Deceptive Marketing

A “Help the Police” Scam: Introducing America’s Founding Father of Fundraising Grift

July 15th 2024

I started out trying to understand a fraudulent fundraising appeal sent to my mother-in-law, found my way to their federal filings and eventually to Richard Viguerie, America’s Founding Father of Fundraising Grift. What did *you* do on your summer holiday?

Deception creates its own harm: Facebook shouldn’t know if you’re ovulating; voting shouldn’t be rooted in lies

January 14th 2021

Facebook gained the ability to see if users were ovulating, but the FTC put an end to this practice….because deception causes marketplace harm. Perhaps it’s time for voters to have consumer protections similar to what they enjoy in commerce from the FTC.

Who Is In Charge of Doctor’s Contact Data? Big Lists Become Big Liabilities When They’re Wrong

May 23rd 2016

Content isn’t king, its not even scarce. And when it comes to keeping thousands of doctors practice details correct, it now becomes an expensive liability when listings turn out to be dated and wrong.

Update: Kellogg’s False Health Claims on Rice Krispies and Frosted Mini-Wheats Earn FTC Rebuke

June 5th 2010

When Good Brands Behave Unethically Back in February, I pointed out Kellogg’s false health claims on Rice Krispies and Froot Loops.  Specifically, during the worst flu scare in 50 years, Kellogg’s claimed Rice Krispies boosted immunity. They also claimed that Froot Loops were a good source of fiber. This was something I saw in the […]

Social Media in Legal Marketing: Yelp Faces Class Action Lawsuit for “Extortion Scheme”

February 26th 2010

Section 230 Isn’t for Bullies Online communities such as Yelp are usually protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This online law protects publishers; without it, social media would likely never have been.  It’s such a valuable protection that I think even lawyers in South Carolina deserve it. However, Section 230 has limits. […]

The Truth Hurts: ATT Looses Ridiculous Lawsuit to Verizon

November 19th 2009

Verizon’s defense against ATT’s request for a temporary restraining order was blazing, and  a fantastic read. Its like they let their savage ad team help write the brief. ATT demanded that Verizon pull five disputed ads from the air as they were “misleading”. Verizon’s defense was, literally, “the truth hurts.” Defense’s introduction nails its theme […]

Court Rules Domain Registration Privacy Services = ‘Material Falsification’

November 16th 2009

There are lots of legitimate reasons people don’t want their names on domain-ownership records. These range from exercising the privilege of anonymous speech, to avoiding spam, to simply preserving one’s own privacy. Of course this practice makes tracking down responsible parties for infringement or other offenses harder, as it requires a court order to learn […]

ATT Sues Verizon, and Yep, “There’s a Map for That”

November 12th 2009

Verizon’s all-3G network makes ATT’s 3G map look spotty at best. However, ATT has tremendous 2G coverage, which means though you may not be able to use an iPhone’s online features, you’re not entirely “out of touch,” as Verizon’s ad states.  Engadget is covering this case like a blanket. As Niley Patel notes: All that […]

Pay for Play Raises Concerns from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant to Paris Hilton’s Twitters

November 7th 2009

Discussions of regulating digital marketing were just below the surface at New York Ad:Tech.  My last post gave an overview of efforts to regulate digital marketing. Now, here’s an interview at Ad:Tech by reporter David Spark with Ted Murphy, CEO of Izea, the company that makes the paid blogging service Social Spark. Ted’s been in […]

Getting Slimed with Deceptive Marketing

March 1st 2009

Whenever one of my web domains is up for renewal, I receive a letter in the mail from Domain Renewal Group, a dba of Brandon Gray Internet Services, Inc. Despite verbiage that says otherwise, it appears to be a bill. Further, there’s an attempt to conflate the need for renewal with the option of renewing […]