It was revealed this week that MetaReward, a subsidiary of Experian and one of the more familiar names in incentive marketing, is removing itself from the rewards business. According to several sources, the company is undergoing massive layoffs, either due to overcrowding in the space, or as a reaction to recent legal action by the New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer against rival Gratis.
In a mass email sent out earlier this week, MetaReward stated: “MetaReward today announced that we have decided to exit the incentive marketing business. Your MetaReward account will not be affected as we will continue to focus on our non-incentive credit card marketing business. In fact, we will be introducing several new credit card products and technologies in the very near future that are targeted to credit card marketers.”
Industry analyst/blogger Jay Weintraub also adds, “In short, it appears as though Experian Interactive, who purchased MetaReward in December of 2003, will shutter the unit as early as May 1, 2006.”
Since the Spitzer suit, the incentive marketing business, which entails customers selling their own info and filling out offer forms to receive rewards — the ‘free iPod’ ads being a popular example –, has been under much scrutiny.
Experian wasn’t commenting at press time.