Please don’t tell the other entries in the Code of Federal Regulations – we wouldn’t want to stir up jealousies – but Business Blog readers have probably detected our fondness for 16 C.F.R. § 304.
Blog Posts Tagged with Advertising and Marketing Basics
We’ve all seen seething consumers – or been seething consumers – who learned that a prominently advertised offer didn’t reflect what they would actually have to pay. Playing fast and loose with price is a sure-fire way to put shoppers’ wallets in lock-down mode. That’s why savvy retailers are transparent in their practices.
Decades of FTC law enforcement offer practical guidance to help ensure your customers are clear about what something will cost:
If companies market their products as “all natural” or “100% natural,” consumers have a right to take them at their word. That’s the message of four proposed FTC settlements and one just-issued administrative complaint challenging the allegedly deceptive use of those phrases in ads for skincare products, shampoos and styling products, and sunscreens.
Today, we’re turning the table on some healthcare professionals. Don’t worry. We’re not asking an anesthesiologist to count back from ten, or even telling an ENT to say “ah.” We’re offering an eye exam for eye doctors:
What do you call an agency that in one year can report consumer protection accomplishments as varied as:
It’s a fetching frock with spaghetti straps, an engineered paisley print, and an asymmetrical hemline.
It’s a phrase you see every now and then in announcements about FTC settlements: “The order includes a $___ judgment, which has been partially suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay.” What happens if it turns out the defendants weren’t telling the truth about their financial condition? A ruling by a federal judge in Arizona explains the consequences.
The FTC says a distance learning company failed the truthful advertising test by marketing its high school “diploma” as equivalent to a diploma from a traditional high school and claiming it could lead to better jobs, higher pay, and acceptance at schools of higher education.
Ever wonder what your employees are up to after hours? The answer might surprise you – and two cases filed by the FTC suggest a way you and your HR team might want to get involved.
To quote everyone’s favorite Vulcan, “Live long and prosper.” But an FTC action against a San Francisco-based app company named Vulcun alleges that’s not what happened to consumers. According to the complaint, the company hit customers with an unfair and deceptive switcheroo of galactic proportions.
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.
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.
2015 saw the end of The Late Show with David Letterman, but his Top 10 List legacy lives on. From the home office in Washington, D.C., here is our informal take on ten topics we covered this year in the BCP Business Blog.
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.
The law may not authorize the use of light sabers, but to protect consumers and ensure that companies comply with existing orders, the FTC will use the forces within its power. It’s a lock that the agency’s $100 million settlement with LifeLock – one of the largest redress orders of its kind – makes that point as big as life.
People usually think of beacons as radiant lights that attract attention. But the FTC has charged that two Ohio auto dealers (among other things) used the word in a way that kept consumers in the dark.
One way America offers a well-deserved thanks to veterans is through educational benefits. The FTC, the Department of Veterans Affairs – and taxpayers, of course – share an interest in ensuring that the people who protect us are protected from misleading practices in the marketing of educational services. But what happens when “Support Our Troops” turns into "Thwart Our Troops" in their effort to get accurate information about educational opportunities?
If the Commission is to attain the objectives Congress envisioned, it cannot be required to confine its road block to the narrow lane the transgressor has traveled; it must be allowed effectively to close all roads to the prohibited goal, so that its order may not be bypassed with impunity.
That’s from the Supreme Court’s 1952 decision in FTC v. Ruberoid, but it also outlines part of the job description of the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Enforcement Division.
What do lead generators do? They typically identify consumers interested in a particular product or service, collect information from them, and then sell it to third parties. The idea is to match interested buyers and available sellers. But in the meantime, that information – which sometimes includes sensitive personal or financial data – may travel through a long marketing pipeline before reaching the desired business. What are the consumer protection implications?
Here’s a tip for business travelers. Just because a webpage looks like the official site of your favorite hotel chain doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Before you reserve a room for your next out-of-town meeting or family vacation, make sure you know who’s at the other end of that BOOK NOW button.