If you work in the telecommunications field, you’ll want to follow the FTC’s pending lawsuit against Millennium Telecard. But even if telecom isn’t your line, the case illustrates a key principle of FTC advertising law: “What the headline giveth, the fine print cannot taketh away.”
You run a successful business or maybe you work with some of the top companies in the country. A friend or relative is struggling to climb out of a financial hole. They ask for advice about a can’t-miss “wealth-building program.” Do them a favor and suggest they apply the brakes before shelling out a penny.
We’re still waiting for George Jetson’s promised jetpacks, but car buyers have started to see transportation options not available just a few years ago. That’s one reason the FTC has begun a review the Alternative Fuels Rule and seeks your input about the rule’s costs, benefits, and regulatory and economic impact.
Where were you in 2000? Tooling around on your scooter listening to CDs by Destiny’s Child, ‘N Sync, and Creed? Joining the 50 million Americans who watched the latest TV sensation “Survivor”? Grateful the Y2K bug didn’t send us back to the Stone Age? Reading Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising, the FTC’s first guidance document on how federal advertising laws apply to advertising and sales on the Internet?
You can swim freestyle. You can work freelance. And there are those among us who still hold up lighters and yell “Play Free Bird.” But for marketers, one thing you can’t do is advertise a product as free and then bill customers’ credit cards — not once and certainly not over and over and over again.