The online marketing industry has been hit hard recently. First, the FTC passes new requirements for disclosing economic interests. Then Google shuts down the Adwords accounts of a lot of marketers for the negative option and continuation programs, and MasterCard and Visa stop processing negative option and continuation program transactions.
It's a tough time for everyone because a small segment of the affiliate marketing and retail industry were less than honest about the programs people were buying and how those consumers would be charged. And an entire industry, many of whom were operating legitimate and legal programs, are out of luck and out of business. Including some ad networks.
At Traverse Internet Law we've had a lot of clients caught up in the web of self help enforcement actions being taken by key service providers like Google and the credit card companies. And sadly, it is another example of what happens when an industry does not police itself. Regulation is inevitable if self regulation fails. And it has. Private self help regulation is even jumping in. Until the retailing, lead generation and affiliate marketing industries establish an accreditation process, this type of regulatory reaction will continue on an ever-increasing basis, both in scope and frequency.