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Doctor Oz Goes After Fraudulent Advertisers

My wife is a big Dr. Oz fan. She’s been watching his show for a while and she never misses an episode. Although my wife and I seldom agree when it comes to what’s worth watching on TV, I do sit and watch the Dr. Oz show with her once in a while.

What I like about Dr. Oz is that he’s willing to tread a bit outside the confines of traditional medicine and talk about what people really need to do in order to get healthy. Rather than pushing pills for Big Pharma, Dr. Oz talks a lot about good nutrition and natural methods that promote good health.

I suppose my views on health are better saved for another post, so let’s move on to the real subject of this post.

As someone who does business on the internet, I’m all too familiar with the levels many internet marketers and advertisers will stoop to in order to make a buck. Just about everyone has heard about the fake online pharmacies that are selling bogus pills that contain just about everything from plaster to paint so they can make money. Apparently the fact that they are probably harming people does not bother them for a second.

Although the advertising practices that have Dr. Oz ticked off aren’t quite as harmful to people’s health, I’d say the good doctor has plenty of reasons to be ticked off.

My wife first noticed this a week or two ago when she was on Facebook. She kept seeing ads featuring Dr. Oz. Thus piqued her interest since she is a die-hard fan, so she clicked on a couple of the ads and discovered that the ads linked her to web pages that were promoting various health-related products. In many cases, the promoters of these products were making claims that their product was somehow endorsed or connected with Dr. Oz.

Since I’ve been around this industry for a while, it was immediately apparent to me that these products had nothing whatsoever to do with Dr. Oz. It’s common practice for the lowlife of the internet marketing and advertising world to use any tactic they think they can get away with if it will help them make money.

Unfortunately for the morons using Dr. Oz’s name to promote their products, Dr. Oz has taken action to stop this practice. The good doctor had this to say on the subject:

“The moment I recommend any solution or product to better your health, I notice my words, name and image get manipulated and used by stores, companies and websites that try to sell their products for a quick buck. I’m mad about this because it dupes you into buying potentially ineffective and unsafe products.

Therefore, I’ve decided to take back my name. My team and I started working on ways to stop this, and what we learned in the process has shocked us.

First, I didn’t realize how easy it was to run misleading ads on the web. All one needs to do is upload a digital picture of me and click the right buttons to grab your attention on popular websites. One may think this is illegal, but it isn’t. No one polices the web this closely, which is why this happens so frequently on the Internet.

Furthermore, we were also surprised to find “Dr. Oz” banners at pharmacies, health food stores and grocery stores. One store even dedicated a whole aisle of products to me. This is unsafe and further opens the door for companies to promote products I don’t endorse.

Therefore, so many people are disappointingly scammed into buying supplements they think are effective and safe. I didn’t realize how confused so many people were by this until I started looking into the issue.”

Welcome to the world of internet marketing and advertising, Dr. Oz. More specifically, the dark side of the industry.

I suspect more than a few internet marketers are crying themselves to sleep at night after having their fake Dr. Oz ads shut down by Facebook and other big websites. Some of them are also getting their web sites shut down by the companies that host them.

Those marketers knew they were taking a chance by using Dr. Oz’s image and name to promote their product. Make no mistake, they are a savvy bunch and they know the rules very well – they just choose to ignore the rules and see how long they can get away with something before they are shut down.

A lot of them probably made a lot of money promoting products using Dr. Oz’s name and will probably move on to other shady tactics to make money.

If I were in Dr. Oz’s position I would probably feel the same way he does. He seems to be someone who makes an honest effort to help people improve their health and to have who-knows-who using his name to promote products that may be ineffective, or worse yet, harmful to people, has to be very disturbing to him.

The marketers that have been using Dr. Oz’s name to promote their products took a risk and it is one that may not be worth it when all is said and done. The internet has been the wild west of marketing up until now but that may be changing. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is showing more interest in the activity of internet marketers these days and is starting to crack down on some of them.

It’s really too bad for the honest marketers who are trying to do business on the internet because the idiots that do things like using a celebrity’s name without permission are making the industry look bad for all of them.

It’s the same old story for just about any industry. There are always a few idiots who make everyone else look bad and cause agencies like the FTC to create more and more regulations that honest marketers have to spend extra time and effort to comply with even when they were doing nothing wrong to start with.

I hope Dr. Oz is willing and able to take action against some of these fraudulent advertisers that have been using his name. It would be nice to see some of them punished for their actions.

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