Ad Alert

Polaris Advertising investigates where these clickbait emails are actually coming from.

In recent weeks a staffer has been inundated with emails with clickbait subject lines like “The SHOCKING Truth About EV Chargers” and “Biden’s WORST Betrayal?

The emails are labeled as coming from “Washington Post” and the body of the emails show a masthead stating “Washington Financial Post.” For example:

But the emails aren’t coming from any news organization. Rather, they’re coming from a marketing company called Polaris Advertising, according to the fine print of the messages.

Go deeper

Despite their alluring subject lines, the actual content of some of the emails is somewhat benign. For example, the “shocking” truth about EV chargers, according to a video linked in the email, is that they’re a part of Tesla founder Elon Musk’s “pivot” to clean energy, which doesn’t seem very shocking at all given that Tesla is an electric car company.

“Biden’s worst betrayal” is a bit juicier. That email links to a video about a “shadowy AI program” purportedly backed by Biden that according to the video has the power to destroy consumers’ retirement savings by investing in “woke stocks.” Scary stuff. (You might also be interested to know that Biden issued an executive order for AI oversight last October.)

What’s the purpose of these emails and videos? Apparently, to get you to sign up and pay for an investment e-newsletter, the cost of which is only disclosed at the end of the video.

The e-newsletter in the Musk video costs $49 for a year of access and the e-newsletter in the Biden video costs $99 for the first three months (and then automatically renews at $199 a quarter, according to the webpage where you sign up).

Similarities with’s Agora investigation

These emails and videos have a lot in common with’s 2021 investigation into Agora, which, among other things, found the publishing giant using misleading financial representations and dark patterns (such as creating a false sense of urgency to hasten a purchasing decision) to sell investment newsletters. For example:

  • The videos advertise reports and other investment products as free before disclosing that they are only available with a paid subscription to an e-newsletter.
  • The videos encourage consumers to sign up fast before an impending deadline or before the video disappears, despite the fact that based on the “current” 2022 and 2023 stock prices in charts in the videos, the offers have been available for months, which also means that some of the investment advice is outdated.
  • There is a labyrinth of companies associated with the emails and videos, including StocksToTrade, Investors Alley and Coyne Control Technologies, LLC.

The bottom line? Consumers looking to invest in the stock market should do their research before investing and, as always, read the fine print. And they should not make investment decisions based on fear. Finally, consumers should be wary of anything marketed as free. reached out to Polaris Advertising for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more on our coverage on investing here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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