The Weight Loss Marketing Video Game
The FTC Made a YouTube Video Game about weight loss marketing. I can’t decide if it’s corny or inventive. Regardless, if you’re in the weight loss marketing game, it’s worth a watch.
Do Not Call Registry Access Fee Hike
Telemarketers: starting on October 1, it will cost you $60, not $59, per area code, to get a list of registry numbers. Your first five area codes are still free.
Remember, all telemarketers are required to “respect” the Do Not Call Registry. If you’re caught not doing so, you will be fined – big time.
Unsubstantiated Marketing Claims Lead To FTC Censure
Dr. Robert Titzer promised that his revolutionary system had nine-month-old babies reading. Parents looking to wax poetic about their infant’s verbal skills (on Facebook, of course) bought the product, “Your Baby Can Read,” in droves. $185 million worth.
But now the FTC is forcing him to hand over $300,000 of it for using unsubstantiated marketing claims. Oh, and Titzer is no longer allowed to use the name “Your Baby Can Read,” nor make false advertising claims about “reading products.”
When asked about the case, Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection said, “Marketers and expert endorsers must have adequate substantiation for the claims they make, and the FTC will continue to pursue those who fail to abide by this basic rule.”
A little less than .2% of the profits — and a promise never to do it again — probably won’t deter other marketers from pushing the substantiation envelope. But hey, at least they’re making an effort?
(You absolutely shouldn’t, but if you’re determined to pull a Titzer, if you don’t want to end up in jail or homeless, check with a lawyer to make sure you’re not going too far over the line. Because the Federal Trade Commission CAN be nasty when they want to be.)
Unsubstantiated Scientific Claim Leads To FTC Censure
The Federal Trade Commission slapped i-Health, Inc., the makers of “BrainStrong Adult” — a dietary supplement that supposedly mitigates cognitive deterioration — with a false advertising censure. Marketing materials assured consumers that the BrainStrong team had “employed three types of laboratory tasks to test different, but interrelated, aspects of episodic memory.” But in reality, the laboratory tests touted in i-Health’s sales brochures and websites were not as comprehensive as they lead people to believe.
Interestingly (and perhaps comically), i-Health doesn’t have to hand over any dough to the FTC, but the company is forbidden from “making future unsubstantiated health claims about any of their products through August 21, 2034.” (No, you are not reading that wrong. The FTC’s punishment is a lashing to “follow the law!” — until 2034? At which point the company can go back and start making unsubstantiated marketing claims again? Oy. That’s the FTC for you.)
FTC Marketing Law Tid Bits
The FTC’s radar is on “Boss Scam” marketing schemes. If you’re doing it, the FTC may very well be monitoring you, waiting for the perfect time to pounce. http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/techflash/2014/08/ftc-warns-of-a-bossy-business-scam.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+industry_7+%28Industry+Technology%29
A new COPPA parental consent company has applied for the COPPA safe harbor program, AgeCheq, Inc. The Commission is requesting comments. http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ftc-seeks-public-comment-on-agecheq-inc-46886/
The FTC held a robocalls scam defense competition. And the winners are… – http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/08/ftc-picks-winners-in-latest-robocall-defeating-contest-scammers-keep-scamming/
COS Players teamed up with The Electronic Frontier Foundation for an online privacy campaign – https://www.eff.org/press/releases/cosplayers-fight-online-anonymity-and-privacy-during-dragon-con
Remember the big “Do Not Track” push for online privacy? Yeah, you’re not the only one who has forgot. – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2014/08/26/do-not-track-the-privacy-standard-thats-melting-away/