Business Blog


The gift that keeps on taking

According to the musical “Grease,” some things go together like “rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.” Some other things go together, too. They’re easier to pronounce, but do much more harm to consumers. What do we have in mind?

Bogus weight loss claims and deceptive “free” trial offers. 

FTC challenges company’s Made in USA claims

Why do so many companies advertise their products as “Made in the USA”?  Because they know that for a lot consumers, it’s an important attribute that may affect their choice of what to buy. The FTC has filed suit alleging that Chemence, Inc., falsely claimed that certain of its glue products were “Made in the USA” – or even “Proudly Made in the USA.” means business!

Why is it your business if identity theft victims can get free personal recovery plans and other help that makes it easier for them to report and recover from identity theft?  Here’s an answer: Because it’s good business – for you, your customers, your employees, and your community.

When touting auto systems checks, it’s wise to recall recalls

Make, model, and cup holders are considerations, of course, but what really matters to a prospective used car buyer is whether the vehicle’s systems check out. It just makes sense, since so many of those systems are tied to safety. But it’s not easy for consumers to tell if they’re buying a lemon or a creampuff. Many dealers try to assuage that concern by advertising that their used cars have passed multi-point checks.

FTC goes to court to challenge DeVry’s employment and earnings claims

According to a lawsuit just filed by the FTC, DeVry University’s ads conveyed to consumers that 90% of its graduates actively seeking employment landed new jobs in their field of study within six months of graduation. You can say this about DeVry: The company has been remarkably consistent in driving home the “90%” marketing message to prospective students in print and TV ads, online campaigns, brochures, and other advertising.

PrivacyCon set to convene

Experts from around the world have gathered today at PrivacyCon, the FTC’s first-ever confab to discuss the latest in consumer privacy and data security. And it’s much more than just talk. Leading academics and other experts will present new research on five key topics: the state of online privacy, consumer expectations, big data, the economics of privacy and security, and security and usability.

Why big data is a big deal

For a while now, pundits have been talking about the three V’s of big data: Volume – the vast quantity of information that can be gathered and analyzed; Velocity – the speed with which companies can accumulate, analyze, and use new data; and Variety – the breadth of data companies can analyze effectively.

FTC takes on toothless encryption claims for dental practice software

When a company promises to encrypt dentists’ patient data, but fails to live up to established standards, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the FTC would bristle. A $250,000 proposed settlement with Henry Schein Practice Solutions, Inc., and a new FTC video remind companies to brush up on security-related data hygiene.

Mind the gap: What Lumosity promised vs. what it could prove

Ads for Lumosity’s “brain training” program made it sound simple. Play games for 10-15 minutes several times a week to delay memory decline; protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease; improve school, work, and athletic performance; and reduce the effects of everything from ADHD to post-traumatic stress disorder. But an FTC complaint alleges that defendant Lumos Labs didn’t have sound science to support those claims. What’s the message for marketers?

FTC issues Enforcement Policy Statement and business guidance on native advertising

If what looks to be an article, video, or game is really an ad – but it’s not readily identifiable to consumers as such – the FTC has another word for it: deceptive. Ads that blur the line between advertising and content have long been a consumer protection concern under Section 5 of the FTC Act.

Oracle Java SE case serves up a cuppa caution

When consumers updated Java SE, which has been installed on more than 850 million computers, Oracle Corporation promised “safe and secure access to the world of amazing Java content” and stated that the updates had “the latest . . . security improvements.” But according to a settlement just announced by the FTC, when it came to those security updates, Java SE was pouring decaf.