In digital marketing, not all companies come out with the same expectations and standards as others. Some marketing automation and lead generation businesses say they’ll bring their customers success, but some fall short due to their lack of transparency and ethical methods.
Recently, a new company has come under fire for their less than ethical business standards. As of early May, the Federal Trade Commission has decided to start an action suit against the education lead generation company Gigats.com. The action was brought against the company due to their lies and sketchy methods of obtaining information from “leads”. The company collected information from individuals, claiming that it was being used for pre-screening methods, as the individuals were under the impression that they were applying for a job site to gain attention from employers. But is reality, the information extracted from these uninformed individuals was used to gather information from leads for other purposes. While these individuals though they were being screened for jobs they had applied for, their information was actually unknowingly being shared with training companies and post-secondary schools, so these individuals were then targeted as leads for these types of schools and businesses.
As the applicants expected to be applying for jobs for certain companies, the employers were never in connection with Gigats.com, nor did they ever receive the applications of the individuals who applied through the site. The information obtained from these individuals was used for the sole purpose of supplying the schools and training companies with their contact information. A sly trick pulled by Gigats.com, indeed.
But Gigats.com isn’t the only lead marketing company out there today pulling these types of tricks. Many online companies are using the information they receive from their leads in unethical ways, without the permission of the individuals they are targeting, which has caused the Federal Trade Commission to keep a close eye on such transactions and interactions online. Many of these businesses are under scrutiny with the Federal Trade Commission for pulling these types of sly tricks with the information they receive from leads, so the FTC is cracking down on this type of behavior online.
As for the Gigats.com case, the company is currently facing a large fine as punishment for their mistake. The company will also have to come clean to their clients and leads, and have to disclose the use of the information they are asking of their leads for future endeavors, as that is what the FTC upholds as the standard for the lead marketing industry.
The FTC is working to stop this unethical behavior. But it’s always best to do your research and be wary when releasing personal information online. If you own a lead marketing business, just make sure you disclose the works of your company as the Federal Trade Commission is working towards standards of honesty and transparency in the digital marketing industry. Plus, the more trustworthy your company is, the more leads and success you’ll find in the end, anyhow.