truth in advertising
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 16, 2012 01:14 PM
The Federal Trade Commission announced today that Skechers has agreed to pay $40 million to settle false advertising charges that, as to USA Today puts it, "mislead consumers with claims that its toning sneakers would do everything from help them lose weight to make their 'bottom half their better half' without ever going to a gym."
The settlement, which will be used to provide refunds to buyers of Shape-ups and other Skechers toning sneakers, is believed to be the FTC's largest ever involving consumer refunds, David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, told USA Today.
“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” stated Vladeck in a press release. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”
The announcement follows Reebok's $25 million settlement in September following similar FTC charges regarding its toning shoe marketing claims. Skecher's settlement was larger than Reebok's, Vladeck told USA Today, because it has a bigger slice of U.S. market share for toning sneakers. Skechers' toning shoes were promoted with celebrity endorsements by Brooke Burke, Joe Montana and Kim Kardashian (in a 2011 Super Bowl commercial).Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2012 11:34 AM
JiWire, the location-based mobile advertising company has just released its Q1 Mobile Audience Insights Report examining trends in location and mobile shopping, connected-device adoption and public Wi-Fi usage.
This interactive map gives a national snapshot of JiWire’s reach with nearly 33 million monthly users in 5700 cities:
Key highlights of the report include:
Connected Device Trends – Almost half of the ‘on-the-go’ audience is connecting to public Wi-Fi from smartphones (31%) or tablets (14%). By contrast, connection from laptops has decreased from 70% last year to 55% currently. Nine out of 10 consumers report the following advantages of public Wi-Fi instead over 3G/4G on smartphones: increased connection speed, avoiding data plan charges (37%), streaming content (17%) or for laptop tethering (7%).Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2012 11:58 AM
When the news came out of the state of California a year ago that the stuff that makes your cola beverage brown has been linked to cancer, there were a number of consumers that likely didn’t put their change into the vending machine that day.
The amount of that compound (4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI) in soda would cause the state to need to put warning labels on all of its cans, NPR reports. This, in turn, led to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to lobby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “ban ammonia-sulfite caramel color,” according to NPR. Coke Clear, anyone?
While the cola companies and caramel manufacturers are obviously stating that there is no validity to these claims, the FDA is also chiming in that this could be much ado about not much. In any event, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, which account for almost 90% of the U.S. soda market, have tweaked their formulas in compliance with the Californian law — averting the need to add a cancer warning label.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 1, 2012 05:28 PM
After being approved last June, gruesome images of a man exhaling smoke through a tracheotomy hole, blackened lungs, and an unborn baby suffering from smoke inhalation were slated to appear on cigarette packaging across America in September of this year, due to an order from the Food and Drug Administration.
But tobacco lovers were saved the pain of looking at such things by a judge on Wednesday, who said that the “images … violate free speech protected by the Constitution,” according to CBS/AP. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon had already temporarily blocked the requirement back in November, and the government is appealing his decision.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 16, 2011 09:55 AM
Retailers always approach the holiday shopping season with a mixture of cautious optimism and trepidation. While this year will be no different, at least one market survey suggests American retailers may be able to breathe a small sigh of relief.
That's because American consumers will spend, on average, 17 percent more money than last year. Americans will spend an average of $831 on gifts this holiday season, $121 more than last year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker report.
But consumers will also be shopping smarter, taking advantage of strategies that will save them money. Pre-holiday shopping is expected to increase by 37 percent over last year. That's one reason Walmart is aggressively promoting its layaway program and pitching a "Christmas Price Guarantee."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2011 12:28 PM
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon yesterday blocked the new FDA Graphic Warnings Rule mandated by Congress in June under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009.
The controversial ruling forces tobacco companies (already on the hook for a public education campaign) to show graphic images on cigarette packs, including rotting and diseased teeth and gums; a man with a tracheotomy smoking; the corpse of a smoker; diseased lungs; and a mother holding her baby with smoke swirling around them.
Six tobacco companies — R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co., Commonwealth Brands Inc., Liggett Group and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. — filed the suit, which Leon said it’s likely they would win.Continue reading...