ERSP Reviews Advertising for ‘Six Figure Program’

Marketer volunteers to make revisions to its website

New York, NY – June 14, 2012 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has reviewed claims made in direct-response marketing by Online Entrepreneur, Inc.’s “Six Figure Program,” a program consisting of books and DVDs that provide details on subjects ranging from driving website traffic to search engine optimization.

ERSP noted in its decision that the marketer has volunteered to make significant revisions to its website in an effort to communicate truthful and accurate claims, and has voluntarily discontinued several claims that were the subject of the ERSP inquiry.

ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program.

ERSP reviewed online advertising for the Six Figure Program and identified several claims for review, including:

•    “How does it sound when I tell you that you can finally leave that long, tedious, stressful, underpaid job? The Six Figure Program was designed for that exact purpose.”
•    “You won’t need advanced computer skills with The Six Figure Program.”
•    “The Six Figure Program is not only a sure-fire money making system, it is a vehicle by which you can finally live the lifestyle you imagined for yourself.”
•    “The typical person who joins and follows the simple steps laid out in the program has a check for at least $20 sent to their house within 7-10 business days.”
•    “It’s 2011 and we have made over $5 Million Dollars from simple websites. Some days we make as much as $22,000 in a single day…”
•    “We just recently got into making five figures – $15,000 – per month in a short amount of time.”

At the outset of the inquiry, Online Entrepreneur informed ERSP that it was in the process of revising its current advertising.

ERSP determined, following its review, that the earnings claims made in testimonials were not supported by the evidence submitted and were not representative of the generally expected product performance.

ERSP further determined that the current disclosure did not adequately communicate the amount of money that consumers could generally expect to earn from using the Six Figure Program.

ERSP recommended the marketer discontinue the following testimonial: “We just recently got into making five figures – $15,000 – per month in a short amount of time.”

ERSP was concerned with representations that consumers can achieve the earnings amounts communicated in the advertising with little effort or computer knowledge as well as statements that consumers will be able to achieve financial independence through the Six Figure Program. ERSP recommended the marketer refrain from making these and similar claims in future advertising.

Although ERSP was not troubled with the general claim that consumers could “ “… receive your first check in 7-10 days,” ERSP determined that a more specific claim –“The typical person who joins and follows the simple steps laid out in the program has a check for at least $20 sent to their house within 7-10 business days” – was not accurate. ERSP noted that the evidence in the record did not demonstrate that the “typical” or average user of the Six Figure Program would receive a check of “at least $20” within the first week to 10 days.  ERSP recommended that Online Entrepreneur modify this claim in future advertising for the Six Figure Program.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, it is “committed to continually educating ourselves on any new changes or guidelines created by the FTC … BBB, ASRC and ERSP. We strive to work with these organizations in an effort to self-regulate sales copy and insure that the Internet is a safe place for consumers.”