ADT Settles with FTC over Deceptive Marketing Practices
Boca Raton, Florida-based ADT LLC has settled with the FTC after the commission charged ADT with misrepresenting paid-for endorsements as actual independent reviews from technology and safety experts. ADT paid over $300,000 to three individuals who were featured in segments on news programs like the Today Show, Daybreak USA and other local newscasts, to provide unbiased, expert reviews of the ADT Pulse Home Security System. In total, the spokespeople appeared on more than 40 different television and radio programs.
As part of the settlement, ADT is prohibited from presenting future paid-for endorsements as independent reviews, must clearly disclose any connection between the endorser and ADT must remove any other reviews and endorsements that are falsely presented as originating from an impartial expert or fail to disclose the connection between the endorser and ADT Home Security.
The complete settlement agreement is available to read on the FTC’s web site for those interested.
Considering how many consumers look to unbiased reviews and expert recommendations when they are researching goods and services and how these reviews can impact a consumer’s purchase decision, using a paid spokesperson billed as an “expert” to present their recommendation or opinion in the context of a news program is is an extremely effective (and dishonest) way for a company to influence the purchase decisions of consumers.
In recent years, the FTC has been more aggressive in taking action against companies employing deceptive tactics to market their products and services to unsuspecting consumers.
Learn more about the FTC’s efforts to protect consumers from false and misleading marketing tactics by providing guidance to companies to ensure they are in compliance:
The FTC also provides a wealth of information to help consumers understand the marketing tactics used by companies to make accurate, informed purchase decisions: