follow, the greater the likelihood that others will follow them automatically. In the case of WordPress, every time someone follows my blog, I get an email like this:

[Blogger] just started following you at http://playingintheworldgame.com. They will receive an email every time you publish a post. Congratulations.

You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked yours!

The fact that WordPress tacitly enables this behavior ¹ is a bit disappointing, but in a perfect world where there were no spammers, it would not be a bad thing. I wouldn’t mind at all if like-minded individuals followed my blog or liked my posts, and I would be more inclined to go see what they had to say about relevant topics. Sadly, the vast majority of my current 1,578 followers never interact with my posts, so I can only assume they are – if not outright fakes – simply promoting their own schemes.

Fortunately, I’m not writing this blog for the purpose of making money, so I really don’t lose any sleep over how many people follow me; a lot of my posts are a form of public service announcement, placed out there so that people who are investigating potential scams can be warned and save their money. If people find me, and occasionally they do, then I’m satisfied.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ The referenced article is 7 years old, but interestingly still entirely relevant. WordPress is a good platform, but they obviously have to monetize, and also have to live in a world where less-than-reputable people will do whatever it takes to increase their own exposure. It’s an ongoing conundrum.

Affiliate Marketing – How many lies can they cram in?

I’ve written before about affiliate marketing, and what a plague it is on the internet. I just had a tab pop up on my browser – despite two ad-blockers being active – and I thought I’d share an image or two.

Health experts recommend losing between 1-2 pounds a week for healthy weight release. This claim amounts to close to 1 lb per day. Ain’t gonna happen, unless you’re eating 500 calories per day and burning 3,500. In addition, this claim is not backed by Fox News (as disreputable as they may be in other areas), the NY Times, Today, Oprah, Style Watch, or Redbook.

This is not going to happen in 22 days. Look, children, this is what we call “a lie.”

Limited time only: Lie
Only 4 Bottles Still Available: Lie
40% discount: Negated at the purchase page.
Offer ends Today: Lie

Countdown timer at the bottom of the page: Another Lie.

Let’s look at the purchase page:

This page claims to send you free bottles: Lie
Only 241 promotions left: Lie
Endorsements: Lie
Lose weight without exercising: Lie

So if you want that free product and provide your information (which, by the way, will be sold to every marketer with two coppers to rub together), you get this:

Oh look, you’re being charged $59.95. That’s not free, nor is it the 40% discount promised on a previous page. And if you don’t notice that the 6-bottle option is checked, the charge on your credit card is going to be horrendous.

But wait, there’s more!

Buried deep on the purchase page in light gray print is the link to “terms and conditions,” which very few people will bother to read. If they do, they’ll find a wall of text, which includes these hidden gems (there’s a lot more of it)

Terms
SCOPE & APPLICATION
1.1 You expressly agree and accept the Conditions set forth herein unconditionally as a binding contract (“the Agreement”) enforceable by law… (How well this load of BS would stand up in court is an open question)

PRODUCT AND BILLING
2.1 All product purchases made from this website are required to be paid in full. For more information about our products, please visit http://www.ketopurediet.com.
2.1.1. The prices for the products are as follows: $199.99 or $28.57 each for the 7 bottle package;$149.95 or $29.99 each for the 5 bottle package; $99.99 or $33.33 each for the 3 bottle package and $69.99 each for the 1 bottle package, plus $7.95 shipping and handling. Shipping and handling is non-refundable.
2.2 You authorize us to initiate a one-time charge to your credit card as indicated upon your purchase. (So, not free at all)

This next one is a real treasure:

16.7 I also acknowledge that I understand that by placing my order of Keto Pure Diet, I am automatically enrolled in the Keto Pure Diet health community program. I further acknowledge that I understand that my membership in Keto Pure Diet is included in my product purchase, that my complementary membership will remain active for as long as I remain an active custom of Keto Pure Diet, and that once I am no longer an active customer of Keto Pure Diet the membership dues shall, at my option, become my responsibility. I hereby grant authorization for the monthly membership dues to be charged to the credit card or debit card used to complete the purchase of Keto Pure Diet. I further acknowledge, agree to, and accept the Keto Pure Diet Privacy Policy, the Keto Pure Diet Website Use Terms and Conditions, the Keto Pure Diet Terms and Conditions, and the Keto Pure Diet Health Coin Terms and Conditions. I acknowledge that I understand that my Keto Pure Diet my Keto Pure Diet membership can be canceled at anytime by calling 1-888-628-6284, by emailing support@ketopurediet.com. Your Keto Pure Diet membership entitles you and your household dependents to consultation fee free calls with licensed doctors 24-hours per day, 365-days per year, as well as access to thousands of dentists with typical savings of 50% off regular bills, vision care savings, and prescription savings at most pharmacies in the US. To learn more value to the included Keto Pure Diet program, go to http://www.ketopurediet.com, and look for emails explaining the programs and services included in the membership.

Notice that if you stop ordering this product, you have just given permission for monthly dues to some worthless program to be charged to your credit card, and nothing is ever said about how much those monthly dues are until you’ve bitten the hook.

There’s a lot more legal noise in those terms and conditions, which mostly assure you that the company has all rights and that you have very few.

But what about the product itself? Is it any good? will it work? Wow, it’s so easy:

The ketogenic diet has been around for a long time. There is a massive body of information out there about it, some positive and some negative. While the marketeers would have you believe that exogenous ketones (i.e. the stuff that comes from outside your body) can put you into a state of ketosis in minutes, that’s highly debatable. So if you want to release weight with a ketogenic diet, follow step 2 above (but be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any program of this nature.) Step 1 can be safely replaced with:

  • Singing opera 10 minutes a day
  • Painting with Bob Ross
  • Learning to speak Turkish
  • Taking homeopathic weight loss drops
  • Not taking homeopathic weight loss drops
  • Standing on your head and spitting nickels
  • Anything
  • Nothing

… and you’ll get exactly the same results, whatever those are.

The Internet is awash with pages like this, because most affiliate marketers will say absolutely anything to get you to buy the product, for which sale they get a commission. And most affiliate marketers have the ethics of an angry honey badger.

Don’t be taken in by “offers” like this from sleazy, irresponsible salespeople. Stay away from any product that claims to help you lose weight fast.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Marketing by Deception Threedux

I’ve written about the auto dealer “You’ve Won a Prize” scam before. Today I happened to be driving past Rockland Ford in Thomaston, Maine with one of their flyers in my hand, and since a $5.00 WalMart gift card is better than a sharp stick in the eye if I’m in the area anyway, I dropped in.

ford

(Click image for a larger view)

The flyer states pretty plainly that I’ve won a “car, hotel and gas card.” But as usual, the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away:

The number  that you matched does not give you a choice, but an opportunity to win a prize.

If you’re not sure, this means “the number you scratched off means nothing at all.” The only number that means anything is the one after “official registered #”, which in my case is 129,280. Odds of winning the WalMart gift card are 499,994:499,999, meaning that’s what you’ll get. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s the $500.00 one. It isn’t.

The salesman I spoke to insisted that the advert wasn’t deceptive at all, and I should just read the fine print. Well, I’ve lived long enough to know that bait-and-switch is a scummy tactic, and is usually covered up with the most barely-legal douchebaggery the attorneys can dig up.

Yes, as long as the “final deal” is spelled out somewhere, they can claim that customers had access to all aspects of the promotion and it’s legal. But I ask you: how many people walk away from the encounter disappointed and with a sour taste in their mouth about the dealership? How likely are they to want to buy a car from a dealer that uses such tactics to get people in the door? People who run these enterprises ought to give that a thought.

But they won’t.

The Old Wolf has spoken.