The state of Arizona has reached a $250,000 settlement with Smart Advertising Solutions, LLC, a Tempe company that sold Internet-based business opportunities to consumers nationwide.
The settlement resolves allegations that Smart Advertising Solutions (SAS) made deceptive and misleading claims to consumers regarding the amount of earnings they could make through a home-based business sold by SAS.
Beginning in February 2004, SAS advertised in direct mailings to consumers that they could purchase business opportunities through SAS that allowed them to work at home, selling various products and services over the Internet by using a Web site that would be set up and maintained by the company.
The company claimed consumers could earn up to "$10,000.00 per week or more," that "people just like you are earning 6 figure incomes from the comfort of their own home" and that "SAS can now take you to the new wave of home based businesses, finally giving you a legitimate opportunity to earn thousands of dollars weekly in a $400 BILLION industry."
In response to these mailings, thousands of consumers contacted SAS and purchased the home-based businesses, along with advertising services sold by SAS that it claimed would be useful in directing the public to the consumers' Web sites.
The consent judgment requires SAS to:
• Pay the Attorney General's Office $225,000 in civil penalties and $25,000 for fees and costs of the investigation.
• Refrain from claiming consumers can make a certain amount of money unless the company can prove they have customers who have earned the represented amounts.
• Refrain from making deceptive claims regarding the effectiveness of its advertising sold to consumers to support their established businesses.