Lead Center Respond to
requests for your products and services while reducing
advertising expenses. Register now and receive our special
discounted rates. Big Resources
Tools Free java scripts,
clipart, fonts, and perl scripts from the premiere web
development network. Free Microsoft Office
XP Receive a FREE 30-day
trial including Microsoft¨ Outlook 2000 and Microsoft¨ Office XP
including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Individual
News Free, personalized news
daily across industry, financial and business
Business Directory Search
our directory to find the products, services and partners
right for your business.
error occurred while processing this directive]
Telcos Must Tell The
Truth About '10 Cents A Minute'
So says new policies from the FCC and FTC that aim
to clarify ads.
By Russell Shaw for Office.com
March 9, 2000 — The 1960s
rock band The Kinks turned "All Day And All Of The Night" into a
famous catch phrase. If a long distance carrier's advertising copy
claims that its rates apply "All Day And All Of The Night," it had
better be prepared to explain exactly what this means or be guilty
of deceptive advertising.
That example, plus several other
instances of "misleading advertising," were the basis for a recent
joint policy statement by the Federal
Communications Commission and the Federal
Trade Commission. The policy statement specifies the principles
long distance carriers should adhere to in order to prevent
enforcement action for deceptive advertising.
doesn't lie, but it doesn't always tell the whole truth."
— Jeffrey Kagan independent telecom
abuses cited by the two agencies include carriers' claims of a flat
"all day and all night" rate, when in fact that rate was only
effective between states and between certain hours; long-distance
phone surcharges that are not mentioned in ads; and monthly
subscription fees not mentioned in commercials, but which are
necessary to activate low, per-minute rates.
The FCC says it
received nearly 3,000 complaints about deceptive telecom advertising
in the first six months of last year. MCI
WorldCom recently signed a consent agreement with the FCC,
calling for a $100,000 fine and a self-review of the company's 1999
advertising materials related to dial-around services.
prominent telecommunications analyst sees these practices as a
by-product of competition.
doesn't lie, but it doesn't always tell the whole truth," said
Jeffrey Kagan, an independent telecom industry analyst in Marietta,
Ga. "It often takes advantage of the confusion in the marketplace to
make one plan look more attractive."