Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Small Note for Government, re Advertising Oversight and Stated Value

I'm not sure which area of government has responsibility for oversight of advertising claims (Department of Consumer Protection inside the FTC?), but I have a suggestion for them. It should be a requirement that, if you state a value for some product or service in an advertisement, that value must represent the average actual money paid by independent consumers [recently] for that product or service.

So for example, if you are currently advertising $100 of free merchandise, but the average amount you actually sell that merchandise for (including all the samples given away for free in the average) is $2, then you're guilty of fraud, and susceptible to large fines. There can of course be some leeway for approximations (I'd say anything within 10% of actual value, above or below, would be fine), but if we're policing false advertising, it's absurd that something be advertised as a $X value, where X is ridiculously higher than anyone would ever pay for it.

(Looking a pretty much everyone here, but looking extra-intently at mostly-online multi-level marketing schemes selling novelty trinkets of arbitrary value, for example...)

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