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Marketing Microchips

The Devil’s In The Details

 

The microchip industry is among the greatest financial achievements of our time and through pet owners, RFID chips are an unstoppable privacy thief.

 

Jan 2015 | TheDogPress.com

CinDee Byer, Dog Clubs Editor

 

I’ve been told "the greatest trick the devil played was convincing the world he did not exist." This seems like the same trick used to market microchips for pets because “the devil is in (your) details.”  The profits made from microchips were incalculable, the information provided infinite, thus the AKC and the HSUS convinced the pet world that all pets needed a microchip.  The result was that the door to the microchip underworld flew open and thanks to a tiny chip in your dog you too are now an easy target.  Someone, somewhere is making money off your personal information.  How is this possible?

 

Using short-range radio frequency identification (RFID) signals, it can transmit your identity as you pass through a security checkpoint or walk into a football stadium. It can help you buy groceries at Wal-Mart... Microchip implants like the ones pet owners use to track their dogs and cats could become commonplace in humans in the next decade. (Fox News Aug 2014)

 

Although warnings about microchips were put out by TheDogPress and other animal-related websites, the AKC still managed to convince dog breeders and pet owners that micro-chipping their pet was good. Dog owners believed their information was safe and their lost pets would be saved, however the very people you trust to keep track of your pet or information now keeps track of you!  Putting aside valid injection site cancers and migrating chip concerns, today we see billion dollars companies; Sony, Home Depot, Target and even our own government desperately defending against privacy attacks.

 

THE AKC MICROCHIP MACHINE

Let me first say... These problems are not confined to any one club or any one breed or some current legislation. The big problems are always about the devil’s delights; money and power.  Manifested as microchips, this is about how two sworn enemies found an uncommon cause.

 

The stage was set when in 2000 the 501c3 was introduced to many breed clubs.  What does that have to do with microchips?  The 501c3 tax classification has a strange purpose... aiding non-profit companies in their profit making ventures!  Most economists would agree that the 501c3 designation has done nothing for our breeds. It does however force us to become accountable for mixed breeds and dogs of irresponsible breeders. In fact most would agree that it changes the AKC from a registry of purebred dogs to the largest humane society of ALL DOGS in the United States.

 

The 501c3 may be “not for profit” but it attracts big business, and they come bearing gifts. They buy the support of the AKC and access its databases of your personal, private information in order to directly market their products.

 

"SHOW ME THE (MICROCHIP) MONEY"

They say for every flea you see there are a dozen more. Here’s what I see. Pedigree Pet Foods sponsorship flooded the AKC with money. In turn, it seems that the AKC flooded Pedigree with promotion opportunities and a data base chock full of information. Pedigree sponsored the AKC C.G.C. (Canine Good Citizen) test. The C.G.C. brought into the registry mixed breeds and the pet owning public. But there was much more devil in subsequent details.

 

According to AKC online and Mark Dunn, then managing director of AKC REUNITE, one arm of the AKC microchipping program... "Since its launch in 2010, the AKC Canine Partners Program has enabled over 200,000 mixed breeds, non-AKC, and rescued dogs to participate in AKC sports and titling programs including Agility, AKC Rally, Obedience, Lure Coursing, Therapy, CGC and Fly Ball. This “All Dogs Welcome”approach has been embraced by AKC clubs across the US and is changing who and how the AKC is able to engage in its mission."

 

Sponsors continued to demand more attention be given to "humane projects" and the AKC complied. Working with animal rights organizations became routine for the AKC. Foundations were built and business men were brought to the AKC fold. These men were experts not in dogs but in building a bigger, more diverse base of clients. AKC REUNITE pet microchip and microchip registration was just one way. More clients meant more donors and more money. More money and this all inclusive thinking meant less attention to the purebred dog. “All dog owners” to today’s American Kennel Club translates to more consumers of their product.

 

Again according to AKC online... Mark Dunn, who was then cited as “managing director of AKC REUNITE current VP of customer service” reported.... "The team launched and grew AKC's very successful AKC @ Retail program bringing in a 9% annual lift in AKC dog registration related revenue. The team also launched the AKC Shelter Pilot which has allowed over 100,000 shelter dogs to become part of AKC for FREE and giving their new owners free pet health insurance, training support and responsible dog ownership information". Mr. Dunn also points out "… the not-for-profit AKC … works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership".

 

MICROCHIP MAGIC

FDA approved the first implantable microchip in 2004.  Livestock producers jumped on the microchip bandwagon and soon there was the NAIS (National Animal Identification System). Ref #1 AKC’S databases also attracted big players in the microchip industry, opening up a whole new revenue source for The American Kennel Club.  Procter and Gamble and Bayer corporations were just two of the new sponsors. How do they factor into the change of the American Kennel Club’s focus? They all have links to the microchipping industry.

 

Bayer is reported to be one of the largest distributors of standardized microchip scanners. Bayer’s Animal Health Division is one of the world’s largest suppliers of veterinary medicines for domestic pets and the livestock industry.  Learn more about AKC and Bayer On The Board Ref #2

 

Procter and Gamble owned several dog food companies including Iams and Eukanuba and became very interested in the technology of microchips. They marketed the chips to companies and pioneered microchips as a way of finding out more about consumers.  For example, in November 2003 The Chicago Sun Times revealed...   Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble conducted a secret RFID microchip trial involving Oklahoma consumers. Customers who purchased P&G's Lipfinity brand lipstick at the Broken Arrow Wal-Mart store … were victims of microchipping . These consumers unknowingly left the store with live RFID tracking devices embedded in the packaging. The micorchips tracked their movement. This trial is a perfect illustration of how easy it is to set up a secret RFID infrastructure and use it to spy on people, The RFID industry has been paying lip service to privacy concerns, calling for notice, choice and control. But companies like P&G, Wal-Mart and Gillette have already violated all three tenets when they thought nobody was looking.”

 

"THERE’S GOLD IN THEM THERE CHIPS"

Digital Angel/Applied Digital Technologies, the largest maker (at that time) of micro-chips identified nonprofits like the AKC and HSUS as the easiest and the largest channels for distribution in the US. The marketers plan was to "drive sales in a really big way" and "To use these channels to sell the government and ensure that every pet in the country has a chip in it." In other words, the plan was to make the product MANDATORY.

 

AKC may be not-for-profit but the American Kennel Club’s support of micro-chipping translates into $billions in yearly revenue for it and for other companies with whom it aligns on such projects.

 

So in 2004 the AKC joined forces with the HSUS. Together they created "The Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families". According to Dr. Al Stinson DVM, the then Director of Michigan State legislative affairs and recipient of the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation "This was the worst thing the AKC could have done. This changed the direction of the AKC."

 

That "Coalition" began promoting the warm fuzzy side of microchipping. They worked together to form standards on mandatory microchipping. Each joined for the benefit of their own agendas. Some believe that this partnership now has grown to include the HSUS BARC program (Breeders Advisory Resource Council). That program boasts having AKC breeders of merit participating in its animal rights driven agenda.

 

Then came the infamous 2005 PAWS bill introduced by Senator Santorum and pushed by AKC, both of whom had a cozy relationship with microchip companies. Financial sponsorships from microchip companies to nonprofits bought key pet-related players to support PAWS (Pet Animal Welfare Statute).

 

The PAWS legislation was an attempt to replace the AWA (Animal Welfare Act) Ref #3 in order to access a huge untapped market of 163 million pets, each one a potential microchip recipient.

 

$Millions of microchip marketing dollars focused on your private information and the political power of mailing lists in addition to the revenue from all those pets that had not yet been microchipped. AKC would gain revenue, HSUS would gain your personal data, and business would gain a valuable database of consumers.

 

WHO WINS THE INFORMATION GAME?

Private information is money and money is power. Companies pay enormous amounts of money for information about you and the AKC has tons of it to sell! Its data-bases hold registrations, show entries, subscriptions, health foundations, humane foundations, researchers and microchip recipients; all bring them hard cash revenue.

 

Recently the American Kennel Club signed a long term agreement with Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS). Alliance Data Systems is a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions. Your private, personal information is GOLD!

 

As just one small example "of dollars for data", according to followmag.com  “BowTie publishing, which included Dog Fancy and Dog World, sold its assets to I-5 Publishing LLC, a new joint venture formed by David Fry and Mark Harris. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed, but Fry said it was "an eight-figure commitment." David Renard, an industry analyst with MediaIDEAS, said the biggest value in BowTie's assets is the subscriber data, which can be used for cross-selling purposes. This deal brought another 2.5 million unique visitors to I-5, doubling traffic to give the publisher the largest digital network in a $58-billion pet market.”

 

Information about you, your breed, its health and health test results are bought and sold on a sort of black market cyberspace, each investor picking out the info that benefits them. It is called Data Mining Ref #4.

 

Negative results or medical records can fall into the wrong hands. Breed health databases can be used by radical animal rights groups to destroy your breed. If radicals succeed in breed bans or mandatory sterilization, it is through data-mining and microchip filing information that they will find you. What was not enforceable now becomes enforceable.

 

Information about your dog breed stored by dog bite statistics and health can be made available to your insurance company which can then follow suit by raising premiums according to the information provided. Higher personal and homeowners insurance cost based on the breed of dog(s) you own are all affected by statistics gleaned from your private information.

 

Microchips are the means to COLLECT THE DATA. That means tens of millions of pet owners are now in a database somewhere. And just who has access to that database? Radicals? Pharmaceutical Marketers? The government? Insurers? The answer is simple: whoever pays for it!

 

They say - he who CONTROLS THE DATA - wins. We in the dog world have become complacent. We have been made complacent with “feel good” words but every day more people realize that “the Devil has the details. The few examples I have given in this piece are just the tip of the iceberg. They are the fleas that I see.

 

The biggest trick that our enemies have played on us is convincing us they do not exist. They do exist in a tiny chip hidden our dogs.  And here's some Instant Info on ii Protecting Your Privacy

 

This commentary was created through the author's personal experiences. Facts and quotes in this article come from the various websites. Further research material came from the Chicago Sun Times, consumer rights websites, legal pet websites and legislative based blogs. All quotes and titles are used for educational purposes only according to the copyright law (title 17, U. S. Code).

 

Ref #1 NAIS (National Animal Identification System)

Ref #2 Bayer On The Board (click the next links)

Dr. Thomas M. Davies AKC Vice Chairmen, retired Bayer Exec.

John Payne, Sr. VP Bayer Animal Health, AKC Events Sponsor

Donations by Bayer Corporation

Ref #3 AWA Animal Welfare Act Survives PAWS

Ref #4 Data Mining Your AKC Privacy

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