Statement from Newspaper Association of America: Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint against Bogus Subscription Renewal Firms
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Arlington, Va. – The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) and its members are pleased to learn of yesterday’s announcement that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a complaint against dozens of companies that sent misleading subscription renewal notices to newspaper and magazine subscribers. The FTC alleges that the renewal notices sent to consumers overcharged by more than 40 percent above the amount newspapers typically charge for a subscription renewal, and indicated that those renewal prices were authorized by publishers listed on the notice.
Newspapers – and their subscribers – were negatively affected by this subscription renewal scam in roughly 50 markets in the fall of 2014. In November 2014, more than 360 member newspapers of the NAA sent a “cease and desist” letter to these companies requesting that they stop deceiving consumers into believing that the renewal notices were sent on behalf of newspapers and that the notice provided consumers with a favorable or authorized price. Newspapers also acted quickly to notify consumers about the scam through alerts on their websites and in their print publications.
“Trust is the most important element in the relationship between newspapers and our customers,” said NAA president and CEO, David Chavern. “We are pleased that the FTC has taken steps toward stopping this fraudulent activity and is seeking compensation for consumers.”
For more information please contact Paul Boyle.
NAA is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 newspapers and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. NAA members include daily newspapers, as well as nondailies, other print publications and online products. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on the major issues that affect today’s newspaper industry: public policy/legal matters, advertising revenue growth and audience development across the medium’s broad portfolio of products and digital platforms. Information about the association and the industry also may be found at www.newsmedia.com.
Paul Boyle is the Senior Vice President of Public Policy at News Media Alliance.