If you’ve used Instagram, you’re almost certainly familiar with apparently real people touting tummy-flattening tea, an array of subscription boxes, the benefits of some multilevel marketing scheme, or the latest in fashion, beauty, and electronics. If these people are being paid to shill these products, then they have to clearly be flagged as ads. Though the Federal Trade Commission has pledged to get serious about going after advertisers who taint your Instagram feed with these stealth ads, some consumer advocates say the FTC simply isn’t doing enough. [More]
When you pay a bank’s investment adviser to help you put your money in a smart place, you would hope that they would steer you to a product that best serves your interest. You’d also hope that if an investment product benefited the bank, this information would be clearly disclosed. But that’s not always the case, which is why JPMorgan Chase has to pay penalties totaling $367 million. [More]
Given the vast number of available cocktails and beers available at most bars, it’s rare — if not impossible — to see a list of prices for everything you could drink. But in a recently filed class action suit, a man in New Jersey alleges that TGI Fridays is deliberately omitting drink prices to trick customers into paying more than they should. [More]
Orbitz has been slapped with a $60,000 fine by the Dept. of Transportation because the travel site violated federal laws that require clear disclosure of taxes and fees associated with airfares.
At the National Conference on Weights and Measures later this month, some states are planning to talk about printer ink cartridge labeling and whether it should be more standardized. “It’s time to sort all of this out,” the Florida Weights & Measures chief told the Kansas City Star. Of course, printer companies aren’t about to go along with any changes quietly–Lexmark has already submitted a letter saying that displaying any information on the cartridges will only confuse consumers, because the cartridges are micro-machines and not just ink containers.
For the first time since 1980, the FTC has updated its rules about endorsements and testimonials, and they’ve added blogging to the books. Now bloggers who don’t disclose that they’ve been somehow compensated—either with cash or with free services or products—can be fined up to $11,000.