Under the law, claims in advertisements must be truthful, cannot be deceptive or unfair, and must be evidence-based. For some specialized products or services, additional rules may apply.
If you advertise directly to children or market kid-related products to their parents, it’s important to comply with truth-in-advertising standards.
Do you use endorsements or testimonials in your marketing?
Companies are offering consumers an ever-growing assortment of “green" options. But whether your environmental claims are about the product or the packaging, you'll need competent and reliable scientific evidence to support what you say.
Companies must support their advertising claims with solid proof. This is especially true for businesses that market food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, contact lenses, and other health-related products.
Online Advertising and Marketing
The Internet connects marketers to customers across the country and around the world. If you advertising online, remember the rules and guidelines that protect consumers also help businesses by maintaining the credibility of the Internet as a marketing medium. In addition, truth-in-advertising standards apply if you sell computers, software, or other tech-related products or services
The FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule helps protect consumers from fraudulent telemarketing calls and gives them certain protections under the National Do Not Call Registry. Companies also need to be familiar with rules banning most forms of robocalling. If you or someone working on your behalf is telemarketing products or services, know the dos and don’ts before you plan your strategy.
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Television Advertising Pros and Cons
Published on AllBusiness.com
Filed In: Television Advertising and Broadcast Advertising
Still the Most Powerful Form of Advertising
The Internet may grab all of the attention these days, but TV is still the media king. According to one recent study, the average American spends more than four and a half hours a day in front of the tube -- and a whopping 99 percent of all U.S. households have at least one TV.
Those numbers make one thing crystal clear: television advertising is still the most pervasive and powerful tool for reaching U.S. consumers. For small businesses, however, the barriers to using TV ads can be daunting; airtime can be very expensive, and good commercials are difficult and costly to create.
Given both the costs and benefits, is TV advertising the right approach for your small business? In the following slideshow we'll run down both the pros and cons, and help you to decide whether television advertising is a good choice.
Pro: The "Show and Tell" Effect
TV ads allow you to show and tell a wide audience about your business, product, or service. You can show how your product or service works, demonstrate the benefits of ownership, and show how it's packaged so prospective customers will know what to look for at the point of sale. While both online and print media offer some of the same advantages, TV advertising still offers the best way to tell your story in an engaging, consumer-friendly format.
Also keep in mind that in advertising, it often takes multiple touch points to influence consumers' purchasing behavior. TV makes it easier to accomplish that quickly, allowing your small business to convert more potential buyers into paying customers.
Con: TV Ads Demand Good Scripts and Strong Offers
For every really good ad that we see on TV, there are many others that either fail to make an impression or actually make the wrong impression -- they're cheap, tacky, stilted, or flat-out dumb.
To create an effective television ad, it's first necessary to have a good script that highlights a strong offer. Ads must also be effectively produced, and it's for this reason that it's often better to enlist the services of an advertising agency. That's an expensive prospect (more on that next), but it beats the alternative: the kind of ad that actually makes your business look worse than it did before.
Pro: TV Reaches a Bigger Audience
TV reaches a much larger audience than local newspapers and radio stations, and it does so during a short period of time. According to one study, for example, Americans in 2010 spent an average of 96 minutes per day listening to radio and 30 minutes a day reading newspapers. That may sound like a lot of time, but it pales in comparison to the 4.5 hours a day that the average person spends in front of his or her TV set.
At the same time, the growing number of cable TV channels offers an opportunity to purchase lower-cost ads that still reach specific demographic groups. Whether your business needs to reach young people, seniors, women, or minority communities, chances are there's a channel - or several channels -- that are a good fit for your ads.
Con: TV Ads Are Expensive
No other advertising medium will eat up your budget as quickly as television. Even if you're buying late-night cable TV spots, air time can run into thousands of dollars. You'll also have to deal with production costs, including hiring script writers, actors, editors, and other professionals. An ad agency can coordinate this process and even help you design an entire ad campaign, but they'll charge you by the hour to do so. And since TV ads are far more effective when they're viewed repeatedly, you're going to have to buy multiple ads.
How much will all of this set you back? At the national level, the average cost of producing a 30-second spot can be well over $300,000. While ads in local markets, using smaller agencies, can cost far less, you'll still invest thousands of dollars to produce even a bargain-basement TV ad with enough air time to get your business noticed.
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Apple's investment manager wrestles with $120bn problem
Braeburn Capital is investing the cash Apple has amassed thanks to the global appetite for its consumer electronics
It is one of the world's largest hedge funds, with $121bn under management, but its name is virtually unknown in financial circles. Braeburn Capital is not operated from the top floor of a Manhattan skyscraper or a plush Mayfair townhouse. It is located in a quiet suburb of Nevada's capital, Reno, and it belongs to Apple.
In a nondescript building opposite an abandoned restaurant, a small number of advisers have been charged with investing the cash pile Apple has amassed thanks to the seemingly insatiable global appetite for its consumer electronics.
That pile has grown from $9bn when Braeburn was established in 2006 to more than $120bn (£75bn), according to Apple's financial results on Thursday. That is a shade less than the $130bn Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in America and probably the world, has under management.
Much of Apple's money is trapped overseas, sheltered from the US taxman, who would demand a 35% cut were the money to be repatriated. But it can be invested at home. Apple's financial reports show it holds $21bn of US government debt – a vast sum for a single private investor. Foreign governments like investing in US securities, but Apple owns more than the $19bn held by Malaysia, and just $4bn less than Spain.
Apple's largest investment category is corporate securities. It has $44.5bn in company shares, more than the entire $39bn managed by Man Group, the UK's largest hedge fund. It is also a big holder of other nations' debt, with $7bn invested in sovereign securities abroad.
Little is known about which companies Apple invests in. It occasionally owns stakes large enough to be declared: Apple was a founding investor in British chip designer ARM, but has sold out, and owns 9% of Hertfordshire-based Imagination Technologies, which designs video and audio chips.
Braeburn does not file a record with the American stock market regulator, or the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure register; it is not an independent adviser but a division of a private company.
It is free to hold any assets – for all anyone knows they could be short positions on the shares of its major rivals such as Samsung and Google, or the sub-prime mortgages of American homeowners, lumped together and traded on the financial markets. Indeed, it declares ownership of nearly $9bn of mortgage and asset-backed securities, according to filings.
The decision to locate Braeburn in Nevada rather than Apple's home state of California makes sense because Nevada does not collect corporation tax or capital gains tax. California, by contrast, has a corporate tax rate of 8.84%, a rate of contribution to the public coffers that has not been enough to prevent a school funding crisis in a state that houses some of the world's most valuable companies. Managing its money from Nevada also allows Apple to lower its tax bills in other states. Florida, New Jersey and New Mexico discount taxes when a company's financial management is in another jurisdiction.
In 2006, Apple listed only cash and short term investments in its filings, but Braeburn's managers are expected to take the long view. Apple now holds nearly $90bn of its money in "long-term marketable securities".
According to analysis by the New York Times, since founding Braeburn, Apple has earned more than $2.5bn in interest and dividend income on its cash reserves and investments around the globe.
Apple declined to comment on Braeburn's activities, but in the year its investment arm was established, an Apple spokesman explained that it would function as a regional treasury office, on a par with existing offices at its Cupertino headquarters, in Singapore and in Cork, Ireland.
The Nevada Annual Report, a register of companies located in the state, lists three Braeburn officers: Apple attorney Gene Levoff, Michael Shapiro and Gary Wipfler, who as Apple's treasurer is the person officially responsible for the management of the technology titan's billions.
Various Braeburn employees have filled in pared down profiles on LinkedIn, the corporate networking site, including Steve Johnson, who claims to be chief investment officer, and Rhys Gray, a chartered financial accountant previously employed by investment management firm Payden & Rygel.
Ted Mulvaney describes himself as a portfolio manager at Braeburn, and is also linked to Magrathea Financial Services, a Reno based investment firm named after a Hitch-Hiker's guide to the Galaxy planet, known as one of the wealthiest in the universe due to its extraordinary trade – building customised planets to order.
Braeburn's team may be modest, but its scope is galactic
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