This Well Known Company Apparently Doesn’t Like or Believe in the U.S. Constitution

Authorize Net Visa Do Not Use

The company is Visa, with its brands Authorize.net and Cybersource

Authorize.net has a new policy that won’t allow legal American businesses use their online credit card processing services… because they sell LEGAL firearms.  That’s right, guns.

In a recent letter to the Hyatt Gun Shop, one of the largest gun stores in the United States, the Visa brand Authorize.net, said they were terminating their agreement because they sold “firearms or any similar products.”

Authorize.net is one of the largest online payment gateways in the country.

The letter:

Dear Hyatt Gun Shop Inc,

Authorize.Net LLC (“Authorize.Net”) has determined that the nature of your business constitutes a violation of Section 2.xiv of the Authorize.Net Acceptable Use Guidelines and Sections 3.3 and 11.3 of the Authorize.Net Service Agreement (the “Agreement”). These sections include, but are not limited to, the sale of firearms or any similar product. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 4 of the Acceptable Use Guidelines, your ability to access and use the Authorize.Net Services will be terminated on September 30, 2013.

Apparently Visa executives are fans of President Obama and his policies to make firearms, ammunition, and business services for the firearms industry hard to get.

Well I’m a fan of the United States Constitution.

Because Visa and Authorize.net corporate policy doesn’t care for our country and our constitutional rights, I’m cutting up my Visa card and finding other service providers other than Visa and Authorize.net on my, and my many client websites, to process online purchases.

I grew up with firearms. They are tools just like a knife, a shovel, chainsaw, or a wrench (all of which have been used to kill people).  Tools don’t kill.  The operator does.

The difference is, firearms are protected, rightly so, by the U.S. Constitution – for a lot of really good reasons.

It figures that Visa is out of California. Authorize net’s headquarters is in San Francisco.  What a surprise. They’re drinking the koolaid for stupid people.

We all make decisions about policies that we agree with and it shows up in our purchases and the way we market products and services if we’re in business. This policy by Visa Corporation, to go against the U.S. Constitution, is downright dumb and they should suffer the consequences.

The folks on both coasts don’t believe in the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution but most of the people in the wide middle of the country do.

Make Visa Hurt Folks!

I suggest that you cut up your Visa card and get other online payment services for your business too. If you see an Authorize.net logo on a site where you purchase products, buy from another site that doesn’t use Authorize.net.

And while your’re at it, contact both and tell them you don’t agree with their policy and what you’re doing about it.  Phone numbers, addresses, contact pages etc:

www.authorize.net/support/

www.corporate.visa.com/utility/contact-us.shtml

Will you join me?

For more information about this story, see the Washington Times:

Authorize.net gives no credit to the 2nd Amendment

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/its-all-smoke-and-whiskey/2013/sep/27/authorizenet-gives-no-credit-2nd-amendment/

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“That Looks Nasty…!”

Oh, that's nasty...

“Oh, that’s nasty…”

I know you’ve seen it.  The ugly images and video that are appearing more and more to interrupt your peaceful viewing on the net.

The news media is doing it.  Bloggers are doing it more.  Advertisers too.

It’s all about attention. The uglier, the nastier, the better – in their eyes.

They can’t get attention with what they are covering, their content and ideas, their business model.  So off to ugly-land they go.  Where they will stop, nobody knows…

You won’t see any of that here.  Not my style.

Remember, you might be more than what you eat – you might be what you read and see.  Don’t get any on you.

Cut the nasty publishers off, un-bookmark them. Un-friend and un-circle them.  Who needs that nasty in their life?  You don’t.

Old Spice Goes Viral!?

Isaiah Mustafa in Old Spice commercial

You probably don’t remember the lame commercials that Old Spice produced to try and boost their brand and sell more products years ago. They were not memorable.

But now, Old Spice has a new creative team. Quite simply, they’re nuts.

They’ve been known to shoot 200 commercials in 2 days. Then they put them on YouTube.

Click to Read More

A CONTEST! Winner gets a free news release!

The first person that can identify the bay in the top photo in my blog masthead (you know up at the top under the blog title “Write @ the Beach”), will get a free 300 word or less news release* written by me.  You select the topic.

Wonder how long it will take for the right answer?  Not an easy place to identify.  BTW, you have to spell it correctly too!  Hint: Lots of vowels.

[Disclaimer: As long as the subject is moral and legal, I’ll write about it.  You will own all the rights to the release and be able to distribute it anywhere you please.].

It’s easy to win!  All you have to do is put a comment on this post with the name of the bay in the photo.  First comment with the name of the bay wins.

*I’ll also explain how a news release strategy can double your business!

Separation of News and Advertising is Over

Journalists claim there is a wall between news and advertising.  

Somebody in the newsroom better inform the publisher and executive producer because that wall hasn’t been there for a long time.

With NBC Nightly News actively doing “news” segments on their own programming, NBC with their “Artist in Residence” program and promoting it on the Today Show and evening news, major market newspapers covering their own events and activities, etc., advertising and news have not been separate for a while, no matter what the editors and beat journalists say.

Sure, some organizations have a stronger line than others, but let’s face it, with traditional publishers dying faster than dinosaurs, that line is getting fuzzier all the time, and in many cases, it’s gone.

A local affiliate in the West Palm Market is selling “news packages,” produced by their news production crews, on products and services and showing it on their air as news during news programs.  They’re infomercials!  Guess they’re running out of car crashes to cover.

Boca Raton production companies, home to the infomercial industry, have been selling “news packages” to companies and claim that they air on PBS, Discovery, Lifetime, and other cable channels for over a decade.  They even have marquee named news hosts like Hugh Downs and others.

Think about the newspaper real estate section (when there was one). The “advertorial” that looks like news is written by the advertisers. Magazines sell display space and “content space” all the time – including Newsweek.  As a marketer, you can negotiate a cover for many magazines – all it takes is cash.  The line isn’t there let alone a wall.  And most in the public don’t know it.

They can have “Contents produced by the advertising department” on the page or website all they want, but very few read the fine print.  And that’s OK with both the publisher and advertiser.

I had to laugh when my 11 year-old daughter read a weekly column by a real estate editor 5 years ago and she looked at me in shock when she said, “Dad, this guy plagiarized your article!”  She had read the article on my laptop at home while I was working on it the week before.  The editor used it word-for-word.

I explained how that section of the paper worked.  As the director of marketing and public relations I spent a $ million a year advertising in that paper so they gave us columns with the editor’s byline, cover stories, and inside advertorials.  Then she said, “His picture shouldn’t be at the top of the article, yours should be.”

My daughter’s right.  Maybe we ought to stop faking it.   Honesty in the media?  That’s a novel idea.

Clients Without Solid Goals are Doomed to Fail

What do you want your company to be when it grows up?  If you can’t answer that question, or it changes every week, you are wasting a lot of time, effort, and probably money.

Just had a client pull the plug.  I’m glad they did.  It’s a non-profit startup and they couldn’t decide what services to offer.  And they wanted me to write about it: website, marketing collateral, direct mail, radio spots, news releases….

I was ready to pull the plug myself.  Imagine writing about a moving target… a mess.

On target means more profit

The Answer?

Figure out what you want to do, what your passion is, and see if there is a market for it…. before you hire a writer.

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