On December 13, a new piece of legislation intended to prevent obnoxiously loud TV advertising from ruining your nap will take effect. But the cable industry is making a last-minute move to get an exemption for “promotional” ads (aren’t all ads supposed to be promotional?). Their reasoning? They just want the same leeway given to that ad-bloated TV powerhouse C-SPAN.
With so many things going on in this crazy world, it’s easy to lose track of the holidays. Luckily, Consumerist reader Mike recently received an e-mail from Office Depot reminding him that September is indeed National HP Toner Month, that time when families gather together by a bonfire to roast marshmallows, sip cider and swap tales of past National HP Toner Months.
So far as the needs of an average person who say, needs an approximate translation of a YouTube video summary that’s in another language, turning to the free Internet tools is just fine and dandy. But McDonald’s is learning the hard way that it maybe should’ve coughed up the dough to hire a real professional after biffing two billboards aimed at the Hmong population in St. Paul, Minn.
'Your Baby Can Read' Charged With False Advertising Because It Didn't Prove Your Baby Can Actually Read
Since 2008, the makers of the Your Baby Can Read! learning system have made $185 million from parents who hoped that the product could indeed help their infant get a head start on becoming a voracious reader. Now the company has to forfeit all that money (well, sort of) after the FTC filed false advertising charges against it, its former CEO and its creator.
Have you ever seen those ads for the Ab Circle Pro and said to yourself, “Maybe it will help be get rock hard abs with only a few minutes of workout a day”? Well, it apparently doesn’t, as the company behind the device has agreed to pay up to $25 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations of deceptive advertising.
Online stock trading platform E-Trade has had a turbulent few months, with its stock sinking and the quick exit of its CEO earlier this month. When companies experience changes at the top during troubled times, it’s standard operating procedure to scrap old advertising and marketing campaigns in favor of something new. But not E-Trade, which apparently has no plans to get rid of the creepy, day-trading, talking babies that have been the face of the company for years.
As we predicted back in its pre-IPO days in May, Facebook would need to give up on its current model of minimal and oddly placed ad units if it wanted to survive as a publicly traded company with a value anywhere near what it wants the stock market to think it’s worth. And as that stock price continues to hover at half of the IPO value, the company appears to have taken the first big step toward more traditional advertising, by testing a way for businesses to pay for ads that pop up in the streams of users who did not necessarily “like” that particular advertiser.
UPDATE: Reps for Mountain Dew have sent a statement to Consumerist clarifying its involvement (or apparent lack thereof) in the disastrous promotion.
Long before anyone could get mad at NBC for its glitchy Olympic webcasts, the network was padding out its tape-delayed broadcasts with overlong pre-taped video profiles of various competitors from the U.S. and around the world. But here’s an idea — rather than irritate viewers by interrupting the diving competition for a 10-minute bio of a 16-year-old and then going to commercial, why not just leave these stories to the people who specialize in heartstring-tugging schmatltz: advertisers.
Almost a year after Reebok settled with the Federal Trade Commission for $25 million over allegations that it had deceptively advertised its EasyTone sneakers, those checks are finally going out to around 315,000 consumers who registered for refunds.
If you’re a school-age female who is breezing through your math lessons, the folks at the Lands’ End catalog would like to remind you that your lack of a Y chromosome apparently means you should be struggling to keep up in the class.
A salon with locations in Florida and New York has a great promotion — waxing for half-off the price of a normal treatment, with one stipulation: You’ve got to be 15 or younger. Say what now? The reasoning goes, according to the salon, that “girls get bored when they go out with their Moms to do errands.” Nothing less boring than getting hair ripped off.
When you see an ad that promises to save you “up to 30%,” do you assume that means that you will see a savings of 30%? You’re reading Consumerist, so you’re probably thinking “Duh, of course not.” But a new study shows that a large number of consumers are not discerning between conditional “up to” promises and unconditional performance statements.
It’s hot as heck-fire here in the Mid-Atlantic, so we’ve been spending a lot of time inside with the air-conditioning, watching all the great summer TV offerings — and rolling our eyes at the ads that are constantly hurled in our direction.