Posts filed under ‘FTC’

Disclosure adds umph to buzz marketing

I’ve discussed why disclosure is important in word-of-mouth advertising, also known as “buzz” marketing, because of the potential problems with the Federal Trade Commission or state regulators. Now a study by a Northeastern University professor suggests disclosure is more than a sound legal practice. According to the study, buzz campaigns were more likely to be passed on to other consumers — at a rate of 70% — when an advertiser is disclosed.
See Matthew Creamer, Disclosure Doesn’t Hamper Word-of-mouth Marketing, AdAge.com (Jan. 19, 2006).

January 20, 2006 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Hartford Courant editorial on FTC’s fine of Direct TV

Today’s Hartford Courant contains an editorial praising the FTC’s fine of Direct TV for calling telephone numbers on the do-not-call registry.

January 3, 2006 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

FTC Commish calls for advertisers to stop adware

FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz is threatening to single-out companies that support adware unless the advertising industry takes steps to regulate itself as it has done with spam. Adware is a term that refers advertising that is integrated into software, but often without consumers consent.

See Ira Teinowitz, FTC Commissioner Wants Adware Pop-ups Stopped: Warns Online Marketers about Continued Use, AdAge.com (Dec. 9, 2005).

December 9, 2005 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment

Italy issues rules for product tracking technology

Italy‚Äôs Privacy Commissioner has issued guidelines on the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The new rules require disclosure of RFID use for tracking people and products or for compiling user profiles. The regulations also limit the extensiveness of RFID use and how long data can be retained. The Federal Trade Commission and a number of states are considering regulation of RFID. More on RFID and the new regulations in Italy can be found in Reed Smith’s AdLaw by Request.

See RFID Regulation: Italy Issues Guidelines; FTC Issues Report, AdLaw by Request (Apr. 18, 2005).

May 2, 2005 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

FTC gets over 22,000 complaints for auto ads

AdAge.com, the online arm of Advertising Age, reports that the Federal Trade Commission has received over 22,000 complaints about auto manufacturers’ claims [registration required] that today’s cars are “virtually emission free.” The Union of Concerned Scientists (“UCD”) is leading the charge by encouraging consumers to file false advertising complaints against the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (“AAM”). The AAM, an industry lobbying group, has been airing the “virtually emission free” ads on Washington, D.C. area radio stations and has placed similar ads in D.C. print publications. The AAM claims that the claims are true and based on U.S. Government data. The AAM print ads and the UCD’s response ads can be found here. The AAM’s Flash presentation on cleaner automobiles can be found here.

March 24, 2005 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

FTC rejects product placement regulations

Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or the “Commission”) rejected a petition from Commercial Alert, a consumer watchdog, asking that the Commission require that paid product placements in television programs be clearly labeled.# The Commission does not believe that such advertisements make objective claims that can be regulated. According to Advertising Age, the FTC stated that, “In most instances, the product placement appears on-screen or is mentioned, but the product’s performance is not discussed. Therefore, the rationale for disclosing that an advertiser paid … is absent.” However, the Commission did state that infomercials that make objective claims without disclosing that the programs are advertisements are deceptive. The FTC also stated that it will reexamine disclosure requirements for paid spokespersons who appear on news programs. Commercial Alert had complained about an appearance by Lauren Bacall on NBC’s “Today Show” where Bacall discussed a drug produced by a company she was paid to endorse. # Registration required for some content on linked website.

February 10, 2005 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment


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