Verifying number one (#1) specialist claims, expert reviewsJanette Toral
There is a growing number of professionals today who are proclaiming themselves as number one (#1). There are also reviews being published proclaiming individuals as number one and make it rank on search engine results.
Have seen this in fields such as wealth generation coaching, real estate consulting, Internet marketing, SEO, e-commerce, among others. To help consumers verify, I hope these steps can help.
1. Check the source of claim
Any number one (#1) claim, to be seen as valid or true, must be given by a disinterested third party who has done research on the subject. Such entity will clearly state the period covered and criteria used for coming up with a ranking list.
The absence of “source” will make such claims questionable.
This is no different from review articles being published praising individuals or companies and declaring them as number one without properly disclosing their personal or business relationship to the person or entity being reviewed.
For people knowledgeable in the industry, they will see this as a deceiving marketing strategy. But for newbie consumers, some may fall and believe those claims as true. Worst, if they found out later it was false or have no basis at all, but only a self-proclamation or a marketing business partner doing it as their income relies on creating that “image”.
It is like being “scammed”.
Especially if a person signed-up or availed of a product or service because of the selling point of being “the Philippines number one (#1)”.
2. Ask the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Trade Regulations and Consumer Protection
The BTRCP’s office primary goal is to protect the interest of consumers. If any company or individual is advertising a product or service in a way that misleads the consumer, the BTRCP can take action and call a person’s attention.
3. Ask the Advertising Standards Council (ASC)
The ASC is one of the shepherds of the advertising industry. It comes up with guidelines media entities consult on to see if advertisement will pass consumer protection regulations or not.
The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines also gets asked on this subject. The group has come up with a code of ethics that industries and professionals can refer to for the online conduct of their promotions.
4. Check publications and authoritative sources
Although some press releases of #1 claims will sometimes sneak through, but editors and bloggers aware of “superlative claims without clear source citation” will not allow it. A published article or press release that has a “superlative claim without clear source citation” can be questioned on its truthfulness, motive, or intent.
First to claim
Being the first to claim or bestow a leadership stature for an industry or profession can create a huge value on one’s reputation. However, it must be done with great responsibility and accountability – thinking and putting the consumer’s interest first.