If we were sending a text about the FTC’s case against Glendale, California, based debt collector National Attorney Collection Services, that might be all we could convey, given space limitations. That abbreviated headline illustrates just one of the technological challenges posed when using new means of communication. But regardless of the method debt collectors choose when contacting people who owe money, the consumer protections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act still apply. That’s just one point members of the industry should
It used to be pretty clear. The entertainment portion of a show ended and the commercials began. The two-column article ran on one side of the newspaper and the ad ran on the other. Or the webpage had the content in the middle with a banner ad running across the top. Things are more complicated now. Some call it “native advertising” or “sponsored content.” Whatever the name, it’s for sure ads in digital media are starting to look a lot like the surrounding content. What are the consumer protection implications now that those lines appear to be blurring? That’s the topic of an
"Disclose the cost upfront." We tell businesses that all the time, so it’s important we follow our own advice. In that spirit, fees for telemarketers accessing the National Do Not Call Registry are going up a smidge as of October 1, 2013.
Under the law, telemarketers have to download numbers on the Do Not Call Registry to make sure they don’t call people who have said they want to be left alone. The first five area codes are free. Exempt groups, like some bona fide charities, can get the list at no charge.
In the words of the old TV show, “Smile. You’re on Candid Camera.” But according to an FTC lawsuit alleging lax security by a company selling internet cameras, for the hundreds of consumers whose private lives were watched online, there was nothing to smile about.
If there are strings attached to a particular deal, those material terms and conditions have to be clearly and conspicuously disclosed up front. That well-settled legal principle applies to online ads. It applies to car ads. And so (QED) it applies to online car ads. That should come as no surprise to savvy marketers. But two FTC settlements underscore it, highlight it, and festoon it with multi-colored pennants for members of the auto industry — and other advertisers, too.