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E tail d E tails. Truth in Advertising for E Business. Lesley Fair Division of Advertising Practices Federal Trade Commission. Truth-in- E Advertising. Why should E businesses care?. It’s the law. It’s good business. THE SAME TRUTH-IN-ADVERTISING STANDARDS APPLY.

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EtaildEtails

Truth in Advertising for EBusiness

Lesley Fair

Division of Advertising Practices

Federal Trade Commission


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Truth-in-EAdvertising

Why should Ebusinesses care?

  • It’s the law.

  • It’s good business.



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Truth-in-EAdvertising

THE SAME TRUTH-IN-ADVERTISING STANDARDS APPLY:

  • Tell the truth.

  • Back up your claims with solid proof.


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Truth-in-EAdvertising

FTC v. Audiotex Connection, Inc.

$$$

ISP


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Money-making ventures

Truth-in-EAdvertising

1990:

  • Health & safety claims

  • Diet & fitness

  • Product promotions


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Money-making ventures

Truth-in-EAdvertising

2000:

  • Health & safety claims

  • Diet & fitness

  • Product promotions


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Truth-In-EAdvertising

THE FIVE BASICS

  • Tell the truth.

  • Look at your ad from the POV of average consumers.

  • Back up your claims with solid proof.

  • Be careful with disclaimers and disclosures.

  • Use caution with endorsements.


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Truth-in-EAdvertising

WHO MAY BE HELD LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR DECEPTIVE CLAIMS ON A WEBSITE?

  • The advertising agency.

  • The web designer.

  • The company selling the product.

  • The company president.


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#1. Tell the truth.


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#1. Tell the truth.

“If you don’t believe that something lite can taste delicious, then try new Klondike Lite.

It’s 93% fat-free.”


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#1. Tell the truth.

“A 1994 CONTEMPORARY PEDIATRICS RECOMMENDATION STUDY FOUND THAT 88% OF PEDIATRICIANS WHO RECOMMEND BABY FOOD RECOMMEND GERBER.”


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#2. Look at your adfrom the point of view ofthe average consumer.


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#2. Look at the ad from POV of the average consumer.

WHAT CLAIMS DID THE AD CONVEY TO YOU?

That the Black & Decker Iron is:

  • Safer than other irons.

  • Endorsed by fire safety experts.

  • Safe to leave unattended.

  • Recommended by fire fighters.


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#2. Look at the ad from POV of the average consumer.

WHAT CLAIMS NEED TO BE SUBSTANTIATED?

  • Substantiate all claims – express and implied.

  • Claims may be literally true, yet still deceptive.

  • Depictions can convey claims, too.

  • Online, be careful with:

    • mouse-over text

    • hyperlinks

    • metatags


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Natural Heritage, Inc.

Breast, colon, lung, liver, bone, stomach cancer


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Natural Heritage, Inc.

Essiac Tea has not been approved by the FDA, and we are therefore not able to comment about any specific illnesses. But there are websites on the Internet which do not sell essiac and are therefore able to more directly address questions about specific illnesses. On the left sidebar are several websites which we recommend…”


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#2. Look at the ad from POV of the average consumer.

CONTENT="cancer, cancer treatments, Essiac ESSIAC Essiac essiac essiac TEA tea tea tea CANCER CANCER Cancer cancer CURES Cures cures cures information, brain tumors, lymphoma help, essiac, ESSIAC teas, natural colon treatments, natural remedies remedies REMEDIES remedies remedies REMEDY Remedy remedy remedy HERBAL HERBAL herbal Herbal HERBS Herbs herbs herbs thyroid fibromyalgia, brain tumors, Brain Tumors, natural colon cures, colon remedies, lymphoma information, diabetes, information, ovarian treatments, herbal remedies, herbal remedy, herbal teas, remedy, immune systems remedy, immune system, breast, fatigue, help, thyroid, lupus teas, breast cancer, breast solutions, prostate answers, prostate prostate solutions lung liver healing lymphoma diabetes ovarian chronic lung immune systems liver leukemia solutions lung therapy liver cures leukemia leukemia cures books herbs books rene caisse diabetes healing Rene Caisse arthritis holistic options holistic answers holistic arthritis Rene caisse,">

<meta NAME="DESCRIPTION"


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#2. Look at the ad from POV of the average consumer.

CONTENT="cancer, cancer treatments, Essiac ESSIAC Essiac essiac essiac TEA tea tea tea CANCER CANCER Cancer cancer CURES Cures cures cures information, brain tumors, lymphoma help, essiac, ESSIAC teas, natural colon treatments, natural remedies remedies REMEDIES remedies remedies REMEDY Remedy remedy remedy HERBAL HERBAL herbal Herbal HERBS Herbs herbs herbs thyroid fibromyalgia, brain tumors, Brain Tumors, natural colon cures, colon remedies, lymphoma information, diabetes, information, ovarian treatments, herbal remedies, herbal remedy, herbal teas, remedy, immune systems remedy, immune system, breast, fatigue, help, thyroid, lupus teas, breast cancer, breast solutions, prostate answers, prostate prostate solutions lung liver healing lymphoma diabetes ovarian chronic lung immune systems liver leukemia solutions lung therapy liver cures leukemia leukemia cures books herbs books rene caisse diabetes healing Rene Caisse arthritis holistic options holistic answers holistic arthritis Rene caisse,">

<meta NAME="DESCRIPTION"


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#3. Back up your claimswith solid proof.


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#3. Back up claims with solid proof.

WHAT CLAIMS DID THE AD CONVEY TO YOU?

That Doan’s Pills:

  • Are better for treating pain than other brands of pain relievers.

  • Have an ingredient that other pain relievers don’t.

  • Have a special ingredient effective for treating for back pain.

  • Are less expensive than brands such as Advil, Aleve, Bayer, Motrin, and Tylenol.


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#3. Back up claims with solid proof.

“COMPETENT AND RELIABLE EVIDENCE”

What’s required depends

on the nature of the claim

  • “Our ZX laptop comes in four eye-popping colors.”

  • “Our ZX laptop weighs six ounces less than the three best-selling laptops.”

  • “Our ZX laptop downloads webpages 57% faster than the competitor’s AB model.”


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WHAT IT ISN’T:

Personal experience

Letters from satisfied customers

Newspaper articles

Sales materials from the distributor

The fact that you have a very low return rate

WHAT IT IS:

Tests, studies, or other scientific research

Based on the expertise of professionals in the field

Objectively conducted by qualified people

Using procedures that experts accept as accurate

#3. Back up claims with solid proof.

“COMPETENT AND RELIABLE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE”


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#3. Back up claims with solid proof.

EVALUATING SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

  • Have the proof you say you have.

  • Look at the quality of evidence.

  • Look at the totality of evidence.

  • Does the study support the specific claim you are making?


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#3 Back up claims with solid proof.

ANTI-TOX has been tested by the world-famous Bernstein Medical Institute to reduce the risk of cancer.

Ask the residents of Jodiana! They eat a diet rich in the herb found in ANTI-TOX and their cancer rate is 25% less than in the US.

Protect your health with ANTI-TOX.


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#3. Back up claims with solid proof.

Bernstein Medical Institute Study

  • 20 parrots injected with 10 units of herb 5 times a day vs. 20 injected with 10 units of tap water

  • Parrots who got the herb had fewer tumors.

  • Concerns:

  • Is parrot biology like human biology?

  • Does herb act the same when injected vs. ingested?

  • Is the amount of herb similar to what’s in the product?

  • Is 20 parrots a large enough sample size?

  • What’s the tap water like in Jodiana?


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#3. Back up claims with solid proof.

Jodiana Population Study

  • Residents of Jodiana eat twice as much of the herb in Anti-Tox than Americans.

  • For men in Jodiana, the hospital admission rate for cancer is 25% less than for men in the US.

  • Concerns:

  • Are there differences in diet and lifestyle between Jodiana and the US?

  • Are hospital admissions rates a good comparison?

  • What’s the cancer rate for women ?


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#3. Back up claims with solid proof.

DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS:

An Advertising Guide for the Industry


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#4. Be careful with disclaimers and disclosures.


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#4. Be careful with disclosures.

MAKING DISCLOSURES CLEAR AND CONSPICUOUS

The Four Ps

  • PROMINENCE: Is it big enough for consumers to read easily?

  • PLACEMENT: Is it located in a place where consumers are likely to read it and won’t be distracted?

  • PROXIMITY: Is it near the claim it’s explaining?

  • PRESENTATION: Is it presented in easy-to-understand terms that don’t contradict other things you’ve said in the ad?


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#4. Be careful with disclosures.

“*Frozen yogurt and sorbet combinations”


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#4. Be careful with disclosures.

$1049.97

“Offer also requires a contract commitment to a 3-year/36-month subscription for CompuServe 2000 Internet Service at a monthly rate of $21.95”

An additional financial obligation of $790.20




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#5. Use cautionwith endorsements.


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#5 Use caution with endorsements.

ENDORSEMENTS =

SUBSTANTIATION?


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#5 Use caution with endorsements.

  • Is your “expert” really an expert?

  • Did your expert use methods accepted as accurate in the field?

EXPERT ENDORSEMENTS


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#5 Use caution with endorsements.

CONSUMER ENDORSEMENTS

  • Make sure that the endorsement reflects the actual experience of that person.

  • If the endorser has a connection to the company, disclose it.

  • If you can’t back the claim up with independent proof, don’t say it in an endorsement.

  • REMEMBER: Endorsements convey to consumers that those are the TYPICAL results that they will get.


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#5 Use caution with endorsements.

UNLESS YOU CAN SUBSTANTIATE THAT CONSUMERS WILL GET THE ADVERTISED RESULTS:

  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose what the generally expected performance would be

  • OR

  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose the limited applicability of the endorser’s experience to what consumers can expect to achieve.

“NOT ALL CONSUMERS WILL GET THIS RESULT” IS NOT ENOUGH.


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Truth-in-EAdvertising

www.ftc.gov


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EtaildEtails

Truth in Advertising for EBusiness

Lesley Fair

Division of Advertising Practices

Federal Trade Commission


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