People who signed up with the Jacksonville-based Alcoholism Cure Corporation were promised a “scientifically proven” program that “cures alcoholism while allowing alcoholics to drink socially.” What they got was a shopping list, instructions to take handfuls of unproven supplements, and a particularly troubling surprise when they tried to cancel their membership.
Remember the character from the Superman comic books who was the exact opposite of the Man of Steel? He said no when he meant yes, his alter ego went by the name "Kent Clark," and was part of the Injustice League of America. It made for fun reading, but you wouldn’t want him crafting your ad claims.
Consumer complaints about robocalls have multiplied. New technologies make it cheaper to send pre-recorded messages and con artists have gotten trickier about obscuring the origin of their calls. But businesses shouldn’t be tempted to take telemarketing short-cuts because the FTC is cracking down on illegal robocalls.
Never underestimate the creativity of marketers attempting to separate cash-strapped consumers from their last dollar. And never underestimate the FTC’s resolve to protect people from deception in tough economic times. Those are just two points to take from recent FTC law enforcement actions.
Ask any golfer. How you address the ball matters, but don’t underestimate the importance of the follow-through. In law enforcement, too, follow-through can be key. A recent development in the FTC’s action involving Neil Wardle illustrates that point.
Unless you’re playing Scrabble and use QI or ZA on a triple letter square, two-letter words usually don’t count for much. A consumer perception study released by the FTC suggests that two common two-letter words often used in ads may not have the effect of qualifying product claims that some marketers and copywriters think they have. Any guess what those words are?
Square cut or pear shape,
These rocks don’t lose their shape.
The FTC's law enforcement action against hotel company Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and three of its subsidiaries alleges that a series of security breaches — three within two years — resulted in fraudulent charges, millions of dollars in fraud loss, and the export of hundreds of thousands of people's account information to an Internet domain address registered in Russia. According to the lawsuit, a number of the defendants' practices, taken together, unreasonably and unnecessarily exposed consumers' personal data, including their cre
At the BCP Business Center, we offer tips on how to stay on the right side of the law. But we also do our best to spread the word about the latest frauds targeting businesses — and this one’s a piece of work. If your company accepts checks or online payments, you’ll want to be on the look-out for a scam that could leave you with a stack of worthless paper.
If your business is geared toward automotive products, two FTC developments may be in your wheelhouse.
When it comes to identity theft, older Americans face unique risks. While all age groups may be vulnerable, older consumers are more likely to have to share personal data with doctors, hospitals, lawyers, financial advisors, and others. Some may face physical limitations or health challenges that could make it more difficult to safeguard their information — like securing decades of financial paperwork or managing the learning curve as life moves online. How does this issue affect you? As the business person or attorney in the family, your relatives may look to you to take the lead in s
The lawsuit against data broker Spokeo is the FTC’s first Fair Credit Reporting Act case addressing the collection of online info — including data from social networking sites — when used in the context of employment screening. But that’s not the only way the Spokeo settlement touches on social media. The FTC also charged that Spokeo violated Section 5 by having employees post glowing recommendations of the company’s services on news and technology websites without d
Like chicken and waffles or ham and pineapple on pizza, some combos don’t sound like they’d go together, but make sense once you find out more. Put the FTC’s settlement with Spokeo on that list. According to the FTC, data broker Spokeo violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and used deceptive endorsements in violation of Section 5. A closer look at the pleadings explains how those two hot topics found their way into one FTC complaint.
You wouldn’t post customers’ Social Security numbers on your website or stand on the street distributing handbills with hospital patients’ medical information. But if there is improperly configured peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software on a company computer, the result could be about the same. That’s why two FTC settlements deserve your attention.
A tank top and cut-offs are perfect for a balmy day in Boca Raton, just as a down parka and fuzzy mittens will ward off the shivers in Sheboygan. That's the idea behind the Department of Energy’s new regional efficiency standards for heating and cooling equipment. Unlike earlier DOE regs, which mandated uniform energy efficiency levels, the new standards for residential furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps vary by region. That way, consumers will have the information they need to make a choice suited to their locale.
We've done a little renovating around the BCP Business Center. Nothing major like adding a rumpus room or finishing the basement. Just a few updates in response to your suggestions.
On classic episodes of the Tonight Show, affable sidekick Ed McMahon sought guidance from Johnny Carson's all-knowing Carnac character. But as demonstrated by a recent FTC law enforcement action — which involved a company's misleading reference to the late Mr. McMahon — you don't need a psychic to know that challenging deceptive debt collection practices remains a top priority.
It's on now: the FTC's national workshop In Short: Advertising & Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World. How can you get involved?