To honest marketers, from a con man who tricked millions
Infamous for his (fraudulent) infomercials selling health, diet, and financial products.
His list of crimes is as long as a horses ding dong.
In 1998, he was fined $500,000 by the FTC for making false and misleading claims.
In 2004, he paid $2 million to settle charges that he falsely claimed a calcium product could cure cancer and other serious diseases.
In 2007, he was found in contempt of an earlier court order for making false claims in a weight loss book.
In March 2014, Trudeau was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Trudeau’s history is instructive for all marketers, for two reasons:
It demonstrates that persuasion in sales can be used for good and evil
It shows that seriously the FTC take deceptive advertising
Ultimately, it’s a great case study in what NOT to do as a marketer.
And it serves as a warning for supplement marketers in particular.
Because Trudeau received protection for his endeavors, under the First Amendment, by selling books. Which gave the FTC less power over his unsubstantiated claims.
But the First Amendment doesn’t apply to nutritional supplements.
So, you have to be more careful.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you should deceive people, then seek protection as Trudeau did.
I’m pointing out that health products are an easy target for the Trudeau’s of the world…
… which means the FTC is hot on the heels of supplement companies in particular.
And, even if you have a great product and the very best intentions…
… it’s easy to get carried away in your advertising out of enthusiasm for your product, and a desire to help your customers.
You may not think you are making false claims…
… until you receive a cease and desist order from the FTC.
Which is why it’s so important for your marketing advisors to understand how to create powerful marketing, without misleading people… and… without breaking FTC guidelines.
Enter your knight in shining armor.
I devoted an entire chapter of my new book to FTC and FDA compliance, including:
How to tell if your advertising is FTC compliant
The two types of claim you need to back up
How to write an FDA-compliant product disclaimer
If you are making any of these 7 claims in your advertising, you are leaving yourself wide open to an FTC investigation
The FTC won’t assess your ads until you’re under investigation… but… you CAN steal their 4-step investigative review process to check your compliance before it’s too late
You can grab a paperback copy on Amazon for $14.97.
Or, for the time being, you can download a free digital copy when you join my email newsletter: