Field Reports1 Jan, 2006 By: Thomas Haire, Nicole Urso Response
Trudeau Speaks Out on State of ERA Lawsuit
While Trudeau looks forward to the case, saying, "The discovery phase of the trial will be an absolute exposé on what is really going on in this industry," he does contend that a settlement could still be reached. "The process started here with me sending a letter to Barbara requesting a simple apology for her out-of-line comments," Trudeau says. "Obviously, we've moved past the point where a simple apology will suffice, but I am always open to offers and suggestions. This issue can still be put to bed."
ITV Says ERA, Regulators 'Relentlessly Harass' in Lawsuit
BOSTON — ITV Direct Inc., a full-service direct response company and the marketer of natural diet supplements including the popular seaweed-based Sea Vegg, announced Dec. 13 that it filed a defamation lawsuit against the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and other advertising trade groups seeking damages suffered after false and defamatory statements were allegedly made about its products.
ERA revoked ITV's membership after the Association's Self Regulatory Program (ERSP) and the National Advertising Review Council (NARC) challenged its marketing claims and referred ITV to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for non-compliance. ITV argued that its infomercial was properly substantiated and did not need to be altered.
ERA, ERSP and NARC suggested to broadcasters that they not air the infomercials. ITV claims that in doing so, the organizations were "impeding customers' access to information" and should be held accountable for lost sales.
ITV Direct is also voicing its opinion against federal regulators in Washington. In an exclusive interview with Response, ITV Direct's CEO says, "ITV Direct has suffered from false and misleading statements made by both the ERA and the government. We, as a natural supplement marketing company, are not alone in facing these legal battles as many marketers have been relentlessly harassed in attempts to stifle our goal to inform the public about the possible health benefits of natural supplements. It is disheartening to me that the government would spend taxpayer money on unnecessary investigations of all-natural supplements while readily approving harmful drugs like Vioxx. It makes one wonder where these agencies' loyalties lie — with Big Pharma or with the public."
ITV Direct is lobbying for the Health Freedom Protection Act, which seeks to loosen federal censorship on the marketing of "natural" supplements and to provide consumers with research and support claims for those products as well.
At press time, further information on the status of the case is pending a response by the associations named in the suit.
CNN Launches DR Web Site; Hosts Response Magazine Content
By Thomas Haire [email protected]
NEW YORK — In early January, CNN launched CNNdirectresponse.com, a new Web site designed to educated clients about direct response advertising, as well as the variety of CNN networks and broadband services that can integrate an advertiser's "call to action" across various platforms. Created by the CNN Ad Sales and Marketing team, the site meets a need best described by the fact that DR ads account for one-quarter of all television commercials and the medium is showing an increasing attractiveness to traditional marketers.
As part of the site, Response Magazine will provide its latest headlines and media buying and planning information, as well as a list of current industry events to CNN. Direct links between the Response Web site responsemagazine.com~ and CNNdirectresponse.com will allow users of each site to get key DR industry news while making the most informed media planning decisions.