NAA applauds FTC complaint against companies sending misleading subscription renewal notices
Arlington, Va. – May 4, 2016 — 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 impacted 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.”