COPEAC Shutting Doors
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COPEAC Shutting Doors

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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

Written by Pace Lattin

Pace Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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43 Comments

  • Michael says:

    Don’t feel too bad for them, they’re back online http://helloperformance.com

  • Sherriff Bunkus says:

    and just weeks ago you were defending your friend mike on wf

  • Eric says:

    He owed me $1500 commission, how can you defend him without looking at all the people he has owned money too? If you look at WF you can see how he ripped off affiliates’ money.
    Does ripping off others make him a good person?

  • John says:

    Pace,

    Mike isn’t the founder of Copeac he’s just te president.

    Tim McCallan is Copeac founder and has a history of scamming people:
    http://getoutofdebt.org/31265/tim-mccallan-and-his-intermark-communications-sued-by-bank-of-america

  • HardWorker says:

    That’s the risk of the business. You whine about $1,500 but you don’t realize that CPA networks themselves get f*cked for hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time.

    So I’m sorry for your $1,500 but that’s part of the risk.

    • Eric says:

      any business has risks, if i didn’t take risk into consideration, it will be $10k loss, not $1500. but what bothers me is when they know they can’t turn the situation around, they still bug affiliates to promote their offers. that’s ripping people off.

    • Eric says:

      u sound like a network owner, as far as i know, networks aren’t obligated to pay affiliates if they don’t get paid by advertisers, so most risks are taken on by affiliates. some reputable networks do take on such losses even they don’t get paid by advertisers. but their payback is getting affiliates send more traffic to them – which pays them back in long term. as much as i have sympathy for anyone who was f*ked up, at the end of day, i can only care about my own loss. i don’t know where are you coming from saying me whining about my loss and don’t realize how much network may lose.

  • The question here isn’t the failing of a network, or if a network owes an affiliate commissions even if they’re in debt, its more along the lines of moral obligations.

    Years ago there was a CPM company known as opt in reel big – I used them for several months, earning up to 3500 in a month. At the time I owned a RPG web based gaming site, and several arcades, but the only traffic I was sending over was the RPG site.

    I talked to my AM there, and he convinced me to run all my traffic on Opt In Reel Big – I did so, my first month, 20k, second month, 20k, but they hadn’t paid me for the first, 3rd month, 20k, but they still hadn’t paid.

    While my offers are still running, and ads are still active, I get SNAIL MAIL (not even certified) saying that they suspect my account of fraud and they refuse to pay.

    It wasn’t even 2 months later they shut down and reopened under another name, trying to recruit my traffic.

    Is this a common practice? You bet your ass it is. Another company who is still active has done the same thing to CPM, CPL and CPS marketers, I won’t name them here, but lets just say AFFILIATEs don’t need much FUEL this week. They kept a 23k payment after begging me to boost their E-Term life insurance traffic.

    We wonder why the choice offers are going away? Its because shady networks stop paying top performing affiliates in order to pocket some scratch.

    To all you shady networks ,|,, but, to you good networks that look for the serious fraud and do your hopework, two thumbs up, its networks like you that keep this industry fun, but lets work on the payouts huh? Quit letting the market get saturated with crappy offers.
    Steffan Redhawk recently posted..turkey day surpriseMy Profile

  • Andrea says:

    Optin “Reel” Big = Affiliate.com. Funny.

  • jan says:

    Most likely they will reopen under different name

  • jason says:

    Copeac took thousands from me stop kissing their a$$

  • Catwoman says:

    I cannot judge him, we has done a good job over the 15 years. Is he already sentenced?
    Catwoman recently posted..fogfehérítésMy Profile

  • Affiliate.com used to be CPAEmpire – wonder what its going to be next, but the point is, it is a common practice.

  • My apologies, this is turning into a debate – All I’m trying to say, is that this is a common practice. Sometimes it’s to save face, sometimes its to avoid paying (ie bankruptcy) but at any rate, there are very few affiliate companies out there that are still operating under their original name.

    Kudos to the ones that are, and the ones that continue to send out weekly wires, we <3 you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Going out of business doesn’t make you a bad person. Going out of business and taking others with you (by asking newbie affiliates to run traffic through you) knowing full well you can’t pay them does make you a bad person.

  • CPA says:

    This is a hard hit for affiliate marketers.I’m still not believe this news.COPEAC was incredible for many of us.
    CPA recently posted..Smart Flip Business Flippa Case Study: $156,945 Revenue within 12 Months and How You Can Do the Same!My Profile

  • Kevin says:

    They owed me $800 and my friend around $7,000.

    And I have heard of many others losing over $20,000.

    Do your homework. This has been all over trade shows and online.

    How disconnect from the affiliate industry are you guys?

  • Eric says:

    When I first started I only made like $100 through them and this was about 8-10 months ago. I had to hassle the living hell out of them to get that money but eventually I got it. Definitely was not happy that they were trying to dodge me.

  • Paul Hellbent Bently says:

    RIP COPEAC!

  • Copeac was once counted as a REPUTED NETWORKS but suddenly they went out of biz :(

    If everything was working fine then what suddenly made them bankrupt and made them to shut down?
    Affiliate Marketing Tips recently posted..Here’s How I Got A High PR BacklinkMy Profile

  • Jamie Cullin says:

    Mike Krongel has proved he can not be trusted. He may have filled you in on some details and even paid towards some recent advertising for your site. That does not exonerate him from the fact that hundreds of people never got paid in the last few months. That equals to tens of thousands of dollars.

    If he was really that honest he would of let people know of inevitable payment difficulties when the court cases started. Instead he went silent (a statk departure from his openness to date) and continued to allow people to invest money in this doomed venture. Not only that, he has gone on to create a new company (possibly “Hello Performance”) while dumping all the old debts and leaving others with nothing.

  • COPEAC was best cpa network but they way they not paid their affiliates and kept of making excuses pissed off everyone
    cpa marketing blog recently posted..No bullshit one on one coaching programMy Profile

  • I have seen on many internet marketing blogs that are people shocked about this “COPEAC shutting doors”. I seen there are many people skepticals because they got lots of money from COPEAC.I remember some years ago, each CPA course, starting with affiliate to COPEAC and…(get traffic :)) ). My question is: will fail other big CPA networks this year?
    Make money with CPA recently posted..WP Sales Magix Ultimate WP/plugin will pull cash magically into YOUR paypal now!My Profile

  • Former IMM says:

    MK and DK were as shady as they make them. MK was a scum bag that tried to be painted as a hero in the CPA affiliate cesspool. Affiliate Networks are for the scum of the earth – MK, DK and all their cronies.
    I am glad he went out and hope he struggles the rest of his life.

    He is a coward and a punk

  • I never liked them,there are tons of best and trusted cpa networks. People who made big bucks with copeac and didnt get paid,you had to think wisely,before sending them tons of traffic and making them money. Anyways,good luck for people,who lost revenues,because of copeac shutdown.
    Domain Promos recently posted..NameCheap Coupon Code February 2012My Profile

  • ajfesq says:

    I am an attorney located in New York who was retained to pursue Copeac for monies due from them. I’d made numerous efforts to resolve the claims only to be fed the standard menu of stall tactics. In revisiting my file today, I’ve come across this article.

    I wish I could say that schemes wherein a company closes and re-opens with a new name was uncommon but, unfortunately, the business laws actually incentivize these practices. in reality, when these situations happen, it becomes a claimants obligation to not only substantiate its original claim but also prove that the new company is a true successor to the old. Sophisticated players will be aware of the legal criteria examined when gauging whether a successor entity is an “alter-ego” and tred lightly in those areas while preserving their good will, best employees, etc. Having liability placed upon the “new” entity is an extremely tedious process.

    Needless to say, there is a significant expense to such an endeavor which, in most cases, becomes an instance of “throwing good money after bad” for most claimants. Fortunately, these situations lend themselves to class action which, at least, affords economy of scale in dealing with a large mass of claims.

    I am exploring the possibility of pursuing the above noted “new” entity as a successor to the defunct one. I would be curious (and grateful) to hear any experiences from anyone who was owed funds by Copeac when they closed. There is a contact form located on my website.

  • R. Bishop says:

    Thanks for your perspective Pace, and a well explained one at that. You’re right companies can go out of business for a variety of reasons, some beyond their control.

    I had a company I owned go out of business in 2006 because a drop-shipper, without notice to resellers decided to move their warehousing facilities to Indiana (before the end of the year, to avoid a large property tax increase in Illinois).

    They unfortunately did this just weeks before Christmas, stopping all outbound shipments while continuing to accept orders. Needless to say but the hundreds of customers who did not receive their Christmas orders can do alot of damage to one’s reputation in short order.
    R. Bishop recently posted..What Part of Free Don’t You Understand?My Profile

  • KJ24Marketing says:

    You need nothing more than a pulse to work for Mike and Danielle Krongel, so I’m not surprised they’ve failed (I worked there about a year and a half). It hurts me to even say that Danielle is one of the heads of the company because she did literally nothing. Literally nothing. The perks of marrying the owner, I suppose.

    But they weren’t just a bad company in the industry, they were horrible to their employees. They treated everyone like crap. It was awful, because they would continue to interview innocent college grads who thought this was some great company. I actually witnessed them hire someone and then lay him off 72 hours later because they didn’t have the money. What kind of company doesn’t think this stuff through before hiring someone? Poor kid. Run far, run FAST from Mike Krongel and his army of stupid robots.

  • MktgGuru1 says:

    KJ24Marketing could not have explained it better. That company was a joke. Let’s not forget that they changed their name from Intermark Media because they stole that name too! He owes hundreds of people money…and he knew what he was doing. He didn’t even go to college – how can you expect someone to be a “genious” in the industry? He’s a piece of garbage and the whole “Managerial” team was just as bad. Infedilities, drugs and lord knows what else happened behind closed doors. And to KJ24Marketing’s comment about Danielle …heard the same thing. Slept with the boss to get to the top and she focused more on massages than clients. Got what they deserve. I’m surprised they even lasted that long.

  • Susan says:

    Hi there let us not judge first the person. I agree that any business has lot of risk. The author only want to say what in his opinion let us not judge that he just posted to defend his friend. We are not capable to do that.
    Susan recently posted..college textbooksMy Profile

  • Lee says:

    What were these marketers thinking when they signed up with Copeac? It was pretty obvious that many of the offers were shoddy. If you hop in bed with unethical affiliate companies – don’t be surprised if you get screwed.

  • Robert Geczi says:

    The reason why a lot of people “hop into bed” with these aff. companies is for the easy money. They lose sight of the fact that it can bite them in the ass. The economy is not helping people either, to choose “right from wrong”.

  • Classified says:

    I think copeac was really a better solution for alot of affiliates and companies they were really good.

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