Are claims like these even legal?

12 replies
All this talk of retiring to your beach house from the cash you rake in without even working hard, etc... Is the state of copywriting so bad that copy like this is considered acceptable and ethical, or even legal?

Ewen Chia's Ebook Money Machine

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#claims #legal
  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    To know that for sure, you'd be better asking lawyers.

    Our job is to sell the dream. The client should (hopefully) be vetting everything and making sure it's above board.
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    • Do your due diligence. As Angie states. Check with an attorney first.

      I say this because there is a very popular copywriter who fell into legal trouble last summer using his services.

      Had I not read the actual "So & So vs. So & So" court documents I would have thought it was a rumor.

      So check your facts and do your research. If a client tells you not to worry about, fire them on the spot.
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  • Profile picture of the author myattitude
    Okay I get the ask the lawyers part, how does it sit with your copywriting ethics? It just sounds sleazy to me, I wouldn't be comfortable being associated with it.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      The burden of proof falls on the client.

      If they say, through their own words or the ones which their copywriter wrote (and they approved before uploading it online), that their product does X,Y, and Z then they have to be able to prove it does exactly that.

      Having said that, if their copywriter knows that the product has no chance of fulfilling on the promises being made, then they would be wise to adjust the copy so it makes smaller claims. Or better yet, don't take the project on in the first place.
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by myattitude View Post

      Okay I get the ask the lawyers part, how does it sit with your copywriting ethics? It just sounds sleazy to me, I wouldn't be comfortable being associated with it.
      This is why I only take on projects I believe in. From people who will give me access to the course/materials/product/experience so I can go through it myself. I'm not interested in a larger payday just to sell snake oil.
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  • In the never ending lands of the get rich quick schemes.

    When clients queue up and pay for successful "moral bypass" operations.

    The irony being the surgeon proudly proclaims, "Worry not, there are no side effects" (and craftily places a hand over the small print showing all the horrors on the contract).

    Needn't have bothered because the clients wouldn't have read it anyway.

    As a copywriter when asked to write about "money for nothing" spiels - ask yourself one question.

    "How quickly can I diplomatically say "No Thanks"


    Steve
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  • I try to keep it on the level when it comes to writing for my own services.

    When a client really insists on something sketchy I usually put a red disclaimer on the section along the lines of "please have a lawyer review this before publishing, all copy in this section is for demonstration purposes only until subject to due diligence."
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    The burden of proof is on the biz owner.

    But as the copywriter...

    You have to be careful.

    You ARE liable for making unsubstantiated claims - if there are ever complaints to the FTC.
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  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
    Well, the guy does have an "earnings disclaimer". And he's careful to say you "can" make loads of money fast (which is theoretically possible) rather than you "will" make money.

    He might get in trouble with "fake" (?) screenshots of his income.

    ...But what I really came to say is in the "get rich quick" IM niche, claims like his aren't all that unusual. In fact, in that niche, they may be just what the doctor ordered! (I'm no expert in that niche at all, but I see writing like this so often, I presume it's effective...)
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    • Profile picture of the author DKCopywriter
      Originally Posted by splitTest View Post

      And he's careful to say you "can" make loads of money fast (which is theoretically possible)
      This is where they get you. I'm fairly certain that's what makes it legal.
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  • Profile picture of the author dmaster555
    You'd be surprised what one can get away with, using correct wordings that are open to interpretation and easily manipulated by a good lawyer that will get you out of lawsuit/criminal punishment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bengr86
    Ask yourself a simple question: If you were reading it and not writing it, would you accept it? If you feel comfortable enough with your text, knowing that whoever reads it knows what they're getting into, then by all means. If you feel the text is hiding something, I personally would have a problem with it.
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