FIRST, TRUMP, OPRAH, APPLE: Now, PP Blog’s ‘Breaking News’ Graphic Used In Video Pitch For Data Network Affiliates’ MLM Program
A sales rep for Data Network Affiliates (DNA) used the “Breaking News” graphic from the PP Blog to supplement a sales pitch for a nonexistent cell-phone plan thatÂ touted “unlimited” talk-and-text service for $10 a month, plus a free phone.
The unauthorized use of the Blog’s intellectual property in a sales pitch raises troubling, new questions about the company and its purported army of multilevel-marketing (MLM) affiliates. DNA recently has claimed that churches have the “MORAL OBLIGATION” to pitch its products.
DNA affiliates previously have implied that Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey endorse the company. Their images appeared for 10 consecutive minutes in a YouTube video for DNA, and affiliates also have implied the company had a special “branding” deal with Steve Jobs-led Apple.
DNA, which previously used a free Gmail address to conduct customer service, has removed the address from its website. It has been replaced by a prompt that reads in part, “All other question (sic) or issues must be submitted to Data Network Affiliates through our Customer Support area in your DNA Back office available via the Support Tab on the Main Menu in all Affiliate Back Offices.”
There is no effective way for nonaffiliates to contact the company. Earlier this year DNA affiliates repeatedly spammed the PP Blog.
In an undated video that promotes DNA, the Blog’s “Breaking News” graphic was used to introduce a pitch for DNA’s purported “See Through IPhone.”
“It’s (sic) very own Branded Iphones,” the pitch crowed.
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.
Even as the PP Blog’s “Breaking News” logo is being misused in a video slideshow for DNA, the company is instructing members to “make believe” its March launch never occurred. The firm reinstalled a launch countdown timer on its website, saying it will launch July 26. DNA actually launched March 1 after missing two February launch dates. The firm asked existing members in March to reimagine the launch as a “beta test,” even though it was advertised for weeks as a full launch.
Dean Blechman, DNA’s original chief executive officer, resigned Feb. 24. The company withheld the news of his resignation for nearly a week, and Blechman later complained about the company’s “bizarre” conduct.
Because DNA now is advertising a July 26 launch date, incoming members may not know the company actually launched in March — after Blechman’s resignation and after he described the firm’s behavior as puzzling.
It is not believed that DNA has any affiliation with Trump, Winfrey or Apple. It is clear, however, that a DNA pitchman in a February conference call planted the seed that the company was well-connected.
â€œThis is the guy,” the pitchman said of the former DNA chief.Â “He rolls with the Donald Trumps; he rolls with the big boys. I mean, you know, he has [inaudible] certain people on speed dial thatâ€™s incredible.â€
Blechman resigned within two days of the pitchman’s conference-call claim.
On March 4, in an interview with the PP Blog, Blechman complained about DNA “bull” from a “backdoor guy.”
He also complained that the company misspelled his name after finally announcing his departure six days after he left and then mangled the facts surrounding his departure.
Weeks after Blechman resigned, the company suddenly announced in early April that it was in the cell-phone business, declaring “GAME OVER — WE WIN” despite the fact it had no experience in the industry. DNA started out as a company that collected license-plate information for entry in a database that purportedly could help the AMBER Alert program rescue abducted children.
DNA declared itself the world’s low-cost leader in cell phones, advertising a “free” phone with “unlimited” talk and text for $10 a month. By April’s close, the company announced that it had not even studied cell-phone pricing before releasing its plan, withdrawing the offer and blaming its inability to deliver on a vendor it apparently had not vetted.
Meanwhile, the firm has done other odd things. An upgrade plan it initially named the Business Benefit Package — using the acronym BBP — later was dubbed the BBB. BBB is the acronym used by the Better Business Bureau.
â€œ6 OF THE 10 WILL BUY THE B.B.B. AND GET 1 OTHER TO BUY THE B.B.B. WITHIN 24 HOURS,â€ DNA declared last month.
Since that time, DNA has repeatedly called the BBP package the BBB package.