“A FEdEx Package You Don’t EVER Want to Receive …”

What's the big company who threatened to sue Stansberry over one of their ads?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, June 15, 2012

One of the hallmarks of a good marketer is that they spin everything that happens to them into something promotional — so it is with the Stansberry folks, who are surely among the better marketers out there in newsletter-land.

Their latest pitch is that they’ve gotten “scary” letters from the lawyers of one of the largest American companies, threatening a lawsuit. Here’s how the ad puts it:

“A FedEx Package You Don’t EVER Want to Receive

“Our company recently received an overnight FedEx from a New York law firm.

“Inside contained a letter, from the lawyers of one of the five biggest companies in America. In short, they were very unhappy with a recent presentation we had published.

“What did we do to upset them so much? Click here for the full story.”

You’ve probably noticed this, but stories about how either the government or some big companies are trying to squelch your publication are catnip for investment newsletter subscribers … many of whom have plenty of conspiracy and “big brother” feelings of their own.

But in this case, it’s a bit simpler — they don’t come out and say it in the ad and they don’t mention the name of the company (nobody likes being sued, though sometimes the notoriety of a threatened suit can be good for business), but what they’re talking about is an ad that Stansberry & Associates ran for the 12% Letter a few months ago. In that letter they teased us about the secret of “Wal-tirement” … so can you guess which company must be suing them?

Yes, I imagine it’s probably Wal-mart that wants it’s name cut out of the Stansberry presentations — and they seem to be complying. And probably the ad came to Wal-mart’s attention because some of the folks who received the ad probably called Wal-mart to ask how they can get in on this “Wal-tirement” thing.

So what is it? Well, if you missed it the first time around the idea of “Wal-tirement” is just that you can, like potential Wal-mart retirees, buy Wal-mart stock directly from the company in a DRIP (dividend reinvestment plan) and slowly build your nest egg as earnings and dividends compound and grow for you.

Not nearly as sexy as the ad implies, of course (they never are), and certainly misleading in the implication, however vague, that Wal-mart might actually be trying to “fix” retirement savings for America — which is, I assume, why Wal-mart would want them to shut down the ad and stop using their name (though the 12% Letter has several times recommended Wal-Mart as one of their “world dominator” stocks, which Wal-mart probably thinks is just fine). You can see that whole “Wal-tirement” ad explained here if you’re curious or don’t already understand DRIPs — or check out our more recent article for yet another of their ads when they again teased DRIPs as “801k plans.

I do wonder though, will other Wal-mart teasers get the kibosh too? Should we expect never again to see the teasers about “Wal-lord” or becoming a “Wal-mart millionaire?” More’s the pity.


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7 Comments on "“A FEdEx Package You Don’t EVER Want to Receive …”"

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Joe Severa
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Joe Severa
June 15, 2012 10:20 am

Pretty stupid of Walmart IMHO! Dan Ferris gives them FREE advertising monthly in both of his market letters, & their idiot lawyers find fault in that & Drip Plans. WHAT B.S.!!!
BOO WALMART, (SUE ME!)

CM
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CM
June 15, 2012 10:49 am

I agree, pretty stupid of WalMart but then there are those ignorant people who don’t fully read or understand the info in the newsletter causing some PR problems for WalMart.
I guess the number of people complaining outweighed the free advertising from Stansbury.

Bob
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Bob
June 16, 2012 9:15 pm

Well, companies are generally pretty aggressive in protecting their trademarks. And no doubt they tired of people calling them up and asking about Wal-tirement.

Mike
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Mike
June 15, 2012 11:07 am

It was probably a common cease and desist letter demanding that Stansberry stop using WalMart’s trademarks. I was a trademark paralegal for over fifteen years and cease and desist letters are hardly new or exciting. If this is the case, WalMart was simply defending its trademarks and not trying to put Stansberry out of business. Trademarks are a form of property – intellectual property – and even you and I have the right to protect and defend our property.

Venture Shadow
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Venture Shadow
June 15, 2012 12:42 pm

Best Parody of Wal-Mart name goes to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for “Voldemort.” In conversation I habitually refer to the store as “Voldemort’s.”

barry williams
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barry williams
June 16, 2012 9:23 pm

I don’t see it as stupid by Walmart (the current correct spelling by the way). If an editorial is done about Walmart as a corporation that is fair game. However, the whole “wal-tirement” thing was part of an advertisement as an inducement to buy a product. I think Walmart was correct to protect its intellectual property of the Walmart brand. I’ll bet the newsletters could editorialize at length about Ford drips but would be stopped cold by Ford for Ford-tirement.

David
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David
July 10, 2012 6:12 am
The entire Agora group is a bit on the sleazy side. Yes, I’m sure many people have bought Walmart stock based upon Dan Ferris’s recommendation, but outweighing that is that Porter Stansberry and the Agora group was convicted of fraud. There have also been enough corporate name changes and individual writers caught using aliases that you know there’s something not right going on there. In general, I don’t like misleading ads, and the one thing the Agora group ads have in common is that they’re all misleading teasers. If I were Walmart I’d want to protect my name from them… Read more »
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