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FTC Makes a Spoof Video When it Should Make a Lawsuit

March 11, 2009

This video by the FTC spoofing Experian’s “FreeCreditReport.com” commercials is all well and good, but duplicates the tons of spoofs already out there.  See one example here.

Anyone can make a YouTube video (that’s the beauty of YouTube), but the FTC has special power to take deceptive advertisers to court. As Ed Mierzwinski puts it, “The FTC’s consumer cop mission is more important than its education mission here.”  In other words, instead of making a video, the FTC should sue Experian for its deceptive “FreeCreditReport.com” commercials, and stop them from making more.

What’s deceptive about the “FreeCreditReport.com” campaign, you might be asking?  The credit reports they offer aren’t free!  They’re contingent upon enrolling in a $15/month credit monitoring service.  The relevant information about this, and the option to opt out of the service, are of course buried in fine print.  See this post from PIRG’s Consumer Blog for more background on the scam.

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