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Dismantling a pyramid: Lessons from the Vemma settlement

Promoting a “Young People’s Revolution,” multi-level marketer Vemma pitched its business opportunity to college students and other young adults as a big-money, fast-lane alternative to “the traditional 9-to-5.” In 2015, the FTC sued Vemma and related parties, alleging that its smoke-and-mirrors earnings claims were obscuring the true nature of what Vemma was up to.  As a result of an FTC settlement, there’s a revolution underway all right.

FTC case against DeVry yields $100 million settlement

Claims about employment prospects and income levels are like any other objective advertising representation – and Job #1 for advertisers is to support those promises with solid evidence. DeVry University and its parent company have entered into a $100 million settlement to resolve the FTC’s allegations that the defendants’ claims didn’t make the grade.

App developer under pressure for deceptive health claims

Is it time for a little heart-to-heart about making health claims for mobile apps? An FTC settlement with California-based Aura Labs challenges misleading representations the company made about its Instant Blood Pressure app. In addition, if you keep your finger on the pulse of FTC endorsement law, the complaint describes a course of conduct marketers will want to avoid.

Military Consumer: Sound Off!

The military community makes many of the same consumer decisions as their civilian counterparts. We all need to manage our money – and avoid rip-offs. But servicemembers and their families also face unique challenges, like frequent relocations and deployment. When a permanent change of station is on the horizon, a military family needs to rent or buy a new place to live, manage money while on the move, and be vigilant about dealing with businesses in an unfamiliar locale. A servicemember’s regular paycheck from Uncle Sam can make them a target for scammers.

OTC homeopathic drugs: Established FTC proof standards apply

The FTC applies a consistent approach to evaluating ad claims. Companies must have a reasonable basis for objective representations, including claims that a product can treat specific health conditions. Whether it’s an over-the-counter drug, dietary supplement, or food, the same established standards apply. And as an FTC Enforcement Policy Statement explains, that also holds true for OTC homeopathic drugs.

Get smart? Dialing in on Smart TV

Whether they’re tuned to “The Real Houseplants of Poughkeepsie” (guilty as charged, Your Honor) or more high-brow fare, TVs are a lot smarter than many people realize. Smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, apps and set-top boxes may track consumers’ viewing habits in one way or another. The benefits of tracking technology are apparent anytime a person follows a “Viewers who watched The Night Manager also enjoyed The Last Panthers” recommendation. But what about the privacy implications?

FTC says NetSpend decked consumers with deceptive claims for prepaid debit cards

From the perspective of consumers, the whole purpose of prepaid debit cards – their reason for living, if you will – is to give consumers immediate access to their money. Those cards are an especially important financial lifeline for people who don’t have traditional bank accounts.

FTC approves final changes to the Used Car Rule

The FTC’s Used Car Rule has been the law of the land since 1985. It requires used car dealers to post a Buyers Guide on cars they offer for sale. The Guide gives customers important warranty and other information to help them make informed buying decisions. After asking for public comments, the FTC has made some changes to the Buyers Guide that every used car dealer needs to know about.

Children of the Con

Halloween is the perfect time to watch a scary movie, but for many consumers, real-life tricks like identity theft, false advertising, and unfair billing can turn every day into Fright Night. Imagine if spine-tingling Hollywood horror flicks reflected what really causes consumers to scream – and consider what your business can do to prevent a sequel.

Road Cleared for VW to Compensate Consumers

A judge has today approved a landmark $10 billion settlement that will enable 500,000 consumers across the country to sell back their tainted diesel-powered cars to Volkswagen.

The $10 billion order secured by the FTC will make consumers whole by remedying the losses they suffered due to VW’s deceptive “Clean Diesel” ad campaign.

For most hard-working Americans, a car represents the most significant purchase after their family home.

Responding to a data breach?

You suspect that your business experienced a data breach. Maybe an employee lost a laptop, or a hacker got into your customer database, or information was inadvertently posted on your website. Whatever happened, you’re probably wondering what to do next. 

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