Legacy Learning Settles With FTC Over Phony Online Reviewers

Jorgen Wouters
Phony online reviews
Phony online reviews

A maker of popular guitar-lesson DVDs has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint about sock puppetry, with the agency saying the DVD maker deceived customers by paying marketers to post glowing online reviews of its products while posing as consumers.

The FTC's complaint against Lester Gabriel Smith and his Nashville, Tennessee-based Legacy Learning Systems Inc. is part of an ongoing FTC effort to combat deceptive advertising in print and online. The company's Learn and Master Guitar program is marketed to beginners and intermediate players who want to learn the guitar at home through instructional DVDs.