World Avenue settles TX charges

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Online marketer World Avenue USA settled charges with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today over the use of the word “free” in its marketing e-mails, Internet pop-ups and banner advertisements.

The civil investigation began in May of 2006 and has ended with the marketer agreeing to pay $800,000. The suit also will result in the development of best practices for online lead generation through third-party incentives.

“We are an industry leader and as such have always accepted the responsibility of establishing and incorporating best practices in our messaging and communications to ensure that consumers have a positive experience,” said World Avenue president Dale Baker, in a statement.

The state's complaint said World Avenue USA failed to disclose the numerous sponsor offers and that most of the sponsor offers required customers to make purchases in order to receive free items.

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