Despite all the growth in the industry in the last 20 years, with everything from the now almost defunct Performance Marketing Association, to the attempt of the IAB to control the affiliate industry, there has been one truth: the industry is horribly and terrible corrupt.
It would be easy to blame one person, or to claim that since Affiliate Summit constantly pushes scam artists and “make money at home” schemes in the past, that they are at fault.
Maybe it’s all the fake “fraud companies” in the industry, which only serve as a way to help unethically validate their clients crimes. Time and time again these companies pop-up, claiming they will “detect fraud” and validate marketing efforts, only to be exposed as nothing but often just fly by night operations that don’t function for any purpose except to steal money.
If you didn’t know, 10 years ago I left one of the largest affiliate marketing companies in the world, after bringing it almost $200 million in revenue – because the FBI contacted me and pointed out that they were doing potentially illegal things and had me testify to a grand jury. It was one of the hardest points of my life: I had to make a choice to be ethical and more importantly, not involved with crooks.
Since then many of the employees of that company, such as Jennifer Johnson, have been brought up on criminal or civil charges. Companies like GetAds dissolved and shutdown in the area, all alumni of the same company. Unfortunately, a few employees made their rounds – despite their involvement in unethical and illegal schemes, and keep finding themselves into the industry.
I’ve decided after 10 years of running this publication, exposing the scams, the frauds, the worst of the worst, that it’s time to really take down the industry a notch and find those guys who shouldn’t even be allowed to ever step foot in an agency. Whether it’s a Colorado company refusing to hire people of color, or a “data verification company” just defrauding everyone, it’s time to expose all crimes in the industry.
Do you know of a huge scam in the industry? If so, hit me up firstname.lastname@example.org