Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

RealAge redux


Ok, so I broke down and took Hearst’s RealAge test for research purposes. But I’m pretty sure the results are stuck in Public Citizen‘s spam filter. The gist of it is that you take RealAge’s online quiz about your health history and habits, and it cranks out your “real” age for you, plus or minus a few years. Predictably, couch potatoes and bacon eaters have years subtracted, while folks with clean medical histories have years added.

And then RealAge sells your info and email to pharmaceutical companies, as the New York Times reported yesterday. Our friends at the CL&P blog have a great post on this, questioning the legality of this business model.

Anyway, RealAge’s questionnaire is unremarkable. (more…)

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The New York Times’ Stephanie Clifford had an interesting piece today about RealAge, an online quiz site that apparently has garnered a fair amount of press from Oprah etc. Public Citizen’s Peter Lurie, deputy director of health research, weighs in by telling the Times how sites like this take advantage of consumers’ health fears:

“Literally millions of people have unknowingly signed up,” said Peter Lurie, M.D., the deputy director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen, a public interest group in Washington. The company, he said, “can create a group of people, and hit them up and create anxiety even though the person does not have a diagnosis.”


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Cross-posted at Consumer Law & Policy Blog

By Paul Alan Levy

In the last couple of weeks, both the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign have experienced the sort of abusive use of the intellectual property laws that Greg Beck and I have previously discussed here – the invocation of phony copyright or trademark claims to suppress their free speech. In the recent cases, TV networks complained to YouTube about the use of footage from news reports in their campaign advertisements, invoking the takedown provisions, in section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or “DMCA.” And if IP owners can get away with suppressing the speech of the presidential candidates from our two major parties when they criticize each other, that just shows how vulnerable the rest of us are when we use the Internet to criticize companies. (more…)

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