John Weaver

Spokeo’s Fake Customer Reviews Draw FTC Sanctions

Spokeo, the online directory, came under FTC investigation after the company told its employees to post favorable reviews on various news sites. By design, the reviews appeared to be posted by unrelated customers. As with the case of Nutrisystem’s deceptive Pinterest posts, the FTC determined that Spokeo’s reviews should have been accompanied by appropriate disclosures. The fact that they weren’t made the fake reviews deceptive. As a result of the fake reviews and other violations,…

Read More

Mobile-App Marketing: New FTC Guidance

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued new guidance on how mobile-application developers can avoid running afoul of truth-in-advertising and privacy laws. As the FTC notes in its guide, Marketing Your Mobile App: Getting It Right from the Start, advertising, privacy, and consumer protection laws apply to companies of all sizes. And as recent FTC enforcement actions have shown, the penalties for noncompliance can be devastating. The short FTC guide provides several obvious but often-overlooked…

Read More

Disclosure & Social-Media Testimonials

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus says that social-media testimonials must include Federal Trade Commission (FTC) disclosures. Nutrisystem, Inc. re-pinned several weight-loss success stories to its company Pinterest page. The pictures linked back to the Nutrisystem website. The NAD determined that, absent a disclosure, the testimonials were deceptive advertisements. FTC disclosures are laid out in the Commission’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Disclosures must…

Read More