Found Guilty of False Advertising? That’ll be $300,000, Please.
A headline came floating across the newsfeed the other day, and it turns out there’s an interesting story behind it. A story that certainly teaches a lesson, albeit maybe a different one for everybody.
Earlier this month, a cosmetic surgery company called Lifestyle Lift got busted for false advertising. Get this- they were publishing made-up consumer reviews on multiple websites, and even asking their employees to contribute during slow days in the office! Lifestyle Lift was found guilty, ordered to stop with the false advertising bit, and then pay $300,000 in costs and penalties to the state of New York. “Astroturfing” (the term coined for situations in which a company’s funds push an agenda of some sort) is becoming more of a problem on the internet; if nothing else it’s placing a company’s credibility completely in the hands of commenters (or, more realistically, comment moderators). To read the whole story, go here.
For us, this story acts as a not-so-subtle reminder to be ever-so-vigilant about the words we choose to use for our marketing copy, and company branding in general. Our clients depend on us to make sound decisions, tell the truth, and get their message across cleanly and effectively; we can’t afford to overlook anything. On top of that, we want our clients to succeed because they are a solid company, not because they had to trick people into believing positive reviews.