Wired.com provides a nice little expose on the influx of teeth-whitening ads that are clogging Google, MSN and Yahoo like plaque.
The article focuses specifically on a Greek firm called Farend Services, which is doing business in the States as
dazzlesmile LLC dazzlesmilepro.com. While promising to class up your chops at a low price, a Salt Lake City-based consumer protection division is alleging that Farend is “trapping customers with fine print on a network of fake blogs that signs them up for an expensive subscription to the tooth-whitening products rather than the low-cost or free single unit they think they’re ordering.”
A poster on Ripoffreport.com offers their Farend experience: “I saw a promotion for a professional teeth whitener under the name of DentaWhite. The promo indicated that you could get a ‘free’ sample for just shipping costs ($3.50). The surprise comes when you get charged for $92.37 for a continuing commitment. The ‘terms’ are hidden from the customer and a link to those terms is well below the place you click submit for your initial ‘sample’ order.”
With the Better Business Bureau now involved in the legal skirmish, Dazzlesmile CEO Roger LeFevre is now placing blame squarely on the company’s agency Epic Advertising, telling Wired.com that he was “duped” by “deceptive language” that was engineered without him knowing. Now that Microsoft and Yahoo could face some embarrassment with this fiasco as the article points out, maybe the latter’s CEO Carol Bartz needs to amp up her crusade against “low quality” ads.