BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP Recommends Nick Vertucci Real Estate Academy Modify Certain Claims for Real Estate Education Program; Company Agrees to Do So
New York, NY – March 31, 2015– The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Nick Vertucci Real Estate Academy modify or discontinue certain claims for the Nick Vertucci Real Estate Academy education program.
ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP through an anonymous competitor challenge.
ERSP reviewed online advertising claims for the affiliate marketing, real estate investing program, including:
- “Over the last two years, his team has flipped over 800 properties across the country. They’re coming to your city offering free training & information on how to make serious money in today’s real estate market!”
- “specific strategies in flipping houses to make quick cash”
- “Interested in earning extra money in real estate? Want to learn how to make $30,000 in 30 days? Come to Nick’s upcoming FREE real estate training workshop in a nearby city and learn how to get in, get out, and GET PAID!”
- “…make $10,000 to $40,000 per deal in your spare time without using any of your own money.”
- “James & Minke: 3 Properties Purchased; $33,112 Net Cash Flow 22% in Appreciation”
ERSP reviewed advertising claims made in radio advertising and at two of advertiser’s websites that promoted Nick Vertucci as a real estate investment expert who could teach customers how to make money with real estate investing through courses and training.
ERSP noted the marketer’s willingness to cooperate and participate in the self-regulatory process.
However, ERSP was concerned with representations regarding the implication that customers of the Nick Vertucci Real Estate Academy would have access to “up to $1,000,000” in “pre-approved funding.” ERSP recommended that the marketer modify the claim to disclose whether material terms and conditions that would affect the ability to obtain such funding.
Further, ERSP recommended the marketer discontinue performance claims that customers could earn money quickly and easily. While ERSP recognizes that it is possible to earn money in real estate investing, like any other wealth creation enterprise, success is typically the result of hard work and a time commitment. As such, advertisers should be careful not to communicate, through express or implied claims, that earning money using a product or service is effortless, easy and/or simple.
ERSP acknowledged the marketer’s pledge to modify all earnings claims, but noted that the marketer should, in future advertising, refrain from making earnings claims until it reliable data that will support references to the amount of money that consumers may typically earn using the product.
ERSP noted that the marketer did not provide any evidence regarding the amount of money that students of Nick Vertucci have earned. ERSP does not dispute that the success stories depicted in the advertising are from real people with actual success stories. However, ERSP recommended that such testimonials be accompanied by clear and conspicuous language qualifying the claims with disclosures of typicality.
Finally, ERSP acknowledged the marketer’s pledge to add clear and conspicuous disclosures that can be read along with each testimonial, in order to alleviate the potential confusion about the typical results that consumers can generally expect to achieve.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said that it “agrees with ERSP’s recommendations, pledges to implement those recommendations and will implement procedures to ensure compliance with all federal, state and local laws, regulations, industry guidelines and best industry practices.”