In a world of acronyms gone mad there is now flogging to wrap one’s head around. Flog is a fake blog.
Who hasn’t landed on a fake blog style website at one time or another? The problem is, not everyone knows they’ve landed on a flog. Typically, a flog deals with false advertising and unproven claims with fake testimonials. “It’s the latest way to scam money from unsuspecting surfers. Why is this important to know? It’s important to know because this practice is just beginning and lawyers need to be in a position to provide advice to advertisers and consumers about these sites,” explained David Alden Erikson, a Los Angeles Internet law attorney.
“When advising an advertiser, I’d tell them that flogs may leave them open to both civil and/or criminal liability according to federal advertising laws and FTC rules. Yes, truth in advertising, honest and legit testimonials, etc., may reduce liability for false ads, but it’s important people ‘know’ their boundaries and save themselves a potentially expensive lawsuit,” commented Erikson.
As for consumers, if they are sucked in and buy goods or services from a flog, they need to know that they may have a remedy available to them. Any harm done to a consumer may mean they can file a lawsuit. “This area of the law is so new, it is literally developing as you are reading this news release,” Erikson observed. One thing is for sure, the FTC is working on ways to protect consumers from these schemes and scams.
The biggest risk with many of these flogs are the claims made on them enticing someone to take a significant financial or legal risk. “It’s hard to not want to spend money on something if you think that the celebrity endorsement you just read is legitimate and the product claims sound reasonable,” he added.
For those companies who want and intend to run an honest business online, they need to talk to an attorney familiar with Internet law to find out how to use testimonials, why they need proper disclosures and what things to avoid if they don’t want to get slapped with a false advertising lawsuit or investigated by the FTC.
“Without over simplifying things here when it comes to flogs,” said Erikson, “it’s important to remember one simple rule to do business by, and that is always remember that truth in advertising is crucial and must come before all else,” he reiterated.
To learn more about David Alden Erikson, Attorney at Law, visit http://www.daviderikson.com.