NEWS17 June 2010

Trade Commission to research deceptive marketing

Government North America

US— The Federal Trade Commission is embarking on a study into consumer susceptibility to fraudulent and deceptive marketing.

A George Mason University faculty member will carry out the survey and recruit a sample of 250 respondents from the campus.

The FTC said: “The sample is not intended to be nationally representative, but will still provide useful insights into consumer susceptibility to fraud.”

The research will look at how consumers assess potentially deceptive adverts, as well as how they react to non-deceptive ones. Respondents will also be asked to examine adverts for fraudulent products and report on their credibility.

The study will also measure consumer knowledge through a mix of consumer and financial literacy tests to understand their marketplace understanding and sophistication. Researchers will then look into whether respondents with this sort of knowledge rate fraudulent adverts as less credible than legitimate ones.

The FTC is currently seeking comments on the study from interested parties.