California, Connecticut, New York and several other states are launching investigations from tons of consumers who feel they were misled by fake blogs about weight loss stories.

Its hard to miss the ads. I see them everywhere. “Just following this 1 simple rule I lost all this weight, first colon cleanse then Acai Berry”

The website named in every report so far is :

Becky_s Weight Loss Blog-1.jpg

Here is a screen shot of the site a couple days ago when I first got wind the FTC was going to make an announcement (but was told not to post about it yet).

Well today its officially going on: (fast forward about 5 seconds in).

So here is the thing. WTF?

Let me take the side of the fake blog for a minute.

So a actor was hired (the picture was from a professional model) and all the testimonials in the comments are fake.

How is this different then all the ads I see for weight loss products on television?

How is this different then all the various religions who collect money from people in promise of everlasting life and crap. I mean they all cant be right… right? One promises I am going to go to heaven, one promises I am going to get to bang 60 virgins, and 90 other religions promise something else. yes I know that’s a different topic but its still bullshit.

How is this different then me paying $150 a month for my gym membership and not going for 3 months…..

Have we turned into so much a socialist country that we have ZERO accountability.


We have always had great marketing in this country but I honestly believe we are in the economic situation we are in because nobody has to learn the lesson. The government will come in and protect you.

So now we are going to put some affiliate behind bars because he exploited the human weakness to want THE SECRET overnight?

And no im not a hypocrite cause we had a lawsuit with the Google Money Tree. That was because they were using my image not because I had beef with what they were doing.

Anyway whats your 2 cents on it?

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

215 thoughts on “Acai Berry Diet Weightloss Blogs Under Fire From FTC”
  1. yup I talked to advaliant about all this at there office in NY – check name link – and I def asked a bunch of questions regarding all this controversy.

    I was on the call as well they had about 3 weeks ago as well.

      1. The best part is in the first few minutes when she names the programs she manages – “they’re all scams… hahaha “

        1. Yeah I saw the video on your site Ian. She did a pretty good job of incriminating herself. Keep it up there. I don’t care how many times she said they followed FTC “guidelines”. They will get owned by the FTC, and rightly so.

          1. i think especially with the economy the way it is right now its wrong for all of this happening to everyone its bad enough there going up in cost on everything and now this….

  2. Ha! Agree. Marketing’s all about telling people a story to help them believe what ever lie or preconceived notion they want to believe… right!? So sure, some ppl got stooged, but they’ve got to take responsibility for it, not blame the marketers / bloggers. nice post

  3. Shoe I think this is one of your most opinionated posts you’ve had in a while. LOL I think it’s stupid, but if they really want to win in court, they might be able to get them with false advertisement or something like that.

  4. Is the dude being jailed because the berries don’t work or because there have been thousands of unauthorized charges on credit cards with really no information on how to make them stop?

    1. I highly doubt anyone will be jailed. If anything the affiliate network will be fined just like with ringtones (extortion).

  5. This was bound to happen as the acai offers really hit critical mass.

    The problem is that they’re going to go after the acai affiliates when this stuff is going on in every other affiliate area anyway.

    I don’t see what penalizing one or two affiliates is going to resolve – the same thing is going to go on with other offers.

    The problem isn’t that people are deceitful – it’s that other people are gullible.

    I think it’s a personal choice – as long as you’re not breaking the law it’s none of my business whether I agree with it or not. The law is the only basis for agreement when it comes to morality.

  6. I say buyer beware. I’m sick of the government (or Microsoft, but that’s another rant) trying to protect me from myself. Seriously, who didn’t know these “blogs” were just another form of marketing?

  7. Yeah I am sick of the government jumping in everywhere we look now! I just heard today that a senator from Utah is trying to pass legislation that would get rid of the BCS!!! What the hell??! Is it just a damn power trip or what?

  8. I think that you hit the fat person in the gut. No juice is going to help anyone loose that much weight in such a short amount of time. It’s BS, just like many of the TV ads, and the people spending their money on it are at fault.

    I do have a question tho…wth does socialism have to do with this?

  9. On the one Hand you say they are retard and everyone should be accountable for what he is doing. But one the other hand you, or at least the people you defend, are counting on the stupidity of the people because you make Money from it. That’s a double moral standard.

  10. The government shouldn’t have a say in this but we brought this on as marketers. Basically, one person was trying to outdo someone else with their acai marketing and stumbled onto an extremely popular method. Then, EVERYONE in the world copied the ads and put up their own ads. Soon, they took over Google and all other search engines and guess what, someone got charged a bunch of money and they pissed off the wrong person. So now the government has to step in. Stupid but the way our society is now.

  11. “So now we are going to put some affiliate behind bars because he exploited the human weakness to want THE SECRET overnight?”

    What? They kept stealing money from their customers! It’s not the same dude …

    Well I surely think that CPA and affiliate marketing needs to be controlled more. Like this is the first issue …

    It’s a wild west on here ( internet )

      1. I hardly doubt it … from where did you got that “fact” ?

        Just compare who advertises on TV and what kind of offers you can find on some major affiliate networks.

        A lot of products and offers are not being controlled by anyone online, there’s no procedure, customers are not getting basic service – to contact their sellers.

        Online internet business is yet not that transparent ( I don’t say that offline is ), not that controlled …

        have you ever tried to get a response ( human ) from GoDaddy? I didn’t, neither by call or email … and they do by their own ..

        All in all, that’s another subject. This one is – you put wrong example to express your thoughts about something else.

        1. ohh you mean like sham wow or slap chop or omaha steaks or ringtones errrr ……..

          Ringtone offers on television have zero regulation.

          1. Sorry but I can hardly understand what you just said …

            You are talking about advertisements which tell the customer to order something from TV from their couch – via phone,laptop or whatsoever – aka the same think like internet. .. seller doesn’t exist, at least for customer, no call for help or a problem.

            I’m not that good in English but I can’t understand why my statement sounds so unexpectable lol

            I agree with your statement ( from the post ) but customers need to have some … service, contact ( like how to cancel subscription ). Rip them of but as long they want to be fooled, when they don’t want …

          2. It all comes down to who has the most people and money lobbying. TV can advertise almost anything except guns, booze and nicotine, but until affiliate marketing can pony up lobby funds they’ll keep tightening regulations.

            BTW – if what some commentators is true about fraudulent credit card charges then this is about a whole lot more than the way acai berries are being marketed.

  12. I think the states are right to go after this company because they wouldn’t allow people to cancel their free membership. They also just keep sending you the pills and charge you for them. People are stupid we all know that but down with this company. Greg Ellison

  13. Many marketeers are promoting these products. To bad for all their efforts… 🙂

    This is the exact reason why I as an affiliate marketer am not working in any food supplement market. Just to risky.

    1. so what exactly ARE you working on as an affiliate marketer?

      WTF does this have to do with the food supplement market?

      FTC also has open investigations into grants, ringtones… you name it

      1. So what does this mean? that FTC has something against affiliates ?
        Of course they have open investigations, that’s their job. You should worry if they wouldn’t have.

        And the problem with using an actor in a blog is that it helps to deceives people. They perceive a blog as a personal thing so they expect this to be authentic.

        Everybody knows most people in TV ads are actors, but when you see a personal blog on the internet most people expect the pictures to be of actual people that used the product not some actor or professional model

        And another problem with this Acay thing is a lot of affiliates are using spam to promote it.

        1. They have something against deception and local governments are obligated to investigate complaints, so eventually this gets kicked up higher and higher. I think the Obama stimulus checks is what really got the ball rolling on this crackdown, this diet fad stuff is just collateral damage.


  14. This brings up an interesting dilemma to marketers; how far are you willing to stretch the ethical envelope to make a profit? (1) Just because you can take candy from a baby, doesn’t mean you should. (2) If you offer people hope and they are willing to pay for it, are you doing something wrong?

    1. So by that logic we should lock up our president because he sold us all on hope and he hasnt done crap =P

        1. Jeremy,
          You should have called customer service within 10 days of Nov. 4 to recast your vote. Since you waited this long you have lost your chance to withdraw during the free trial period, and your credit card will be billed extra every April 15th for the next four years.

  15. […] Original post by Shoemoney – Skills To Pay The Bills […]

  16. Shoe,

    I agree with you whole-heartily with the socialism outlook. Thinking your going to lose weight from a pill is the oldest trick in the book.

    It is alittle sketchy that the trial period starts before you even get the product. That’s alittle “shady” you gotta admit.

  17. […] Source Tags: Weight Loss Facts […]

  18. I’m gonna file a formal complaint against Tylenol, they use fake doctors in their ads.

  19. “How is this different then me paying $150 a month for my gym membership and not going for 3 months…..”

    In the case of the gym, if you actually use it you have a chance to loose weight. You can’t say the same thing for berry juice.

  20. The FTC stepping in is less about over-promising or gullibility and more about the shady back door charges. But this ABC News piece is all over the place and is pretty pathetic.

  21. I agree with Shoemoney. Leave the affiliates alone for making money from people’s stupidity that they can loose 50 lbs in a day from a little berry. If they lock someone up for this I will be pissed off, God damnit Fed, stop locking people up for stupid reasons. At least Canada has more lenient laws…. maybe i’ll move there. (LOL).

  22. Screw all this control stuff… the Gov already has itself deeper into our pockets that we want, which is REALLY what this is all about!

    Do you REALLY think all the extra money from lotto tickets goes toward your child’s education? If it did, they wouldn’t be buying this damn berry juice off the web!

    Just another way for the big man to say they are representing the sheeple… when in effect, they could care less!

    Get a good lobbyist up there tho, and Obama himself will start drinking the Acai koolaid!

    IF they succeed in shutting down one campaign… there will be no stopping them! Let the MARKET dictate what works, not the Govt!

  23. Shoe has done it again … revealed the truth … you tell em shoe …

    SHOEMONEY For President!!!


  24. Why such a harsh tone? Why bring religion into it at all. Poor comparison in my book. Chill out….have some tea or juice.LOL

    1. The point was to compare how we deal with scams. Why is one scam castigated and another praised and supported by society? Hypocracy.
      If you bring Acai pill marketers to “justice” for making unsubstantiated claims, then shouldn’t you hold religions accountable too? I mean, what’s worse — Acai pill marketers are only offering weight loss. Religions sell eternal salvation and life after death. A much greater, unsubstantiated claim, wouldn’t you agree? And most religion’s dubious testimonials are centuries old. (Investigate that FTC.)
      Why do Acai marketers have to prove results or face legal punishment, while religions (who collect WAY more money) do not? That was the point, and it was dead on.

  25. Bottom line: the government doesn’t need to be involved–with any of it. I’m tired of people thinking they can make a better decision for me than I can. If I screw up, the consequences are mine alone. Lesson learned. You can’t protect stupid from itself.

  26. So right… Does it mean that any website that has an image from istockphoto breaks the law? There thouthands of builder/real estate sites that show pictures of the houses they didn’t build/sell right in the top area… Fake testimonials kind of misleading, but i’d think it is more unethical then misleading as well… BTW, most testimonials that have images next to them are not the images of actual people saying those testimonials, mostly different estores have them… 🙂
    If they want to close or make the owner change the site, that is understandable… but other than that… :-/

  27. Shoemoney for President!!!

    The government (Australia too) needs to stop trying to please minorities and let them learn their mistakes!!!!

  28. The people that continue to fall for Acai Berry miracle deals are the same ones winning the lottery in Nigeria. Morons.

    1. I’ll have you know I’ve won the UK lottery 3 times this month. I’m just REALLY lucky.

  29. […] See the rest here: Bullshit Acai Berry Weightloss Blogs Under Fire From FTC – ShoeMoney® […]

  30. As a long time personal trainer these types of scams come and go in my profession.

    Unfortunately the public wants the magic pill or the no effort method to lose fat, so this type of advertising will always be around.

    As far as the gov. being involved, I have no legal experience with what they can or cannot do.


  31. Shoemoney;

    Nice link bait.

    But you have unfortunately sucked a lot of people into believing that the FTC has no coherent policy on testimonials.

    Good luck with that.

  32. […] Schoemaker shares his thoughts here and has video of a news report detailing the […]

  33. Well, this will probably mark the end of me making money hand over fist from this offer. So I’m gonna milk it while I still can.

  34. People have to talk shit to sell shit, so that part of being dishonest isn’t a shocker. The part that annoyed me in the video was how they start the trial period as soon as you submit your order.

    That’s kinda like that Cash4Gold post, where the guy said the return period started when they wrote the check, which they held onto for a few days before mailing.

  35. […] Bullshit Acai Berry Weightloss Blogs Under Fire From FTC […]

  36. Jeremy,

    I would agree with some of what you say if they just sold a crappy weight loss product with fake pictures (LOTS of supplement makers do that–virtually all “fat burners” are useless).

    But in this case, they are running up people’s credit card bills with products the consumer did not order. At some point they have to be accountable for this.

    1. They are saying what you want to hear. Even if is saying that this pile of poo smells like roses. You want to hear that, then you might mentally make that poo smell like roses to believe. The mind is very powerful.

  37. People have to talk shit to sell shit, so that part of being dishonest isn’t a shocker. The part that annoyed me in the video was how they start the trial period as soon as you submit your order.

    That’s kinda like that Cash4Gold post, where the guy said the return period started when they wrote the check, which they held onto for a few days before mailing.
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  38. Jeremy,

    You do have a point–there are plenty of bogus weight loss products using models’ pictures.

    But in this case, the company is charging customers for stuff they didn’t even order. That’s illegal and wrong.

  39. To me, this ranks at the same level, as the people who caused McDonalds and every other retailer that sells coffee, to put, “Caution: Contents are Hot” I mean really? Are people THAT stupid? Why do stupid people keep winning lawsuits. If people read fake weightloss blogs and buy a product, then THEY ARE DUMB ASSH*LES. Let them eat cake!

  40. The only reason they’re even chasing this scam is because they found the model. The affiliate was dumb enough to use the same picture 80 times. Had he kept a lower profile, and the company NOT scammed people by sending them pills they didn’t want, this wouldn’t be happening.

    This is a case where the blogs will get slammed as the problem when in fact the theft by the company is the problem.

    This is going to have some fallout on all affiliate sites, regardless of product.

    Someone flog that lazy sob.

  41. Some people are very ignorant. Guess they haven’t heard of Google.

    But the attack on religion – asinine. They don’t compare.

    A better comparison would have been how the government says it will create wealth by printing more money. Isn’t that counterfeiting…..

    1. You’re right, they don’t compare. Comparing religion to a scam business is asinine. At least when these people bought Acai pills, they actually received a product for their money. Religions are more like beggars. They ask for your money, promise paradise, but really give their customers nothing in return, except some warm fuzzy feeling of self-rightousness. I have way more respect for the worst scammy ripoff business than the most “holy” religion. I’d rather lose my money for a garage full of pills than a load of bs any day.

  42. People are lazy dipshits. Lazy dipshits LOVE spending money rather than working towards something. I can’t think of any product in the history of everything that hasn’t been primarily marketed at dipshits.

    If anything happens over this then it should be the end of marketing as a legitimate tool.

  43. I would say because they say its a free trial – then they send out bottles and charge you for them and you can’t cancel them. Also people are extremely stupid.

  44. Part of the reason the FTC is coming down on them is their customer service. People get on to their continuity program, then can’t get off. Some of these companies are in over their heads and can’t handle the call volume coming in. So people want to cancel, call in, and either get a busy signal or put on hold for too long.

  45. Shoe, you’re right on. The sooner we all realize that we are all accountable for the decisions we make, the better. It’s up to each of us to research, interpret, and make an informed decisions. When we make mistakes, it’s not someone else’s fault.

  46. I agree that (at least in the United States) that many people, say 80%, have no personal accountability for their actions and we are in our current position because of them. It sucks for the other 20% that do follow the rules and are accountable for their actions. I as well wish I could loose a few pounds and build some muscle but I know that some “FREE” pill will 99.9999999% NOT WORK, you have to work to get it.
    We as humans can not achieve anything unless something of equal or greater value is exchanged first.

  47. […] jay abraham john carlton gary halbert seth godin donald trump robert kiyosaki stephen pearce Bullshit Acai Berry Weightloss Blogs Under Fire From FTC – 03/26/2009 California, Connecticut, New York and several other states are launching […]

  48. That might have been a blunt post, but that was seriously idiotic.

    “So now we are going to put some affiliate behind bars because he exploited the human weakness to want THE SECRET overnight?”

    You’re missing a key ingredient (pun intended).. There is no secret here, it’s a scam that can’t deliver on the promises it makes.

    When you buy a gym membership, you have access to the equipment and the failure of your endeavor rests with you.

    Your church analogy is more accurate, as I see it as a scam too, preying on people’s fears and desires.

    You see NOTHING wrong with using a stock image of a chick, and photoshopping it to make it appear as if she lost weight after drinking Acai, because “you see it on television” and everywhere else ?

    Do you really subscribe to the “if others are doing it, it’s okay” mentality?

    Is that how you do business?

  49. I wonder why that spamming retard felt the need to quote my first post as filler.

    I’d de-link that scumbag & any others that are linking to that trash. Those clowns aren’t worthy of a link from a site that actually contains useful info.

  50. Enough with branding the “socialist” scare term. Idiocy has long existed in this country, regardless of whether you and right-wing talk radio think we have “socialist leanings.”

  51. People need to use their heads… those blogs looked SO fake, if you stopped for even a moment and let your brain do the thinking instead of that little gremlin that wants to whip your credit card out of your wallet at the first sign of “instant results with NO effort!”, this stuff wouldn’t happen.

    There will ALWAYS be hucksters trying to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers. I’ve been one of those stupid, unsuspecting buyers in the past, and you know what – I was irritated more at MYSELF for being taken by some scammer. Lesson learned.

    People need to take responsibility for their own actions – not wait for the government to come in and rescue them.

    1. Hey dumbass if you buy a bond that’s rated AAA by Moodys that turns out not to be a AAA rated bond, do you deserve to lose all your money? If you said ‘yes’ and that it’s personal responsibility then you are hopeless. There are all kinds of products that you don’t know jack shit about and you have no personal responsibilty in determining their safety. The point is, if we want functioning markets then we need safeguards. This is governments job. To protect us from all the things that we have no hope of protecting ourselves against. Grow up moron, otherwise the markets you participate in shrink to you and your neighbors.

  52. >>Let me take the side of the fake blog for a minute.

    Shoe, you are the master! An “about time” post would have gotten six comments, not 86 or whatever.

    Anyway, it’s not the product, it’s the deception. You have the right to sell homeopathic remedies that do absolutely nothing (and can’t because there’s no active ingredient and the listed ingredients are often poisons – arsenic for example).

    What you don’t have the right to do is to hide the terms and conditions so that people don’t realize that it’s a 14-day trial, but they send you 30 or more days of product, and so you have to send product back and do it in the allotted time to avoid getting charged, and they set it up to be impossible.

    So to use your analogy, it’s more like getting you to try a free gym membership, and you have to cancel in person, but the gym is never open, so you can’t cancel and you can’t stop the credit card bill.

    To me, that’s little different from me helping myself to what’s inside your car because you were irresponsible and left your windows down. Sure, you were irresponsible and didn’t do due diligence to lock your car, so you shouldn’t be surprised to have gotten ripped off. But the person who reached through the window and grabbed your laptop is still a thief.

  53. PS

    Capitalism and the free market depend on transparency and trust.

    The lack of transparency (and an excess of misplaced trust) in the derivatives market and the acai berry scam are the real threats to the long-term viability of the free market, not regulators who try to impose that transparency.

    Remember, FDR proposed the New Deal as a way to save capitalism. Socialism was gaining ground so fast in America we could easily have gone socialist or fascist if FDR hadn’t had the greatness to see that everything possible had to be done to stop that.

  54. Acai Berry is the most famous health supplement for affiliate marketers. I was gonna venture into it too.

  55. preach on brother Shoe!….WAIT So I should return the pills! Ya people never want to take responsibility for anything…that sums it all up!

  56. You’re right on the money on this one. The government says how bad these evil websites are and everybody nods their heads in agreement, yet nobody stops to think about it critically, as in what is the difference between these fake blogs and all the fake ads on tv? Stop the victimology in this country already. Anybody dumb enough to fall for these flogs deserves what they get. Buyer beware.

  57. It’s only obvious most of those commercials or products that promise you something are fakes…


  58. It doesn’t matter if they thought they were getting a free trial or not. No company just hands out a free trial, ever. This isn’t Samsclub on a Saturday morning. Where you can walk around and take multiple samples from the old latino lady with the bad eye.

    You know what a worse product then Acai Berries? Jerome Russell spray on hair. Its just temporary spray paint for your cleverly disguised bald spot.

    Bottom line, the government has better things to than baby sit more people that are to ignorant to read.

  59. I think the whole diet blog angle is a red herring. The problem is the dishonest rebilling and difficulty people have in cancelling. Complaining about the blogs is just another angle the reporter can use.

    What I don’t get is why the Acai berry companies need to make it so difficult for people to cancel. They could almost have a legitimate business (ok they’re selling snake oil, but they could get away with it). Instead they want to squeeze a few extra dollars, it simply comes down to greed.

  60. Oh yes, I lost 100 lbs for a day, just staying in front of the computer, eating chips , and oh yeah I deacreased my weight… Oh this is stupid, who believe them….

  61. I agree Jeremy I think people should be able to make up their own minds. I think that the problem comes in with the company not responding to people for them to be able to quit the bills from coming in. If they attack this though then I don’t know what you will be able to promote or sell because just about anything is subject to not working exactly the way someone wants. I like Obama and voted for him and I don’t think it is just him but our congressmen mainly are becoming very socialistic.

  62. With a $30+ payout on the few dollars shipping, of course it’s a scam. Those flat stomach ads are like a plague…

    Doesn’t seem fair though, although I’m not a lawyer so it may very well be.

  63. Sorry, but if you fell for “One Diet Rule: Obey” then you deserve it.

    In all honesty, I think these “free trial – just kidding we’re going to charge you before you realize it” offers are LAME. I don’t promote them. Just me tho

  64. Have we turned into so much a socialist country that we have ZERO accountability.


    — Honestly, sometimes you really make idiotic statements. You are trying to shift the blame to the victim. Learn a little history. We had a buyer beware policy in this country in the 19th century. Snake oil was rampant, it didn’t help the country. It hurt us. There are lots of products that won’t help you in lots of markets. That’s why we have laws against false advertising and fraud. Just because some people don’t know as much about weight loss as you do, doesn’t mean it’s their fault for being suckered. If we lived in China would you be berating people for buying baby milk that was half price, only to have their children die? Telling them, ‘of course it would be toxic if it was that cheap and they should have known better.’ It’s the same type of situation.

    Not only that, but these people are unable to cancel even though they are explicitly told they can. That’s fraud, plain and simple.

    Yeah, until now these diet pill companies have had ZERO accountability because the FTC has been on a coffee break for 8 years.

    Dude WTF are you talking about ZERO accountability?

  65. Let the buyer beware. The golden rule – if it sounds too good to be true, it can’t be true. Or do you want to give your bank account details to the nice government minister in Nigeria as well?

    1. The thing I don’t get is how did it pass the FDA requirements of being an actual working product?

  66. Sorry I’m posting late but…

    There is one difference between tv ads and the websites. The tv ads say paid endorsements, actors, etc. Sure, it’s in small print but they do.

    Tv ads also get fined all the time by the FTC for making false claims. By the time it happens the profits outweigh the fines though.

    People should be responsible for their own actions BUT desperate people will believe what they want/need to believe.

  67. Certainly every site promoting this is different but I can tell you that we considered promoting one that seemed more legit than others. The auto billing mechanism was clearly disclosed unlike many of these sites that hide the auto billing in the t&c fine print. We placed a test order to test the pixel and see what customer service was like. When we tried to cancel our test order we went into a voicemail box that was full. We couldn’t get in touch with a rep and had to cancel through our credit card company. Needless to say we never launched that offer.

    Maybe people shouldn’t be foolish enough to order this junk in the first place but if their credit cards are being charged they should have the ability to get in touch with someone at the company if they have questions or want to cancel their order. I’ve heard this is the case with many of these sites…

  68. Boo fucking hoo hoo hoo…. Get off your ass and walk around the block and cut down on carbs. Lazy people are why weight loss products even exist. It sucks for the consumers who got scammed however you need to use your common sense just a wee bit. Now the US government is bailing out all the fat consumers who don’t wanna work hard to loose weight. Dumb morons, use your heads…………………….

    Wanna buy a bridge? The Brooklyn bridge is for sale in a foreclosure auction starting at $1,200!!


  69. Certainly we will have to take hard step to stop this. But they are offering quite big comission and hence many people would love to show this one and earn through it.

    I do not think that there is any kind of medicine which can make you slimmer in one month.

    But however buyer is now more bewarre from this kind of things.

  70. The scam is not about loosing weight. It is the unauthorized charges and bottles of pills being sent after the trial has been canceled.

  71. Excellent post! Why do people fall for these scams. The only way to maintain a healthy weight is to get plenty of exercise and eat a balanced diet. You are what you eat!

  72. You know, more than anything I feel terrible for those people that are so saddened and desperate that they fall for these types of gimmicks.

    There are tips, tricks, and supplements out there that will help, but really when it comes to weight loss, nothing is better than more exercise, more water, less junk foods, and smaller/healthier portions.

  73. There’s a term for that and it’s called snake oil salesmanship. There’s a lot of money in these scams. Once the lawyers finally figure that out, do you honestly think hiding behind “caveat emptor” is going to save the asses of these networks or the people that promote this shit? Where there’s money and dishonesty, there’s lawyers. Just ask the former executives of asbestos manufacturers what a bunch of blood thirsty lawyers are capable of. Companies far larger than these CPA networks have been liquidated by lawsuits.

    There’s good marketing and there’s lying. Sadly, some people will promote anything just to make money. I gotta say I have more respect for your average crack dealer cuz at least he ain’t lying about what he sells.

  74. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have seen an ad posted for that site. Nice video too.

  75. Funny because it has took this long when these ads have been everywhere from fbook,myspace,google and any other ad platform. I can say this they must’ve spent a fortune on marketing so they must believe in their system somewhat…lol

  76. Technically, the acai berry free trial programs do result in weight loss as promised:

    1. First, they scam you out of your money.

    2. You then have less money to buy food.

    3. With less money for food, you eat less and lose weight.

    In fact, if the acai scammers did not rip you off, it would be more of a fraud because you wouldn’t end up losing weight. These guys should be considered heroes for finally following through on the empty promises of the past.

  77. […] a great conversation going on over at Shoemoney’s Blog talking about whether the FTC should be stepping in or whether it’s up to the consumer to […]

  78. I’ve written about my thoughts regarding this topic on my blog, but I wanted to share one thing here. I maintain a website about the acai berry and I’ve received a number of complaints about the “acai berry scams” this post is talking about. I agree that accountability has to fall on the consumer, but it has also been reported that these companies don’t answer phones or emails when a customer is trying to cancel their trial. I can live with the fact that these sites bury the true monthly costs on some deep, unrelated page. But if the customer can’t actually cancel with the information available on the site in question, then I think the FTC does need to step in.

  79. The mentality of the avg consumer these days makes me want to puke… personal accountability whatsoever.

  80. How long until Resveratol gets attacked by the FCC?

    At the very least there should be a disclaimer about the product people are buying. Being sued for simple marketing techniques is bullcrap.

  81. If people were actually able to cancel the order, then I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Being able to stop a product from shipping / cancelling an order would have essentially made it just like all the other magic powder in a bottle products and they wouldn’t have gotten in the trouble.

  82. Alomot every where you look these days people are mislead, And no where more so than where weight loss is concerned.

    I think lots of people pray on the fact that there are so many people who are desperately looking to loss weight and will do almost anything in hope of finding some wonder product.

  83. All these trendy weight loss ways are just ways to prey on people looking for anything to grab for!

  84. Not only are the blogs fake.. but the CPA offer landing pages have fake people too..

    Check out Julie Parks from

    She’s actually this model:

    Not the “Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Guru” that they call her..

    Remember the spokesperson for the Wu-yi source CPA offers? Well.. here he is:

  85. » Mehr Erfolg beim SEM | seoFM - der erste deutsche PodCast für SEOs und Online-Marketer says:

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  86. I Bet The FTC Smokes The ‘Posting Links On Google’ Facebookers | Learn How To Make Money Online at The Keyword Academy says:

    […] bet you anything that the FTC will come down on this crap just like they came down on the Acai Berry Diet blogs. This is fraudulent marketing and people that are participating in this can get in huge […]

  87. How different are these people from the hundreds of online “make Money Guru’s ” who promise you instant wealth for a couple of hours work.

    Same modus operandi just slightly less over the top in your face. Thousands of $$$ spent only to realise 99% of the programs are diluted horsesh*t and the meat is kept hidden. Blackmail is what it is. What happened to ethics and integrity or that a dirty word in online business

  88. […] Bullshit Acai Berry Weightloss Blogs Under Fire From FTC […]

  89. I think it’s even sadder that there are people that think this crap actually works. Just lose weight the natural way.

  90. The truth is, there is no better way to lose weight than to go on a mostly vegetarian diet and stay on it.

  91. I found something I hope the AG’s and FTC knows… when I saw that several of these acai testimonials were from women in or near my town, I asked some friends from OTHER STATES to look at the sites. Guess what?

    The testimonials were from THEIR towns, not mine. I didn’t check if it was the same person “testifying” or not.

    Here are two examples:

    Here’s another:

    In my opinion, this kind of advertising demonstrates that all advertising that makes health claims should be required by law to have an “affidavit of efficacy” on file somewhere; in other words the claim better be true!

    Drug companies are part of this crime also — as someone who was told to take a statin drug for high cholesterol, I found out that 71% of heart attack victims have NORMAL cholesterol (ask your doc, they know), so what’s the problem? It sure isn’t cholesterol!!

    By the way, statins do lower chol but they also lower Co-Q10 enzyme which makes your heart beat – which leads to muscle cramps and cognitive problems, but I can’t find anything showing that lower chol decreases HEART ATTACK RATES.

  92. […] That is what the Acai Berry people want you to think and one of the main reasons they are under investigation right now.  As a blogger/marketer I have promoted many products on Full Figure Plus, but one that […]

  93. Deceive advertising is one thing … but charging a customers credit card on a monthly basis and making it EXTREMELY difficult for them to contact you to cancel is another.

    1. Very sneaky.. and highly unethical.. but maybe profitable. Until the news blows your little scam and you get imprisoned! hmm trying to figure out if its worth it..

  94. Everyone LOVES passing the blame on someone else.

    Whats the difference between the blogs and tv commercials with actors?

    Look at the bowflex commercials on TV. I know one of the guys in there is always in Muscle & fitness and is a PRO FITNESS ACTOR.

    I mean cmon. Thats not misleading?

    if you watch the video…. the one thing that stoood out to me was this.

    I own several weight loss offers. Here’s what I noticed:

    1. they billed her $200 within the first month.

    MOST of the offers bill you for the first bottle 14 days, which is anywhere from $49.95-79.95.

    So obviously they’re doing something sketchy there. (I think they’re billing 3 months at a time)

    which some do because most customers only stay on 1-2 months, and when you’re paying $25-35 per TRIAL, you need to make money.

    Remember you’re paying the network on TRIALS, regardless if they rebill or not.

    2. they’re not canceling the customers orders.

    I think this is horrible. Customer can simply place a chargeback and be done with it.

    On our offer we have a 24/hr recording but we call ALL customers back within 48 hours canceling them OR offering the monthly at a reduced rate.

  95. You ask how this is different than you paying $150 a month for your gym membership and not going for 3 months. Isn’t it obvious? You can cancel your gym membership at any time. These scammers are not allowing their victims to cancel.

    These scams are designed to fool naive people into their trap by promising miraculous results. If you read the small print (terms and conditions), it clearly tells you they will charge some silly money ($50-$100) every month to your credit card if you accept the ‘free’ trial. Most people complete their order without ever reading these terms and conditions.

    Guess what people, there is no secret to quick weight loss. There is no miracle pill or secret berry.

    You put on weight over a series of months (if not years), due to eating more calories than what your body burns. To reverse the effect, you must eat fewer calories than what your body burns over a similar number of months or years. That means a balanced diet, no overeating and moderate amounts of exercise. Stop trying to get quick results, because you can’t when it comes to healthy weight loss.

  96. but its not ALL the acai sites…. its just the ones who don’t cancel their customers who ask.

    No ones forcing people to take these offers, you gotta read what you’re getting (and they should tell the customer, somewhere on the site what they’re getting and how much).

    And I’m SURE its like that in MANY markets.

    Its just that acai has blown up.

  97. Seriously, your statements about the american consumer and responsibility were so dead on it made me giddy.
    Lately it seems like there’s only a few people who remember or care about that idea.
    In all honesty, if the government keeps cracking down this way, I’m outta here. I love my country, but I can’t be responsible for a 3rd party I don’t control(aka the merchant)

  98. maybe you should do research and try it before youall take the time to sit here and call people idiots for trying which is more than half of you morans are freakin doing….any of you have anything better to do than bitch?



  100. brill site this brill to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

  101. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  102. Affiliate marketing is a valid business model. I am an affiliate marketer and I am not a crook. I am happy to promote anything legal and I try to provide genuine added-value to my web visitors.

    If you want to get worked up about scandal, why fixate about a few acai berries? The US government has led us into an illegal war by peddling lies, has presided over a ruinous consumer boom fuelled by debt and been powerless to stop the collapse of the banking system. Do you think that this bunch of jokers can effectively regulate the selling of a few diet supplements?

    Do me a favor.

    1. As long as you actually try something before writing raving reviews about it then that’s all kosher. But if you hype something up that you haven’t even touched you are misleading your customers. You might make a quick buck, but if your promote quality stuff and have a good reputation you will be much more successful in the long run.

      1. I agree with you in one way. If you don’t try something, don’t recommend it to your site visitors. However, you can still review products in a neutral way and give your site visitors the results of your RESEARCH, i.e things like ingredients, experiences shared by users in forums and discussion boards.

        1. I agree. It’s important that you only neutrally review products that you haven’t tried yourself. As long as you stick to that golden rule, you’ll be fine.

  103. nice site this rated to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

  104. maybe there’s other lies, we have to careful about this, especially if we’re buyers.

  105. Very well said. People look for the fast and easy way to do things and don’t even think twice of what they are buying. Scam or not, it is time people hold themselves accountable for their own actions.

    –Dave Tonarelli

  106. Economists believe that the entire difference in average income between the third world and the US can be explained by trust. Institutionalised trust allows trade to take place without having to take too many precautions – because the legal system protects you.

    Affiliate marketing is just one of many abuses that trust and is therefore a direct attack on the economy of the USA – and more damaging to the interests of the USA than any terrorist attack.

    One day someone will realise affiliate marketers are largely parasites and treat them as such.

    1. As someone who has lived in the Third World I have to say Bravo to the point about Trust. That is absolutely correct in my experience.

      Trust makes the western economies much more effective. Its safer to invest millions or billions here.

      But the point about affiliates being largely parasites is incorrect. The internet works different to offline in that online there are thousands and thousands of “little worlds” or “alleys” that consumers go down.

      Affiliates find buyers for products in those little sub niches that no single supplier will never reach.

      I feel uncomfortable about the rise in fake testimonials online. It would do no harm to have someone flung in jail.

  107. I am currently a patient at the Jupiter, fl location and I have lost a total of 28 lbs. in 2 months. Its a really easy diet it’s 800 calories per day and the results are incredible. I eat 6 cookies a day i have 8 oz. of water with each cookie and then I eat dinner, which is 6 oz. of protein and 2 vegetables. This diet is the only diet I have been able to stick to for a long time. Check out their website to see if it’s the diet for you.

  108. […] report so far is SmartDiets | Get a Custom Diet Plan Built For You & Guaranteed to Work : Acai Berry Diet Weightloss Blogs Under Fire From FTC – ShoeMoney® </H1> […]




  110. I think people should lose weight the proper way. I can’t understand why so many people try this magical thinking rather than doing it the hard way.

    Weight loss is hard work. If anyone tells you they have a magic plan, its a lie.

    What you learn, while dieting, is what you will have to do the rest of your life. Exercise and calorie control.

  111. So you really think that religions sell people eternal life for money?

    Sure , there’s people who are corrupt in religion , but last time I checked, any organization, group , ect had bad apples and the like.

    That’s a pretty poor comment, I don’t know about you , but I know plenty of Christian organizations that are 100% volunteer and don’t take any money…….so that blows your theory out of the water a little bit, now doesn’t it?

    1. Religion is the biggest waste of time and has done nothing but hold us back as a specie. IMOHO

      Imagine no religion. I wonder if you can.

  112. […] Berry promos are under heavy scrutiny from the FTC, here’s an informative article on this topic: Acai Berry Diet Weightloss Blogs Under Fire From FTC – ShoeMoney® Just because they are everywhere does not make it right. What’s the old saying, "if your […]

  113. […] It works so well affiliate marketers started making fake blogs (aka flogs) which make it look like someone is recommending a Google Money Tree system, or weight loss product or whatever. I am sure you have ran into a flog. The FTC is hot after them now though. […]

  114. I agree this is bullshit, and if they are going to go after the affiliate then they better arrest all the ad agencies that advertise the same crap on TV, in magazines, the newspaper and on the radio.
    What a JOKE!!!

  115. You just earned my respect with this post. I don’t care about the money as much as I do about people taking responsibility for their own actions.

    People can be idiots, and like you said, if you think drinking berry juice and flushing your colon is going to make you the hottest thing in your country, you deserve it. Perhaps after you waste your money you’ll learn a lesson.

    Too funny. I really should be reading more of your stuff.


  116. […] They talk about the fake blogs popping up that recommend products like this) and how they are dominating ppc ads on facebook, google […]

  117. We were asked to remove links on one of our Free Ad sites that were posted and breached advertising rules and obligations.

  118. These type of con artists never give up. Glad that influential people like you throw some light on this.

  119. I was someone who learned about it late thank god but ended up ordering legit organic acai berry.

  120. Hi,

    Love your site very informational. I have high cholesterol and work very hard at controlling it. I exercise and try to eat a good diet low in fats. Your information will help me even more. I try to learn as much as I can about cholesterol. Thanks and keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  121. Ten Lessons Learned from Flogs & ReBill Offers | Inside the Secret Life of a Super Affiliate - Zac Johnson dot Com says:

    […] & the FTC The FTC and attorney generals from multiple states are starting to crack down on flogs and going after the people who are running them. In most cases, the affiliate network will protect […]

  122. well its a shame that fake bloggers create those fake sites just for affiliates and innocent consumers gets scammed.

  123. Great blogs!!! I love to learn new things that can help others loss weight and stay healthy.
    I am an advocate for health and wellness

    1. To learn new things about loss weight is easy. Fitness isn’t just a plan you embark on, along with a diet, to lose weight. It’s a lifelong love of movement that will help you maintain good health and the physique you want. On the contrary, if you stay full on low-fat, low calorie foods, you’re more likely to stay on your diet and lose more weight overall.

  124. People always want the “quick fix”. When you market to the vanity of people you can take advantage of their weakness to buy into these types of claims. Why are people disappointed when these products turn out to be a ruse? You would think with the way Acai is being pushed it’s the magic cure for everything… but so was MangoSteen, Noni, Xanga, and everything that proceeded it. Common sense is sorely lacking in some people. Can you blame the quick buck artists for cashing in on those who lack it?

  125. Well I’m not sure this article had to turn into your personal anto-religion soapbox, but it definitely served a point =) I completely agree on your “zero accountability” point…people need to take responsibility for themselves. Keep in mind, though, morbidly obese people are desperate, and much like a cancer patient, will try anything to “get well” again.

  126. I think its wrong. But of course people are desperate to make money, and if they have to lie and scheme – many people will do it. Other people are ignorant and don’t take responsibility for any of the choices they make That’s why in the United States there are so many law-suits for stupid things like the coffee was too hot and burnt their mouth. Or they tripped over something in someone’s store. The same thing applies to spending your money… you should search for reviews first (of the company you’re buying from) and check to see if it’s a scam… do some research. If something sounds too good to be true… it probably is.

  127. What a joke. People cant believe everything they read. No different than watching commercials on tv. People made a choice to buy the product based on the information provided.

  128. I think the issue here isn’t the marketing, its the issue of not being able to cancel once you’re started.

  129. to say the least, all of those scammers are in a business that’s, well, morally questionable. But I agree that it’s totally up to the customer to decide whether they want a part of it or not. And if you believe the advertising and buy the berry juice, where’s the difference to signing up for services that promise you “hot chicks, in YOUR city , now!” … all waiting for YOU! people who are dumb enough to sign up for stuff like that deserve no pity.

  130. […] and the people that market them have seen their fair share of controversy. With the risk of FTC investigation and getting shut down by the advertiser, […]

  131. […] all the recent hubub about Oprah and dr Oz and others suing the companies I wanted to get the low down from a […]

  132. […] all the recent hubub about Oprah and dr Oz and others suing the companies I wanted to get the low down from a […]

  133. […] all the recent hubub about Oprah and dr Oz and others suing the companies I wanted to get the low down from a […]

  134. […] all the recent hubub about Oprah and dr Oz and others suing the companies I wanted to get the low down from a […]

  135. […] all the recent hubub about Oprah and dr Oz and others suing the companies I wanted to get the low down from a […]

  136. A total scam as they send the pills and invoice you later, but like you said above. Where is the accountability? Why would you ever accept an unsolicited email offer like that?

  137. Jeremy’s response doesn’t make a lot of sense. There is a difference between promoting an idea that might be mistaken that you wholeheartedly believe in (certain religious beliefs) and promoting something that you know to be a complete lie while intentionally misleading people (certain affiliate marketing practices).

    Proving a religion is wrong is subject to opinion, so reasonable people can disagree. No one disagrees about fake blogs being fake.

    These marketers prey on desperate people. Desperate people will do anything to achieve their goal, even if the supposed solution isn’t logical – like losing 50 pounds in a month. So just because someone is gullible for believing the advertisement, doesn’t make it ethical to sell the product.

    I’m not sure where the gym comment came from, because paying for a gym membership and not using it doesn’t involve deception by the gym, it involves a personal lack of motivation.

    I for one am happy the FTC is cracking down.

  138. It’s as simple as this, don’t ever, EVER give out your credit card number over the internet unless you know and trust them completely.

    If you can’t pay by a money order, most likely they want to autoship to you over and over and over again.

    There is no “FREE, just pay Shipping and Handling”, that always means it’s an autoship program.

    If that’s the case, pay only by money order, because they can’t use a money order to bill you over and over again. But guess what, most won’t let you use a money order, or even give you a legitimate mailing address to send them one, hmmm, I wonder why?

    1. In my opinion, the problem is that too many people are surfing around the net with their ears open and their eyes shut. Not literally, but you get my point. That’s why all of these scumbags are getting away with promoting ridiculous ‘business opportunities’ (which I DETESTE) and practically mugging good, upstanding citizens (naive, but good) for their hard earned cash and sleeping like babies every night.

      That ‘Google Money Tree” crap is a prime example. I just HATE the sort of people that peddle this garbage.

  139. Hi Guys,

    Read this post, found it interesting. Bit out dated now.

    But anyhow, Jeremy you sound like a nice guy, and I like your argument. But the way you talk about the religious scams makes me curious how many religious scams you have been caught by. Did you really expect to get those 60 virgins lol

    Like marketers aim to get more money by devising new methods, so do Politicians who devise new methods to get votes, and you seem to get more votes by being more socially responsible.

    A great balance I see, it sounds like the pollies are winning but. I can see loads of opportunities coming out of this one that can be used my marketers to make more money. No need to be upset about it, just adapt to the environment. After all thats what makes successful marketers successful, isnt it?

  140. And idiot who thinks that shit works deserves to be scammed. Maybe they’ll finally get it through their thick skulls. Nothing in life is free.

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  142. I really think it is time for me to take a stupid pill or just get a lobotomy. The government has made it clear I cant think for myself and need to be protected from my inability to be accountable and that the phrase common sense will be extinct in a few years. Common sense and accountability can not be taught to 100% or the population so instead of trying to teach the 10% who lack it we will just get rid of that outdated notion alltogether. I may just need to tune out of society …
    I think I will got watch Matrix so I can go have some more ahha moments.

    >>>> Disclaimer – This opinion is not intended to imply that 10% of the population is lacking some serious capacity to reason or think for themselves. It is intended to suggest that those 10% may be better off blaming others for their inability to think for themselves and in some ways this 10% may be smarter because they are capitalizing on government laws to ensure that this segment of society is a protected class of individuals ensuring the survival of their generation and future generations much like domesticated hamsters.

  143. There are several websites launched specially to sell the acai products these days. This will enable you to get them easily without any confusion. However, there are several things that you must consider before purchasing the products from online.

  144. Acai berry is very good for those who want to lose weight fast.

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  146. Marketing is all about the adverising person do not have to miss a single chance to advertise their product they should have to advertise their product to get the publicity of their product and that is the way to make a money.

  147. nice information about something from internet marketing point of can deliver their opinion about anything

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  149. This is probably one of the best sources of information I have stumbled across on this topic. I would like to know if you have you considered the other side of the topic of natural health? To be candid, I think a decent argument could be made either way, but let me know if you have any more sites on the Web that back up what you are saying.

  150. Your’re right. There is alot of lying and marketing fraud going on in this world. One can lose anywhere from 20-30 pounds from colon cleansing.

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  155. I remember those stories. And yes it is not right to mislead people that way. Sad to see

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