Blog Posts Tagged with Advertising and Marketing

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Court finds litany of violations in alcoholism "cure" case

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.

Robocop?

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.

Following through

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.

Two little words

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?

Up to.

Speaking of Spokeo: Part 2 — The company’s allegedly bogus endorsements

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 di

Speaking of Spokeo: Part 1

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.

"Where" conditioning

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.

Collection deception

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.

Judge issues Initial Decision in POM Wonderful case

An FTC Administrative Law Judge ruled that POM Wonderful LLC and related parties made misleading claims that POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and other products would treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.  Although the remedy in the case wasn’t everything the FTC staff had asked for, the ALJ concluded that POM had engaged in false and deceptive advertising.

What your ads say and what the science supports: If the shoe doesn't fit...

According to the FTC, Skechers made false and deceptive claims about the benefits of Shape-ups and other Skechers brands.  If you’re in the fitness or health business, the $40 million settlement should grab your attention.  But the underlying principles apply to all advertisers.  If you're looking to get a leg up on substantiation, here are some footnotes to take from the case.

A closer look at the Myspace Order: Part 2

Social network site Myspace promised users it wouldn’t share their personally identifiable information in a way that was inconsistent with the reason people provided the info, without first notifying them and getting their approval. The company also said that information used to customize ads wouldn’t identify people to third parties and that Myspace wouldn’t share browsing activity that wasn’t anonymous.

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