The Federal Trade Commission has announced the final agenda for its October 30 workshop in Washington, D.C., “Follow the Lead: An FTC Workshop About Online Lead Generation,” which begins at 8:30 a.m.
Lead generators identify or cultivate consumer interest in a product or service, and sell the consumer “lead” information to third parties. For example, as consumers search the Internet for goods and services, they may express interest in specific topics, such as educational programs, mortgages, or small-dollar loans, and submit their personal information to the lead generator. The consumer leads sometimes contain sensitive personal and financial information that may travel through multiple online marketing entities before reaching the desired business.
The workshop will discuss consumer protection issues raised by the practices of the lead generation industry. The day-long program will feature presentations and panel discussions with industry representatives, consumer groups, law enforcement agencies, and others with expertise on these issues. It will also include remarks from FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich.
Full details are available on the workshop’s webpage. The workshop will be webcast live on the FTC’s website. Full details are available on the workshop’s webpage. It will be held in the Constitution Center auditorium, 400 7th Street SW. The agenda and panelists are as follows:
Panel 1: Introduction to Lead Generation Marketplace and Mechanics
This panel will provide an introductory overview of lead generation, including the roles of lead generators and related entities, the mechanics of collecting and selling leads, and the potential benefits and risks associated with this activity.
Moderator: Evan Zullow
Panel 2: Case Study on Lead Generation in Lending
This panel will discuss how lead generation is used in the lending industry, including the use of an auctioning process known as a “ping tree” and other models. Panelists will also discuss related consumer protection issues.
Moderator: Katherine Worthman
|Break – 11:15-11:30 a.m.||
Panel 3: Case Study on Lead Generation in Education
This panel will focus on how lead generation works in the education marketplace, similarities and differences from lending and other verticals, and consumer protection issues related to education marketing by lead generators.
Moderator: Brian Shull
Panel 4: Overview of Consumer Protection Concerns & the Legal Landscape
This panel will focus on the consumer protection issues raised by lead generation – as discussed in the case studies and as exist in other verticals. Panelists will also discuss the applicability of the FTC Act and other legal principles.
Moderator: Sandhya Brown
R. Michael Waller
Panel 5: Looking Ahead – Protecting & Educating Consumers
This panel will focus on the steps both industry members and regulators can take to better protect consumers, and information and strategies for improving consumer understanding of lead generation and avoiding problematic practices.
Moderators: Malini Mithal
Patrick Eagan-Van Meter
Joseph J. Chambers
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
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