ADT deceived public with paid reviews, FTC says

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A home-security company’s secret no longer is safe.

Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement with ADT today that settled charges that ADT paid people to publish and broadcast what the company billed as independent reviews.

FTC says ADT paid three safety and technology experts to promote ADT’s Pulse home-security and monitoring system on at least 40 radio and TV programs, as well as on blogs and other online material. The paid promotions included a January 2011 segment on NBC’s Today Show in which a person who was billed as a child-safety expert touted the Pulse system as part of an examination of products that aimed to help to keep kids safe at home.

FTC says ADT paid the child-safety expert, a home-security expert and a technology expert at least $300,000 total to promote the Pulse system, with two of those spokespeople receiving a free Pulse system and free monthly monitoring service.

As part of the settlement, ADT agreed to disclose any connection between the company and an endorser of the company’s product. ADT also agreed to remove paid endorsements and paid reviews that were misrepresented as independent.