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For many money-making ventures, the only people who seem to make money are the promoters pitching the venture. That’s the lesson of decades of FTC litigation challenging unsubstantiated earnings claims. And yet despite an aggressive enforcement program, the marketplace remains rife with dubious representations. The FTC is considering a new rule to address deceptive or unfair earnings claims and has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. We’re interested in what you have to say.

The Notice cites dozens of cases dating from the 1940s to this year in which the FTC and other agencies have challenged false or unsubstantiated money-making promises. The scope of questionable ventures is broad. The Notice cites misleading claims for coaching programs, multi-level marketing plans, franchises, chain referrals, jobs, and gig and e-commerce opportunities, to name just a few.

You’ll want to read the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for details. We’ve listed 26 specific topics about which we’re seeking feedback, but those are just to get the discussion started. We’re interested in all relevant issues or concerns and especially welcome any research or factual data.

Once the Notice runs in the Federal Register, you’ll have 60 days to file your public comment online or on paper. (The Notice explains the process for submitting comments.) We look forward to your perspectives on the subject.

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