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Internet Nostalgia - Remember 'This Dumb Little Ad?'

By Cathy Bryant
Posted Thursday, December 9, 2004

My, how things do change! Watch out - if you do, you're showing your "Internet Age!"

I am, of course, referring to the now infamous "Cookie Cutter" marketing program which was all over the internet when I first began exploring the online business world (circa mid-1999).

If you have no idea what I'm referring to, then you can consider yourself a relative newbie to the internet. I bring up Cookie Cutter as an example of how things can change so dramatically online in such a relatively short period of time.

No kidding - if you were at all involved in the business opportunity area of the internet at that time, you will definitely remember those "cc-pages" - they were EVERYWHERE!

What I remember most vividly about Cookie Cutter was the ubiquitous ad headline that invariably heralded an invitation to investigate this program.

"THIS DUMB LITTLE AD Can Put $200 in cash in your mailbox... EVERYDAY!"

It was followed by an ad that almost always read exactly the same way -

This little cookie cutter spits out $20 checks...

It's a 3-part automated system, consisting of a KILLER classified ad, a powerful one page sales letter delivered by autoresponder, and a QUALITY product, delivered to your customer by the company.

You can set up today...and actually be getting checks mailed to you tomorrow.

For complete details, send a blank email to: mailto: or visit my web site: (

The sales copy was misleading in the sense that what you learned only AFTER you sent in your $20 was that in order to implement the system you needed to purchase additional items.

Those who were fortunate enough to get in early no doubt made some money with the program - but no one made MORE money than its originator, Gary White.

When I decided to write this article, I did some research on Cookie Cutter, and what I discovered was intriguing.

For example, I did a Google search on the term "Cookie Cutter" and I had to go to Page 4 before I found any reference to it whatsoever. It was actually a link to a disclaimer put on the "Beginner's Central" website that was used in Cookie Cutter's Bootcamp product.


Another search on "Gary White" found nothing to reference the once-famous originator of the Cookie Cutter program in the first ten pages. I chose not to go any further.

But then I did a search on "This Dumb Little Ad" - THAT got some results. Never underestimate the power of a unique headline.

Naturally that led me to many pages which were no longer active. This prompted me to do a WHOIS search on the domain name of the duplicated pages that were used in the program.

Many of you will be interested in learning that the domain name expired on March 5 of this year. Looks like Gary White is out of business. I do recall that he tried to parlay his success with Cookie Cutter into a similar program, but apparently he was unsuccessful.

By that time, most everyone had caught on.

About the Author
Cathy Bryant is publisher of the popular online newsletter, HomeBizJunction Herald, which has been published since 1999. Through her newsletter and website, (, Cathy focuses on helping others achieve their dream of working from home. Right now she's offering a terrific 5-part mini-course titled, "Promoting Your Business Without Busting Your Budget!" You may access a copy by sending a blank email to:


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