FTC Charges 'Free' Sample Marketer

Share this article:
A company offered free samples to consumers, but later debited their billing accounts without authorization, the Federal Trade Commission said last week.


The FTC filed a civil complaint against Conversion Marketing, Santa Ana, CA, and its owner, Adam Tyler MacDonald. He started his operation as Test Marketing Group at some point before November 2003 and offered free trial samples of Fast White, a teeth-whitening kit, at no obligation via outbound calling, according to the FTC.


His firm then billed Fast White customers and enrolled them in a continuity program without authorization and without informing them that it had obtained their billing information in advance, the FTC said. However, Test Marketing Group subsequently went bankrupt and transferred its operations to Conversion Marketing.


Conversion used outbound calls as well as radio, Internet and television ads to market the Pounds-Off Patch, a weight-loss product, the FTC said. During the calls, Conversion offered free samples of the patch if consumers participated in a "study" and paid shipping costs. The company also obtained consumer billing information, the FTC said. It then made unauthorized charges and improperly placed consumers in a continuity program, according to the FTC.


The FTC also filed a complaint against David Sharp and his company, Drsharp, North Salt Lake, UT. Sharp aided in the operation by selling products to MacDonald, handling product fulfillment and providing some telephone customer service for Fast White customers, the FTC said.


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

App of the Week: CardsApp

App of the Week: CardsApp

The app lets users select loyalty cards on their phone or smartwatch to display QR codes at check out time.

Rakuten Marketing Moves to a Unified Platform

Rakuten Marketing Moves to a Unified Platform

Omni experience consolidates all channel offerings into a single platform and dashboard to provide better management of the customer funnel.

Hawk Search Widens its Global Reach

Hawk Search Widens its Global Reach

Hawk Search's solution offers support for more than twice as many languages as other site search providers, according to the company.