Today, Commercial Alert sent a letter to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) asking for an investigation to determine if buzz marketers are violating federal law by prohibiting deceptive advertising.
The letter asks the FTC to review evidence that "companies are perpetrating large-scale deception upon consumers by deploying buzz marketers who fail to disclose that they have been enlisted to promote products. This failure to disclose is fundamentally fraudulent and misleading."
Commercial Alert's letter urges the FTC to thoroughly investigate Proctor & Gamble's Tremor, which has enlisted about 250,000 teenagers in its buzz marketing sales force. "The Commission should carefully examine the targeting of minors by buzz marketing, because children and teenagers tend to be more impressionable and easy to deceive. The Commission should do this, at a minimum, by issuing subpoenas to executives at Proctor & Gamble's Tremor and other buzz marketers that target children and teenagers, to determine whether their endorsers are disclosing that they are paid marketers."
A PDF of the letter can be viewed here (Link goes to a PDF which will open acrobat).