News And Notes For May 26: AdViewGlobal Website Launch Scrubbed; Site May Invite Scrutiny Of Attorneys General

AdViewGlobal website launch scrubbed. Amid much fanfare, the AdViewGlobal (AVG) autosurf announced it would launch a new website Saturday — and to celebrate AVG would provide what it deemed an “unprecedented” 250-percent matching bonus for members and a corresponding 200 percent match for sponsors.

Problems dogged the launch and members grumbled. The new site appeared online briefly, but members said passwords no longer worked and that data seemed to be missing from the back office.

At least one graphic on the new site — a “walking fingers” logo to which the acronym “AVGA” had been added — potentially raises international trademark and intellectual-property concerns.

Beyond that, however, the use of the “walking fingers” logo commonly associated with “Yellow Pages” sometimes signals a scam. Selling “Yellow Pages” listings on the Internet to create the impression that customers have purchased an ad in well-known, local print publications is one variant of the scam.

Another variant is to send businesses a bogus bill for “Yellow Pages” listings. Because firms frequently purchase such listings and associate the “walking fingers” logo with legitimate print and online publishers, they often pay the bill without looking.

Yet another variant of the scam is to send what appears to be a small “refund” check to businesses for overpayment of a “Yellow Pages” bill. When recipients endorse the checks, they actually are entering into a contract and agreeing to be automatically billed for advertising purchases.

Although it has been reported that the “walking fingers” logo has fallen into generic use in the United States, companies that use it invite scrutiny from state attorneys general simply because there are so many scams involving the sale of “Yellow Pages” listings.

Moreover, “Yellow Pages” is a registered trademark of Telstra, an Australian communications giant. Telstra, as a means of protecting its brand, has been known to zealously enforce its intellectual-property rights and employs attorneys to guard against misuse on the Internet.

Unable to pull off its website launch, AVG reverted to its old site. Some members now say the 250-percent, matching-bonus offer has been replaced by a 200-percent offer that will run through June 29.

AVG and its members have engaged in some curious marketing practices. At least one promoter advertised AVG on a business-exchange website operated by Business Week magazine, by posting a link to a YouTube video for AVG.

In an article last year, Business Week reported on the seizure of AdSurfDaily’s assets, noting that video was one of the things that contributed to the expansion of ASD’s membership roster, before federal prosecutors seized the assets of ASD President Andy Bowdoin amid Ponzi allegations.

The AVG video on YouTube referenced in the promoter’s Business Week ad has been removed, but the ad itself remains.

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5 Responses to “News And Notes For May 26: AdViewGlobal Website Launch Scrubbed; Site May Invite Scrutiny Of Attorneys General”

  1. Patrick:

    A Member of our team, and we agreed, predicted this on another forum early last week. Of course the faithful made fun, but funny how that has now come back to bite them in their assets. They are hanging on by a thread, and I believe they will implode before any action will be taken by any law enforcement agency. The only thing I think law enforcement is doing right now is taking names and matching them up to players in ASD. Not a good omen for those who keep jumping from one scam to another. Hopefully this time they will have to pay the price for doing so.

    Next on the radar screen is AGW and BAS. Neither are making the big splash they thought they would at this time. With AVGA taking all the thunder away, they just might slip away quietly into the night. Well they would if they had any smarts, but I do expect one big push once AVGA bites the dust, and bite the dust it will and soon. Also seems paperless acess has bit the dust as well.

    Give it about 6 months, and there will be others who claim they have found the magic formula for doing it legal, and then they too will go bust. Either by law enforcement or imploding on themselves. Some never learn.

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  2. Lynn,

    Let’s hope these ASD wannabee Ponzi schemes collapse fast. Even some of the folks posting here (and posing as opponents to ASD and Bowdoin) seem to be continuing to promote the new Ponzi schemes. For example, this from Steve Watt promoting the Biz Ad Splash Ponzi:

    “Steve Watt, webmaster of: “thejoyluckclub.com” is helping hundreds of people around the world to “EMPOWER” themselves to a better way of life. He calls it the 4 hour work week!

    For_Immediate_Release:

    United States of America (Press Release) April 27, 2009 — Biz Ad Splash has been built around a recent business concept of combining social networking and internet advertising. Unfortunately, several of the early attempts with this model were not allowed to continue even though they were very attractive business models both for the company and the advertisers that were allowed to share in the proceeds of the company in the form of bonuses and commissions.

    Biz Ad Splash is not built around a unique person or personality. It is rather a combination of a wealth of experience, knowledge, research and wisdom from a massive investment in talent, money and time. Biz Ad Splash has drawn from the best resources around the world to bring to you a new and unique company that is rich with opportunity but is compliant to good business practices that are accepted internationally. Now you can look forward to not only a very lucrative program and company but one that will have longevity. Some of the components that have been added to our company are there to make it better and some are there to achieve legal compliance.”

    Lynndel Edgington: Patrick: A Member of our team, and we agreed, predicted this on another forum early last week…….. …..Next on the radar screen is AGW and BAS. Neither are making the big splash they thought they would at this time. With AVGA taking all the thunder away, they just might slip away quietly into the night. Well they would if they had any smarts, but I do expect one big push once AVGA bites the dust, and bite the dust it will and soon. ……. Some never learn.

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  3. Couple thoughts about bizad splash and the like.

    Fundamental to the business model:

    A business is not sustainable long term if it is dependent on new sales reps to fund it’s activities. A business must be able to sell it’s goods or services outside of the organization or it is dependent on exponential growth which of course is impossible.

    If a company is offering online advertising at a price that is 10 to 20 times more expensive than can be bought elsewhere, the only way anyone would ever pay the inflated price is on the basis of getting a “return” on their “investment”. Therefore the only people who buy the ads are not customers looking for a service, they are investors looking for a return. This is critical.

    So the actual -thing- that is being sold is meaningless, the return on investment is the only thing that counts.

    Every customer/investor REQUIRES more customers/investors in order to get their return. That’s the definition of PONZI scheme. Existing investors are paid from the money of new investors.

    So ask yourself, why am I willing to overpay for this service? Answer; because I am being told I will earn 3-400% annually on whatever I invest(at 1-1.25% per day), or more! OK, that means they will need to find 3 to 4 new customers (or more) after me to invest the same amount, just to pay me, before the company makes any money. And they will each need 3-4 customers after them to pay their expected rates of return.

    If this rate of growth happened monthly, within 16 months every adult on earth, and many of their children, would be a rep for this company. On the last day, the business model would collapse as their would be no new investors to pay the returns, everything anyone has in the pot is gone.

    I am not claiming that one might not be able to get in and out quick, maybe one could. Some will make money no doubt.

    Selling crack makes money too, but I would’nt be selling it to my grandma and best friends.

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