Can you believe that review?

Woman watching TVEver hear an expert review on a news segment or talk show? The experts might recommend a number of products, and hey, they’ve tried out the products themselves — and they’re experts appearing on reputable programs — so they must know what they’re talking about, right? Since they’re portrayed as independent reviewers, you may be more likely to believe what they say.

What if we told you these experts aren’t always as impartial as they seem, and what you’re hearing might be a sales pitch?

This was just the case when ADT, the home security company, hired experts in child safety, security, and technology to promote their ADT Pulse monitoring system on news segments, talk shows, radio programs, and blogs. Sure, the experts looked like they were praising ADT’s home security system simply because they believed it was fabulous. Want to know what really happened? ADT paid three spokespeople more than $300,000 to endorse their product.

Viewers at home were never told they were actually watching an ad. That the reviewers recommended other products along with the ADT Pulse system only added to the impression that their review was impartial. And in most media appearances, it was never disclosed that there was any connection between ADT and the experts it paid.

ADT recently settled FTC charges that their endorsements deceived consumers. Moving forward, ADT must make it clear if they’re paying someone to promote their products.

It’s a good idea to exercise some healthy skepticism about reviews on any product or service — positive and negative. The law says reviewers should disclose their connection to a company, but not all of them do. Before you read another online review for any product or service, check out our video for some worthwhile tips.

 

Tagged with: advertising, review
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Hard to believe, but I do believe the GOVERNMENT'S findings. Hard to put faith in anything anymore.

Right on. I can see that FTC works hard to inform american consumers and also taking care of fraudulent
business practices. I am glad that I have access to your website and also receive valuable emails. About 5-6 years ago, I was very unfortunate to buy services
from ADT. Few months after buying, I had started
re-modeling work on my house and ADT system was not being used. I called them several times to cancel my services but every thing fell on deaf ears. They made me pay for 3 years, I think. Could FTC do something to make them change this policy and save consumers their hard-earned money.I would
appreciate if FTC can help to get my money back from ADT. Now I am hearing about another company
called simplysafe who do not bind consumer into long term contract. What is your take on this company. Thanks

This happen all the time. The ads on TV is phony and fraudulent, unless you actually talk with the company itself. Many times we get a call center and people who does not have a clue what the company is offering and they are 100% of the time reading from a script. They lie for the company, because they do not know the company policies or procedures.

Why ADT? What about all the identity protection services and the dozen or so celebrities that endorse them. Not once I heard Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Rudi Guliani, Dave Ramsey, Kim Kommando, etc., state they are advertising for companies x, y or z! They sound like they are telling stories about why they purchased those products. Talk about deceptive advertising. . .

It's really hard to believe, but I know you guys are saying true. Ads on TV are not correct, must cross check it with the company.

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