During my very early working days (when quill pens were all the vogue) I answered a question put to me by my boss who then said “The information you have supplied is 100% accurate but also 100% useless”.
It was a salutary lesson to me and one which sadly has not been taken to heart by the marketing fraternity.
MMR reader Barry recently commented on one thread “I just don’t understand how these Publishers can get away with making such massive claims about systems/strategies that are so obviously flawed. Isn’t there a Law about misrepresentation?? If not. then there should be. Maybe Anne Robinson could help on exposing these awful sharks!??”
He does have a point and the underlying theme is one that MMR proudly champions and I hope you agree we are pretty successful at exposing wrongful claims. But whether the great Anne Robinson would want to be involved is another matter – I doubt if she would be able to persuade any of the false claim makers to appear to undergo her form of ritual humiliation.
So is it just down to MMR to protect people from these people? Well no, and since 1 April you have had an extra weapon in your armoury.
This weapon is called the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) who now have jurisdiction over a much wider range of advertising mediums including emails and websites.
This ought to be good news for MMR readers because the ASA is law bound to investigate complaints they receive and this can be done FREE and completely on line.
You may have noticed recently on the MMR threads that Castle Sporting Service had a complaint about their advertising claims upheld by the ASA.
Our longer serving members will also remember that our friends at Agora had a complaint to the ASA upheld for technical reasons (although they accepted the results claimed were correct) and others have also commented on the threads about judgements against other several providers including Jon Street.
Having the ASA there to investigate and prosecute those who are dishonest in their marketing claims is good for us all but an important point to bear in mind however is that details of all complaints will not be disclosed fully on the ASA site if the advertiser agrees to withdraw the advert and not repeat it.
This is clearly a method of saving the ASA work but it does mean that complaints will receive less publicity than you and I might consider appropriate. (I have made a note to check the website of the ASA more often now and see if any of our product providers feature.)
So this has got me thinking that we should provide you with a bit more help to weed out promotions and companies that might not be telling you the whole truth.
As a reviewer I treat all the emails/websites I see with a large dose of salt but what I am trying to do here is put forward some further thoughts that you can all consider when they hit your in box.
MMR cannot review everything and you may be tempted to buy because of what is said – so if you cannot wait for us to test something please look out for these points in particular:
a) Is there an easily contactable business behind the offer?
b) Is there an enforceable money back guarantee (ie Clickbank – see separate article on this)?
c) Are the past results disclosed on the marketing and can they be verified?
d) Are the income claims reasonable and properly defined – how much do you need to risk to make the sums they claim you can?
e) Do they actually tell you what the product does in the sales patter? You may think it does but read it again and check.
If you are not happy on any of these then ask us to review the product before you buy and if you want to become a guardian of society then you can always make a complaint to the ASA.
We do have the power to change things but it needs concerted and regular action. The marketers rely on this not being the case but perhaps we can start something from here?
Category: General Advice