Stop Us Before We Sell Again

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The Electronic Retailing Association wants broadcasters to help it self-regulate its infomercial-marketing members.

At a Feb. 8 seminar it is hosting in New York, the ERA is hosting in New York, the group says it will give cable and broadcast executives pointers on how to spot and either pull or turn down false and misleading long-form commercials.

“ERA is making every effort to educate the broadcast community on our program and its case reviews," said the group in a statement. "When we determine that a direct-response advertisement is unsubstantiated, we need the commitment of cable stations and networks that they will refrain from airing that program."

Federal Trade Commission representatives will also be on hand to talk about the importance of self-regulation.

The FTC has been cracking down on false and misleading diet and health claims on TV and elsewhere, and has given the media a set of pointers on what to look for.

The FTC has yet to include broadcast or cable outlets in its actions against the marketers of such quackery, but has sent warning letters about offending ads and urged the media to do a better job of policing its airwaves for the claims. It has also not ruled out including the media in its suits if it does not see progress.

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