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Online Marketing: 10 Bad Tactics You Should Avoid

By Internet Lawyer

Just held a contest where I identified 5 deceptive online marketing practices and selected 5 more winners from submissions by online marketers. If you’re involved with Internet marketing, read the following to learn the 10 deceptive tactics. These are things that you should avoid doing in your online business and think twice before buying a product or service from an Internet marketer who uses them. While everyone can make a mistake now and then, the seller who applies one deceptive practice probably does others too.

I appreciate all those who submitted their complaints about bad
online marketing practices. It took several hours, but I read
every single one. Took a couple more hours to select the best from
a very competitive field. Here they are…

***The 5 Winning Submissions***

Here’s the five selected as the best Read More

Internet Marketer to Pay $200,000 to FTC For Deceptive Advertising

By Internet Lawyer

An online marketer settled FTC charges against it by agreeing to provide consumer-friendly disclosures and paying $200K to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In addition to allegedly violating the CAN-SPAM Act by sending spam e-mails, the company was accused of advertising free products that in fact required consumers to jump through a bunch of hoops by paying for other products or services or otherwise incurring obligations (such as having to apply for credit cards) in order to receive the “free” gifts.

What’s the importance of this decision? It emphasizes that the federal government will continue to make examples of those who engage in anti-consumer practices. As a general rule, there’s nothing wrong with offers that contain “free” products or services. But that requires clear disclosures so that no one is fooled into thinking the offer has no strings attached. In addition, one needs to pay special attention to the laws governing unsolicited commercial email (spam). No one likes spam. It is bad marketing and it is against the law.

If you have questions about what is legal and isn’t, you should consult your Internet attorney before engaging in an activity online. It doesn’t do your business good to make a profit selling something only to have it taken away in government fines and legal fees defending yourself from allegations of wrongdoing.

Hat tip to InfoWorld.

Internet Lawyer: Federal Trade Commission Proposed BizOpp Rule

By Internet Lawyer

As an Internet lawyer, I originally considered titling this Federal Trade Commission-related post “How To Dupe Marketers Into Paying Capitol Hill Lobbyists” but thought I’d be kind.

For those who have been following the issue, the Federal Trade Commission promulgated a proposed business opportunity rule in April that would essentially destroy MLM/network marketing and curtail the online marketing of business opportunities in general because of draconian disclosure requirements. These disclosures would include earnings disclaimers, contact information for 10 purchasers, etc. If you’re a masochist, Internet lawyer, or have insomnia, here is a link to the proposed rule.
After receiving tens of thousands of hostile public comments, the FTC has made no decision.

However, some online marketers are panicking because they haven’t talked with their Internet lawyer…and the lobbyists are hyping the bogeyman to generate more work.

I telephoned one of the people handling the proposal at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Marketing Practices. No rule is imminent. There may never be a rule. There may be hearings. There may be workshops.

There may be a modified rule sometime in the future. That’s likely because the government prefers to control through a combination of taxes and regulation.
If an online marketer decides to pay for lobbying on the issue, make sure that the recipient isn’t the business of Redundant, Irrelevant & Redundancy. In plain English, make sure the money is actually being spent on something worthwhile instead of duplicating work already being done by others, such as the MLM/network marketing organizations. It is naive to think that the Amways, Primericas, and Mary Kays of the world are going to do nothing as they’re regulated out of business by the Federal Trade Commission. Because I’m an Internet lawyer, I’ll be following this issue closely and probably will post updates if something significant happens.