If you haven’t seen the ads, you’ve probably been too busy listening to eight-tracks and playing Pong because billions — with a capital B — have been served up online. They look like news investigations about acai berry weight loss products conducted by independent journalists for reputable news outlets featuring the logos of national media and follow-up comments by satisfied consumers.
Science, studies, and statistics. There’s a reason advertisers feature them so prominently. When used accurately, they can be powerful tools for distinguishing your product from the competitors. But scientific claims — especially health-related ones — need solid proof.
Those were the allegations in the FTC’s complaint against Google. What changes will the agency’s proposed settlement bring about at the company?
It may have happened to an employee, one of your customers, or a member of your family. Someone calls to report “You’re a winner!” of a foreign lottery. To collect, all they have to do is wire money to cover the taxes and fees. Or the caller impersonates a grandchild or other friend-in-need and says they’re desperate to have money wired now. Both are examples of the elaborate schemes scam artists have come up with to try to convince people to wire cash to someone they don’t know.
As any business knows, it is indeed a small world after all. And the FTC’s recent settlement with Google related to the launch of its Google Buzz social network demonstrates why it’s important for companies to think about the global ramifications of their privacy practices.
According to the FTC’s recent settlement with Google, when people declined to sign up for Google Buzz, the company’s new social network, Google nonetheless enrolled them in certain features without their consent.
But what about people who clicked the link that said “Sweet! Check out Buzz”? The FTC’s complaint alleged that they, too, weren’t adequately informed that certain information that had been private — including the people they chatted with or emailed most often — would be shared publicly by default.
According to news reports, hackers recently accessed the database of Epsilon, a large marketing company that sends emails on behalf of banks, stores and other businesses. Was your company an Epsilon client? If so, the stolen information could make it easier for crooks to send emails that appear to be from your brand.
Here are a few things you can do to help your customers avoid a phishing attack that abuses your brand.
“Sweet! Check out Buzz.”
“Nah, go to my inbox.”
That was the intriguing choice facing Gmail users last year when Google launched Google Buzz, its social network. But according to a settlement announced this week by the FTC, the company violated the privacy promises it made to Gmail users and used deceptive tactics in the Buzz rollout.
As your customers' buying habits make clear, today’s consumer marketplace knows no borders. That’s why the FTC and officials from nine Latin American countries are meeting in Washington, D.C., this week to consider the challenges of global consumer protection.
No, not those unpleasant former colleagues, but the resurgent bane of the business traveler: bedbugs.
Bedbugs are coming out of the woodwork — followed closely by opportunists peddling iffy products aimed at on-the-go professionals. Although bedbugs don't carry disease, their bites can cause itchy, annoying welts. But before you shell out money for an unproven remedy, find out more about what will (and won't) protect you from these pests when you travel.
Following the ongoing discussion about behavioral advertising? The FTC’s first online behavioral advertising case against a network advertiser offers insights into the agency's approach.
Incessant phone calls to consumers, often about accounts that weren't theirs.
Repeated autocalls to wrong numbers.
Illegal disclosures to other people that a consumer owes money.
If you have clients who sell furs or fur-trimmed items, make sure they’re up to date on regulatory developments that affect their industry.
Two hot topics in the advertising arena: affiliate marketing and consumer testimonials. The FTC’s settlement with Legacy Learning Systems touches on both of those buzzworthy issues.
If you’ve been following recent developments about endorsements and affiliate marketing, the FTC’s settlement with Nashville-based Legacy Learning Systems and Lester Gabriel Smith — marketers of a “learn to play the guitar” DVD series – should strike a chord.
In place since 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives consumers rights in the debt collection process and sets standards for members of the industry.
Do you work in the motor vehicle industry or follow what’s going on in that sector? Then today’s announcement from the FTC about a series of workshops on consumer protection issues related to the sale, financing, and leasing of cars, SUVs, and light trucks is right up your alley. The first roundtable, set for April 12th at Wayne State Law School in Detroit, is free and open to the public. And what better place to rev up a discussion about motor vehicles than in the Motor City?
Consumers have found their voice. And last year they raised it more than 1.3 million times to complain about identity theft, fraud, and products that didn’t live up to the advertising hype.
Break out the bubbly and raise a toast: It's National Consumer Protection Week. NCPW is an annual campaign sponsored by the FTC and nearly 30 other federal agencies, consumer groups, and advocacy organizations, in conjunction with state, county, and local government offices that are sponsoring events nationwide. The goal? To encourage consumers to take full advantage of their rights and make better-informed decisions.
When the economic climate is uncertain, people tend to evaluate their options: Is a career move in the cards? Can a home-based business supplement my salary? Is now the time to be my own boss?
But if there's one lesson from Operation Empty Promises — a federal-state sweep involving more than 90 law enforcement actions — it's that entrepreneurs should take their time and resist high-pressure tactics when operators claim to have the inside track on enhanced income.