Update 16:22: We have received confirmation via email from COPEAC: “Effective immediately Copeac.com has ceased all operations.”
Performance Marketing Insider has learned that COPEAC and IMM Interactive (fka Intermark Media) have begun the process of shuttering their business. According to several insiders, they have been unable to pay debts to affiliates and publishers for some time after facing significant financial issues. Rumors had been surrounding the company for the last few months that this was going to eventually happen.
COPEAC has been a major CPA network in the affiliate industry, gaining vast support by affiliates since its inception in 2005. Reviews of COPEAC until this year, were almost universally amazing, with affiliates loving their affiliate support and relationship with the founders. Intermark Media, which last year became IMMI was founded in 1999 and had become one of the most recognized companies in the industry. The founder, Mike Krongel had been one of the most recognized members of the industry.
However, in May 2011, the Federal Trade Commission announced a significant action against Intermark Media and COPEAC, claiming that they were behind a plethora of fake news sites that promoted diet and weight loss products. This, combined with revelations that the company was affiliated with Tim McCallan, already a questionable figure didn’t fare well for the company.
Unfortunately for the company, while dealing with the enormous legal bills of having to defend itself from an FTC lawsuit, it was alos hit with a patent lawsuit by infamous patent trolls, Essociate. Recent rumor on message boards pointed to the company being virtual bankrupt and unable to pay bills or affiliates. It seemed to many that the company was headed for an inevitable downfall.
On a personal note, I’d like to temper this news with some thoughts. Before everyone goes out bashing COPEAC and Mike Krongel, please remember he’s been a part of this industry for almost 15 years. The company has made a lot of people millions of dollars, and while I do not condone what they were accused of, he made a lot of friends in the industry. I’ve known him for almost that long, and while I was never friendly with him and exchanged more than a few nasty emails over the last decade, recently he reached out to me and even sponsored one of my blogs.
Companies go out of business for a variety of reasons. That doesn’t make people “bad” people. Mike and Danielle Krongel have helped hundreds of employees, thousands of affiliates and publishers make a living and have friends stacked up to the ceiling who admire them. They had a business that lasted longer than most marriages. During this time they built a beautiful family, and shared that with the community.
I debated writing this article, but realized that if I didn’t someone else would, without putting this in perspective. Loosing a business is not hard, especially when faced with debt and additional hardship. No one should have to see their hard work go down the tubes and their future in jeopardy. It sucks, it hurts, but people eventually get over it and move on and build other things. However, this is part of business: some businesses succeed, some do not. His succeeded for almost 15 years and with that helped a lot of the industry. A lot of companies out there have him to thank for his success, his giving them loans, prepayments, advice and in general helping make this industry for what it is.
I personally wish them all the best in whatever their new ventures may be.
I leave with a recommendation I found for Mike on LinkedIn:
Mike is a guy you can trust in the industry. When I first became involved in lead generation, Mike was one of the first partners I was able to work with and trust. He was one of the major reasons we were able to grow our outbound program into what it is today. It’s been 5 years and nothing has changed. Mike is more knowledgable today and just as reliable as ever. He is a great marketer and his ability to know how to successful “speak” to the consumer is rare. I knew that Mike and his team would do everything possible to help us build a successful partnership together. – Josh Aston