Monday, August 3, 2020

Investors Are Shying Away from Fluent Inc for Potential Problems with Spam and Data Sales

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Pesach Lattin
Pesach Lattinhttp://pacevegas.com
Pesach "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.

Fluent has for a few years been the golden boy for the co-reg industry. A company with little experience in online marketing outside of selling and trading data, one of the dirtiest markets in the industry goes public, and their founders make a killing using poorly understood buzzwords.

Turns out investors are taking note: SeekingAlpha has a great article where the question the entirety of the company, saying it has a huge identity crisis.

“Fluent hides behind the algorithm, the use of industry buzzwords on the conference call and official company documents makes it unclear how Fluent monetizes and prices its products. But, from what I can tell from the 10-K, Fluent uses algorithms to target consumers and send them ads via email, home address telephone, sms, etc.”

The author goes into detail, pointing out that no one really knows what the company does. After going public, they no longer can do the revenue game that made them so much money, especially as the FTC cracks down on the sales of data.

This seems to be a problem for the author, as they are continuing the push to be nothing but spammers and data wranglers with their purchase of questionable site, Winopoly. “It seems Winopoly owns and operates nothing but spam websites. These websites have the sole purpose of scraping email and user info.”

Also, there is a risk that their attempt to get data by using the COVID-19 pandemic as a draw could easily backfire. According to them, “Fluent Pulse, an ongoing insights initiative designed to track consumer sentiment and impact on everyday life as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak. For its first installment of Fluent Pulse, Fluent conducted a survey of over 1.85 million opted-in U.S. adults.” Using a pandemic to make money might not be seen as a “good thing.”

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