The Coaching and Mentoring Program will consist of two new self-regulatory products:
• a review of telemarketing practices of participating companies which includes a random sampling of telesales phone calls, a review of telemarketing scripts, and written assessments of the telemarketing practices; and
• a review of coaching and mentoring and lead generation advertising associated with participating companies including print, broadcast and online advertising and written assessments of the advertising practices.
Companies participating in the Coaching and Mentoring Program will be provided with written assessments of their telemarketing and/or advertising practices, follow-up compliance reviews and the opportunity to discuss these reviews in detail with ERSP staff. At this time companies participating in the Coaching and Mentoring Program must be ERA members and will be asked to sign a one-year participation agreement with ERSP.
ERSP evaluates the “primary” or “core” claims made in each participant’s national direct response advertising which may include telemarketing scripts and recordings, meaning those representations which are deemed by ERSP to be the most significant and fundamental in the participant’s communication of material attributes or characteristics of its product or service. For example, the “primary” or “core” claims in a script or telemarketing call for a coaching or mentoring service may include (but are not limited to) claims relating to the objective benefits of the coaching or mentoring service (especially financial benefits) and the qualifications of coaches or mentors or the nature of the assistance. In addition, ERSP will continue its monitoring of lead generation and coaching and mentoring claims under the existing ERSP Policy and Procedures.
The goal of the program is to promote voluntary self-regulation, provide an independent review of telesales calls and accompanying scripts to ensure that advertising is truthful and substantiated, and reinforce truth and accuracy in lead generation advertising.
Participation in either phase of the program shall not be construed or represented as an endorsement or approval by ERSP, ERA, ASRC, or CBBB of a company, product or service. As provided in the ERSP Procedures, it is the policy of ERSP not to endorse any marketer, product or service, and a favorable decision regarding advertising claims for the products or service of a particular marketer should in no way be construed as an endorsement. Similarly, a marketer’s modification of advertising, in cooperation with ERSP’s self-regulatory efforts, will not be construed as an admission of any impropriety.
An ERSP review that does not result in a recommendation that claims be discontinued or modified will not assure the marketer that some other action, filing or adverse finding will not occur in another regulatory or self-regulatory forum (i.e., such as the FTC or the National Advertising Division).
For more information about the ERSP Coaching and Mentoring Program, please contact Leanne Gabinelli, Staff Attorney, at lgabinelli(at)ersp.bbb.org or 212.705.0106.