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Misleading advertising
Posted by dancingdude321
6/20/2012  12:07:00 PM
I received the following msg from you:


"For starters, we've added hundreds of new videos for basic and premium members, a couple of new helpful features, and more music. The video syllabus is now complete through full silver in Int'l Latin and American Smooth & Rhythm, and full gold in Int'l Standard. And that's only the beginning... Instructional videos are on the way, as well as written content, more music, and more new features!"

I thought the msg implied there were now videos up to gold in international std for me to look at and so I went to look at them.

After mucking about for 5 minutes I discovered that I can't see these videos, that I need to upgrade my membership first. I read a little further and saw you'd added many new salsa videos - wasted another couple of minutes to find the same result. I really can't see anything at all unless I pay.

I just wanted to let you know that this kind of advertising can work against you. If you promise something and then don't deliver, it leaves a bad taste.

Yours is a good site, you've done a lot of good work. Don't spoil it with cheap trickery and gimmicks.

Clinton Collier
England
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".

Regards,
Jonathan Atkinson
www.ballroomdancers.com
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