Archive for December, 2010

The True Meaning of “Free”

Cell Phone

We marketers are a creative crowd. Through our work, we can inspire people to join a movement, make a candidate win or simply buy a product or service.

However, there are marketers that like to “stretch the truth” at their convenience. Oddly enough, they are the ones that usually have long disclaimers via “fine print” that just contribute to send the profession’s image even closer to the bottom. Please note, however, that I’m not talking about spammers, “multi-level” promoters or the like; I’m talking about the “geniuses” at companies like AT&T, Verizon or Sprint with their “FREE Smartphone**” or “Buy one Windows Phone, Get One Free**”. I’m also talking to the creators of the “FREE $50 Gift card with your purchase”** or “FREE financial plan” (when you buy high commission, high expense financial products from me). Continue reading

Mutual fund

Image via Wikipedia

The securities industry is probably one of the most regulated in the United States. There are clear rules on what can and can’t be said in order to prevent false or misleading communications with the public.

Given the recent positive performance in the overall market, mutual fund advertisements are coming back to main stream media and trade publications.

It is common to see funds that tote their “good management” that “fare well” even in “difficult times”.

It is also common to see funds claiming to have the most awards from Lipper, Mornignstar or other rating companies that -to simplify- arrange funds by performance in a number of timeframes. For example, you’ll see that a some companies will claim to have “the most 5 star funds”, while others will claim to have beaten their “Lipper categories”. Continue reading