As your Internet attorney can explain to you in detail, when you’re marketing products and services online, there’s a fine line between creating a unique niche for yourself that distinguishes you from your competitors and making dishonest misrepresentations.
Beyond the Internet, this happens in other ecommerce too. For example, there’s been a rush by cell phone companies to advertise new 4G networks.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard definition for exactly what 4G is that you can rely upon when choosing your carrier based upon speed. It seems that anything faster than 3G is now being called 4G.
AT&T’s marketing department magically waved a wand and pronounced my existing 3G had been transformed to 4G without doing anything more than renaming their existing technology. No speed change. Just a repositioning to stay in the game so they don’t lose clients to competitors claiming to have 4G networks.
This “magic” rebranding includes slapping 4G labels on new phones.
Should you imitate this 4G tactic in your business? Talk with your Internet attorney before doing so.
From a legal standpoint, it’s treading in a gray area. It remains to be seen whether the FCC or FTC will step in and say something about deceptive trade practices. From an ethical standpoint, it crosses the line.
Feel free to create your own online niches, define them, and dominate them. Just don’t take the 4G low road and deceive your clients with misrepresentations. Their trust in you and your self-respect is worth far more than what can be gained by a few extra sales gained by trickery.
To your online success!
-Mike the Internet Attorney