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FTC Warns Internet Marketers about Making Misleading Claims about the Benefits of Gas-Saving and Other Energy-Related Devices
8/21/2007 1:33:48 AM
A good read for all internet marketers from the Federal Trade Commission.

Found at:  http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2002/04/energysurf2002.shtm




Release Date: April 18, 2002

FTC Warns Internet Marketers about Making Misleading Claims about the Benefits of Gas-Saving and Other Energy-Related Devices

Consumers Should be Wary of Questionable Claims

As gas prices creep higher and higher heading into travel season, the Federal Trade Commission recently conducted an Internet surf to detect and deter the deceptive marketing of products that purportedly save energy. After the surf, the FTC staff sent warning letters to more than 50 companies making questionable gas-saving and other energy-related advertising claims. While most of the warnings were targeted at marketers of automotive gadgets and additives, additional warnings addressed Internet marketers of purported energy-saving products for the home. The letters reminded the advertisers that they need scientific substantiation for their energy-saving claims and provided them with additional advertising guidance.

The warnings advised that the recipients may be subject to law enforcement action if they make deceptive claims in the future. "Our message to industry is that false or inflated energy-saving claims will not be tolerated. Our message to consumers is that they should be skeptical of dramatic fuel-savings claims for automotive and other products," said J. Howard Beales, III, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The warning letters involved the following types of products:

  • Fuel-Saving Automotive Devices and Additives: Numerous Web sites make implausible claims for various aftermarket automotive devices (fuel-line magnets, air bleed devices, and other retrofit gadgets) and additives that supposedly increase gas mileage (and sometimes reduce emissions) for automobiles. For example, FTC staff found claims such as "saves thousands of dollars on gas!" or "increased mileage up to 300%." The staff's experience with these products suggests that many of these claims are either false or grossly exaggerated. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated or tested more than 100 purported gas-saving devices and additives, and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage.
     
  • Instantaneous Water Heaters & Home Water Purification (or Softening) Systems: Some distributors are making exaggerated claims about the performance and the energy savings associated with instantaneous ("tankless") water heaters and home water purification or softening systems (e.g., "save 50% on hot water costs"). The Commission previously challenged similar claims for water purification systems.
     
  • Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors: Although these products can protect equipment from power surges, in the past the Commission and the states have challenged claims that these products provide significant savings for consumers' energy bills.

The Internet surf and warning letters are part of the FTC's continuing law enforcement efforts to combat deceptive energy-saving claims. Late last month, the Commission approved a consent order with Kryton Coatings International and Procraft, Inc., which claimed that their "liquid siding" provides insulation equivalent to seven inches of fiberglass batting and R-20, and reduces utility bills up to 40 percent. In November 2001, the Commission obtained a consent decree resolving charges that Esrim Ve Sheva Holding Corp. (Gadget Universe) and its CEO made false and unsubstantiated claims for Super FuelMAX, an automotive fuel-line magnet (e.g., "A certified EPA laboratory reports an amazing 27% in increased mileage and 42% reduction in harmful pollutants").

The FTC cautions consumers to be wary of drastic energy-saving claims. The FTC has issued several consumer education brochures on topics such as purported fuel-saving automotive devices (Gas-Saving Products: Facts or Fuelishness?), gas-saving tips (How To Be Penny Wise, Not Pump Fuelish), and guidance for heating and cooling homes (Weathering the High Cost of Heating Your Home and Cooling Your Home: Don't Sweat It, among other publications). The FTC also has a dedicated energy & environment Web page: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/eande/index.html which links to these materials, as well as other energy efficiency information for consumers and businesses.

Details about EPA's motor vehicle aftermarket retrofit device evaluation program and related consumer information are available at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer.htm.

Copies of the documents related to the FTC's law enforcement actions, and consumer and business education materials, are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Media Contact:
Howard Shapiro
Office of Public Affairs

202-326-2176  
Staff Contact:
Joni Lupovitz
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3743

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Lisa Lomas

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Re: FTC Warns Internet Marketers about Making Misleading Claims about the Benefits of Gas-Saving and Other Energy-Related Devices
8/21/2007 5:01:51 AM
Hi ken,

I am glad you posted this as you have a great receptive list here and the message gets out.  It is horrible how every misfortune creates some new scam or someone who trys to be unethical its really quite criminal literally now as FTC is a great resource.

FTC is a marketers friend, everyone should check to see if a business they are looking into is in there books and for what reason.  Its an interesting world out there with some even more interesting individuals which is putting it nicely.

Hope you keep on sharing & creating great topics like this ken, it helps a lot of people.
I will point my list here as I feel its benefical to  quite a few individuals.

Warmest Regards
Lisa
Thinking of visiting New Zealand. A must see is Hawkes Bay, Hastings. http://www.hawkesbaymotel.co.nz
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Les
Les Johnson

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Re: FTC Warns Internet Marketers about Making Misleading Claims about the Benefits of Gas-Saving and Other Energy-Related Devices
8/21/2007 2:34:59 PM

  Hey Kenneth.

Yes, this is a great way to let people know about certain products because there are a ton of different ways of trying to mislead people into different products. Some are even trying to say that even though they were proven wrong before, that they are okay now, due to them getting EPA approval. As you know Kenneth, I have been with my company, the Motor Latte Inc., now for over a year. I have asked for your address so I could send you the DVD that we have made showing our product against some of the best out there that have been around now for quite a while.

 As for the warning letters, most people who are associated with products like ours won't comment on it and they will ignore these letters, but I on the other hand, will tell you to go to my web site, click on where it says watch the tests of the products, and you will see the exact same DVD that we taped, and I was there in person, and believe me, I checked everything out because i did not want to get taken again from one of the previous scams that I got caught in, from before. As for the letters, we have the scientific proof and a real live test to show you itself, we keep and do not void any type of warranty at all, and as for the distrubution, how's 31 years of being in business, and not one, not one complaint, and as for the testimonials, come and join in on our phone calls, and then if you'd like, just call me and i will talk to anyone who wants more proof or needs to ask any questions. My information, tests results, and whatever you want to know is at both are regular and fleet web sites.  http://www.motorlatte.com/saver http://www.motorlattefleet.com

  As for my own testimonial, between my wife's car and my work van, just in gas alone, we have saved over $1200.00 in gas,(this past year, from July 06to July 07)  and that is the side effect of using our products, but what I know is happeneing even better yet, our two engines are producing less emissions and they are not having as much wear and tear on them since we have been using opur products. Like I said, we start from the beginning, we treat the metal, then we deal with the additives. Plus we have the same metal conditoner inside our Diesel Booster, which helps with the ULSD fuels that are happeneing now. We have plenty of proof and real live calls and tests to let everyone know that this is true.

 I do hope everyone will at least go and read and see the tests done itself, and even meet the owners of the company on the same video recordings, and listen to what is said, first before coming back with a reply like, sure, yea right, heard it before. Because if you do, then you didn't watch the DVD. jJust give it a look at and then get back to me personally. Until then!

 GOD BLESS!!

LES!!

Free E-book http://Lattesaver.the7greatliesofnetworkmarketing.com

 

 

 

 

Thanks! God Bless!! Les Johnson Certified Independent Representitive! Motor Latte Commercial & Fleet Services 281-999-1156 Hm Bus. # 281-999-0043 Fax # Lattesaver@gmail.com http://www.motorlattefleet.com http://www.motorlatte.com/saver http://w
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