Update 12/1/10: BidMacs wrote to tell us that this was done by an affiliate marketer, and they’ve since corrected this page.
Update: After I asked them about this last night after posting, the image was removed.
We’d like to ask Justine Ezarik, Internet celebrity and vblogger, of iJustine.com, a question. Did you change your name to Jenny McAdams and win an iPad on BidMacs.com? See our previous article on BidMacs.com.
Well, today after clicking on an ad for the new penny auction site BidMacs.com, found on Weather.com, we were brought to the fake news advertorial at Channel9NewsToday.com, which then, after clicking on the “Start Here: BidMac Auctions Official Site,” we were brought to a “landing page” for BidMacs (http://savefunwin.com/?affiliateid=2618&cid=1107&sub_affiliateid=dUXREbDZAQ4SYzXsqlGqiAWlMOIoeoV). This page is also using Justine’s image for a testimonial for BidMacs.com.
Next to Justine’s lovely photo, BidMacs.com or an affiliate, displays the name of “Jenny McAdams” stating, “I received my brand new iPad about 5 days after winning. I never knew this could be so much fun. Thanks BidMacs!!”
This landing page also seems to be using the same graphics/ bid buttons that Wavee.com uses.
“Endorsements by celebrities must reflect the celebrity’s honest experience or opinion. If the endorsement represents that the celebrity uses the product, that celebrity actually must use the product. Once a celebrity (or expert) has endorsed a product, the advertiser has an obligation to make sure the endorsement continues to reflect the endorser’s opinion.”
Though they didn’t use Justine’s name, they used her image. This, in my opinion, is deceptive!
Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:
- Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;
- Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and
- Advertisements cannot be unfair.
Perhaps, these penny auction sites and/or affiliate marketers need to take a look at the Federal Trade Commission Act and the FTC’s Deception Policy Statement.
“Q.: Does the FTC also make sure advertisers don’t use other people’s copyrighted material or trademarks?
A.: The FTC does not regulate the use of “intellectual property” (copyrighted works or trademarks such as pictures, images, characters, songs, logos or brands) in advertisements. However, an advertiser must get permission or a license from the owner of a copyright or trademark before including the work or trademark in an advertisement. Advertisers who do not consult copyright or trademark owners open themselves to lawsuits.”
Have you tried BidMacs.com? Post your review here and feel free to join our penny auction forum.
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