Blog Entry September 2011

Businesses: New rules for electronic payments take effect October 1st

If you or your clients accept payment by credit or debit card, mark October 1st on your calendar.  That’s the day new rules go into effect that could help lower your costs. The rules, part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, cover four areas that could affect the day-to-day operation of your business.

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The Reebok settlement: What the FTC order means for advertisers and retailers

The FTC’s settlement with Reebok requires the company to get their ad claims in shape and works out a $25 million refund program for people who bought EasyTone and RunTone shoes and apparel. Of course, the terms of the lawsuit apply only to Reebok, but experienced advertisers understand the benefits of mining FTC orders for compliance nuggets applicable to their business.

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FTC’s $25 million settlement with Reebok challenges toning shoe ad claims

Shape up your substantiation or tone down your ads. That’s the message marketers should take from the FTC’s $25 million settlement with Reebok for false and unsubstantiated claims for the company’s EasyTone and RunTone toning shoes.

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Patent (s)pending

If necessity is the mother of invention, bogus invention promotion companies are the sketchy brothers-in-law. That’s why inventors who think they may have that Next Big Thing should investigate thoroughly before signing on with a firm that promises to evaluate, patent, and market an innovation. Some make pie-in-the-sky promises, but serve up crumbs.

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Imitation is the sincerest form of falsity

According to the Consumer Services Protection Commission’s website, it’s a “National consumer protection agency and works For the Consumer to help avoid fraud, deception, and/or unfair business practices in the financial assistance marketplace.” The site went on to talk about the agency’s role in enforcing the law and educating consumers about how to “spot and avoid fraud and deception.” On the right was a blue and gold logo with the scales of justice and the winged wheel of commerce.

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Businesses, bankruptcy, and privacy promises

When a major retailer declares bankruptcy, it can be a devastating day. But what about the mounds of customer information the company has compiled over the years? When a company closes its doors, what effect does bankruptcy have on a business’ privacy promises?

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OnGuardOnline: On Target for Your Business

If you’re reading this, then you appreciate that a government site can offer timely information, relevant analysis and — on a good day — maybe even a little wit.  And your business probably has an interest in data protection, computer security or online marketing.  Today, what business doesn’t?  So check out OnGuardOnline.gov. The federal government’s site to help you be safe, secure and responsible online has a new blog, a new look, and a few new features.

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Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition

What can you tell about someone just from their face?  Is it possible to take a picture of strangers and find out their name, where they’re from, and maybe even a portion of their Social Security number?  Shocking as it sounds, recent research suggests the answer could be yes.

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FTC unveils proposed COPPA changes for comment

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule took effect more than a decade ago — a lifetime in tech years. That’s why the FTC asked for feedback on whether developments in the online world warranted changes to the Rule.

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Resources for alcohol retailers

http://www.dontserveteens.gov/images/wdstlogo.gifLaunching this year’s We Don’t Serve Teens campaign, the FTC and a coalition of private and public groups have materials available for businesses, parents, and others that support the legal drinking age of 21. If you’re an alcohol retailer — or have clients in the industry — you know that underage alcohol sales are illegal.

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Truth in app-vertising

Here’s how AcneApp and Acne Pwner were supposed to work.  Buyers downloaded the apps from their favorite app store.  After selecting a light — blue to fight bacteria or red to heal, some ads said — they rested their smartphone against their skin.

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Second Circuit unpacks law of financial remedies

According to the ads, if you “carry on with your normal lifestyle” while wearing the Bio-Slim Patch, “repulsive, excess ugly fatty tissue will disappear at a spectacular rate.” (And by you, we don’t mean you, of course.)  Promotions for Chinese Diet Tea promised similar miracles: “eliminates an amazing 91% of absorbed sugars,” “prevents 83% of fat absorption,” and “doubles your metabolic rate to burn calories faster.”

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New tool for back-to-school

It used to be that the biggest issues at back-to-school time were finding everything on the school supplies list and remembering who likes the crusts cut off the brown bag PB&J.  But nowadays, responsible adults need to consider the risks if children’s personal information — like a Social Security number on a registration form, permission slip, or health document — winds up in the wrong hands.

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Scammers target businesses with fake FTC email

That email claiming to be from the FTC saying your business has complaints against it? It’s not from us. It’s a malicious hoax that may install malware on your computer if you click on it.

What should you do?

Delete it.  Don’t open it.  Don’t click the links.

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