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Re: Misleading advertising
Posted by Administrator
6/23/2012  12:57:00 PM
Hi Clinton,

Thank you for your feedback. However, I do respectfully disagree on a number of points, so please allow me to address them here:

First, the purpose of our newsletter is not to advertise or sell anything; It is to inform people about only those things that are new to our website, whether or not they result in profits. The criteria for inclusion is not profit potential, but very simply, whether or not it's brand new. I'm not trying to pretend that we aren't aware of the secondary benefits of putting out a newsletter -- it does generally result in a small bump in activity, and therefore sales. But that's never the purpose. People have signed up for a newsletter, not a "sales-letter", and so that's what we try to give them... news.

In this newsletter, we did in fact state that of the 120 new videos posted, some were for non- and basic members, and some for premium. There was no attempt on our part -- nor has there ever been -- to hide the details or costs of our Premium Membership program. Quite to the contrary, we've included the information in several newsletters leading up to and following the launch of the program last fall, up to the point when we no longer considered it to be "news". Had we continued to post announcements and details about premium membership beyond that point, it would have begun to constitute blatant advertising.

There is a point at which a company can reasonably expect that the vast majority of their customers (or potential customers) are aware of their product. For example, I don't think anyone would expect Apple to have to remind everyone in their keynote that you need an iPad or iPhone if you want to upgrade to the latest iOS. With our Premium Membership, I believe we have reached that point. No doubt there is (and will always inevitably be) a small percentage of our fan base who still don't know about the specifics of our program, and an even tinier percentage of people who aren't aware of its existence. But I don't think that we should be considered "deceitful" for failing to riddle our newsletters with disclaimers, or weigh it down with ongoing advertising, just to accommodate the precious few.

I'll be sure to include at least one footnote in the next newsletter, if we announce any more premium videos. Nevertheless, there was information in this past newsletter that should have made it clear that only some of the videos are available to non-paying members. If it was not clear to each and every last reader, let me assure you it was not because of intentional "trickery" or "gimmicks".

Jonathan Atkinson
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