The Wall Street Journal, the largest and most influential newspaper of all time, is now partnering with UnhappyFranchisee.com, a web portal currently powered by a guy in a bathrobe speckled with English Muffin crumbs.
Founded in 1889, the Wall Street Journal has the largest circulation of any newspaper in America (2.1 million, including 400,000 paid online subscribers) and is revered as a journalistic bastion of truth and integrity. In fact, the Wall Street Journal has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize 33 times!
Yes, the two titans of financial journalism, WSJ & UF, have joined forces and inextricably fused their reputations and allied their brand images for all to see!
UnhappyFranchisee.com has arrived! Also in the works are UnhappyFranchisee.com power partnerships with Forbes, Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, the Vatican and even FOXNews. Our humble blog is commanding recognition and respect from the biggies, aye? These major brands would not risk their reputation by partnering with just anyone, would they?
How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Fake Credibility
Is the Wall Street Journal really partnering with UnhappyFranchisee.com? Why… sort of!
Many major companies have what’s called affiliate programs where they provide coded ads and offers to people with access to a potential customer base. If someone clicks on one of these coded ads and and buys something, the “affiliate” receives a small referral fee. There is no huge difficulty in getting accepted as an affiliate and most companies just make sure you’re not running a porn site. Once I promised that UF was not engaged in cannibalism or ritual human sacrifice, I was accepted as a WSJ affiliate.
To characterize the affiliate relationship as a “partnership” is misrepresentation at best. And when it comes to unashamed misrepresentation at its best, who can compete with AMWAY?
AMWAY Fights its Sleazedog Image… Again
Despite a 50 year history, 3 million distributors and annual sales exceeding $8 billion, AMWAY has an inferiority complex… and has a long history of unsuccessful attempts at trying to fight off its sleazedog image. For years, AMWAY told its MLM distributors (called IBOs) to avoid using the AMWAY name when inviting prospects to sales presentations (which further reinforced AMWAY’s image as deceivers). Then AMWAY tried changing its name to Quixtar, which didn’t work… and they changed it back.
One of the latest and most embarrassingly misguided AMWAY ploys is their attempt to promote simple affiliate relationships with mainstream retailers as “partnerships.” Here’s how their press release touts their “Best Buy” relationship:
#1 Consumer Electronics Retailer Best Buy Joins Amway Global Partner Stores
A lot of top brand stores have partnered with Amway Global in the Partner Stores & Services area. In this technological era, none is more exciting than the recent addition of number 1 consumer electronics retailer in the U.S., Best Buy.
It seems that Best Buy is not “partnering” at all but merely extending a small referral fee to AMWAY and its distributors that refer them business. But this gives AMWAY IBOs a chance to exaggerate the relationship in fending off those who say AMWAY is a scam. IBO Shekhar added these comments on our lively AMWAY post ( IS AMWAY A SCAM?):
IBM, Microsoft, DELL, AT&T, Dish Network, Visa…..these are some of our partners. Will such companies parter with a Company without checking its market standing ?
…Barnes and Noble, Tmobile, Dell, Dish, Ace Hardware, Sears, AA – have PARTNERED with Amway…..do you understand now ?????? Do you think these companies will “partner” with Ponzi schemes ? do you think they do not have lawyers to check a company out ? Do you think they will partner with a Scam ????
However, other AMWAY IBOs are frustrated by what they see as another thinly veiled deception that will – as always – backfire and cause the opposite of the intended effect.
Here are come comments from the pro-AMWAY comment board AMWAY Talk. Michman wrote:
Personally, I wish the Partner Stores would go away.
In my experience, the Partner Stores only give the curiosity-approachers an excuse to decieve people into seeing the Amway business.
“I am working on an online marketing venture with Bass Pro and Office Depot.”
After the person gets into the business they finally realize that 99.9 percent of their products are going to come from Amway, not Bass Pro or Office Depot.
If Amway in this part of the world isn’t going to make the effort to do good deals, then they shouldn’t do them at all as all it does is give critics legitimate ammunition.
Because partner stores (in this market) often have better deals when you don’t purchase though Amway… the Amway brand is tarnished due to the association with partner stores / non core items.
The argument is that these stores “give us credibility.” Really? I think the negatives (misrepresentation of the business, confusion, non-uniqueness of business model or products) far outweight the positives (supposed credibility).
Well, finally, the AMWAY detractors and supporters can agree on one thing: AMWAY should stop trying to use blatant deception to build a reputation for honesty. Both sides are embarrassed by it.
ALSO READ: IS AMWAY A SCAM?
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