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November 5, 2010
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been increasingly active monitoring advertising claims and marketing by companies in the natural products industry. Devin Domond, Esq., an attorney with FTC, spoke with Virgo Publishing's Doug Peckenpaugh at SupplySide West in October 2010, and noted the agency uses a variety of ways to develop its cases, while maintaining a vigilant stance.
Domond said there are a variety of ways that cases may come to the attention of the agency, including consumer complaints, referrals from organizations such as the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, and internal monitoring. The agency has also conducted online "sweeps" designed to review websites marketing particular types of productsone recent sweep hit products claiming to fight H1N1, she saidand those have also proven effective. Domond added the agency does look at the extent of the reach of the marketing claims, as some Internet marketing may not have the same effect on consumers as a broader television campaign that could pose greater harm.
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