Scams & Deception

Stansberry Research Video: An Advertising Perspective

Stansberry Research Video: An Advertising Perspective

I resisted. I really did. But that ominous black background and apocalyptic claims were just too much for me, so I logged on today after seeing a commercial which pointed me to newamerica5.com. (Wait – I was sure that last week it was newamerica7.com. And what happened to newamerica6.com? Oh wait – that’s the same thing, too. More on that later, though). Older versions of the video show indicate this video was called “The End of America” but such language doesn’t appear in current advertisements.

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The following is an opinion of the Stansberry Research video advertised on television. I haven’t seen the newsletter yet, but the discussion below touches on the methods and materials used in advertising by Stansberry Research. This is not an attempt to endorse or refute the claims made by Stansberry, only my opinions derived from their marketing methods. The article below was written in 2011, and the information contained may have since changed.

Below is my perspective on this newamerica5.com video. I’m no economist, but I’ll give you my take on the site, the video, and the presentation from an advertising perspective as that’s where my area of expertise lies.

I logged on and immediately noticed that the url of newamerica5.com simply forwards to stansberryresearch.com, which seems to be the work of one Porter Stansberry. Apparently newamerica5.com, newamerica6.com, and newamerica7.com are probably only used for their tracking purposes. That doesn’t mean anything sinister, as it’s a relatively common tactic.

As the video starts, immediately I think, “Hey where’s the navigation controls?” Gone. You can’t skip ahead or go back – you have to watch the video for its entire (yes, epic) duration.

While the commercial that I saw on television seemed rather convincing, the video on the website just seemed to go on (and on and on…) about the current US financial crisis, always dangling the carrot but never quite giving us the meat and potatoes. Its main points hammered home the possibility of the US dollar no longer being accepted as the standard currency in the world market, which would lead to massive inflation.

At this point, I didn’t feel impressed that someone was stating that our economy was in trouble. I’m no economist, and I’ll leave the debate on the specifics to them. Again, we’re not looking at the words as much as how they’re presented. And that’s where I take issue with this whole package. Consider:

  • The commercial airing on television is kind of cheesy and dramatic, and makes bold – yet vague – claims.
  • The use of alternate “tracking” URL’s such as newamerica7.com gives the appearance of a transitory or somehow temporary existence for this site or product.
  • Claims of “I predicted in 2008…” aren’t backed up with any evidence. Where did you make these claims? They very well may have made such predictions, but sources were not provided.
  • Attempting to navigate away from the site sometimes leads to the dreaded “Are you sure you want to leave” pop-up. I’ve vowed never to do business with a website that does that to me. (See screenshot below)
  • The online “video” is essentially a read-along with text duplicating what the voice is saying, sometimes with drawings. We never see any speeches, interviews, or humans other than a hand. It’s not very riveting to watch. I ended up minimizing it and simply listened to it – and didn’t feel that I missed anything. It also moves at a glacial pace.
  • Although the video isn’t dated, it appears to have been made in 2010, making claims of immediate, impending doom seem inaccurate when viewing it at the end of 2011.
  • newamerica5.com, newamerica6.com, and newamerica7.com were all registered on March 2, 2011, so are basically just throwaway url’s used for advertising purposes. Why not brand stansberryresearch.com instead? He had previously advertised using a similar url, such as endofamerica2.com.

Although the video keeps telling us that we’ll be told how to protect ourselves from this financial doomsday, when the time comes, we’re told “I’m not going to tell you exactly what I’m doing here in this video, but I will explain everything in full detail in my new report, called…

After all that waiting, we’re just going to get some “free report” from a website that won’t let us leave when we want to. I can imagine this free report will contain a few morsels of info and then push the reader to the paid newsletter. Because in the end, that’s what I felt this website was all about – selling subscriptions. In fact, as of this writing, their site offers 15 “subscriptions’ ranging from $99 to $5000. A flimsy “half-off” offer states, “But if you take advantage of this offer today, you can save HALF-OFF the regular rate…

What Stansberry says may or may not be accurate. My guess is that at least some of it is accurate and some is probably just hype. My concern is the manner in which this is all marketed. If the facts are all indeed true, why does he have to revert to annoying pop-ups and an automatically-renewing subscriptions?

In the end, only time will tell if Stansberry is right or just collecting cash while playing on fears of the US economy. I can tell you one thing though: If said collapse does happen, I know how to save $50 – by not purchasing this newsletter. It has been my experience that questionable advertising equals questionable business practices any way you look at it. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.. oh, and Stansberry Research: I ain’t buyin’!

Below is a screen grab from Stansberry’s heavily-advertised commercial. If this collapse doesn’t occur in 2011, will we see a revised video with the date changed to 2012?

Tired of watching the video and want to leave? You just may get hit with this pop-up.

An interesting footnote is the domains used or registered apparently all by the same place for this product:
These were registered on December, 2010 by Publishing Services LLC of Baltimore, Maryland:

EndofAmerica1.com
EndofAmerica2.com
EndofAmerica3.com
EndofAmerica4.com
EndofAmerica5.com
EndofAmerica6.com
EndofAmerica7.com
EndofAmerica8.com
EndofAmerica9.com
EndofAmerica10.com
EndofAmerica11.com
EndofAmerica12.com…

In fact… you can go up to EndofAmerica99.com and see the same registration information. And now we’re seeing NewAmerica5.com, NewAmerica6.com. It appears that they have registered NewAmerica1.com through NewAmerica40.com.

If you plan to give Stansberry any money, do your research first.

Here’s an interesting discussion which presents both supporters and opponents.

The above is my opinion of the advertising by Stansberry Research. What advertising have you seen from the company, and what are your thoughts?

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Scams & Deception
@accroya

James White specializes in internet hoaxes, travel, product reviews, and social media.

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