FTC Warns of Deceptive Spanish-Language Ads


The Federal Trade Commission has sent warning letters to 77 media outlets and 166 advertisers about potentially deceptive ads targeted to the Hispanic community.

The ads turned up in an FTC-coordinated one-day "surf" of Spanish-language media by various state organizations--attorneys general, FDA district offices, Better Business Bureaus--looking for questionable health claims, credit scams, and bogus business opportunities (such as the ads that boast a person can "make big money addressing envelopes" --and the like).

The vast majority of the 482 ads were on the Internet or print outlets (97% combined), with only 3% on TV and radio.

The letters to advertisers "strongly recommend" they check out the FTC's Web site (FTC.gov) to bone up on FTC guidelines and laws on deceptive claims. The letters (INSERT PDF) to the media advise them they may be running deceptive ads and gives them advice on identifying deceptive spots.