Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Restrictions on FTD's FOL Websites

On September 1st, a new restriction for FOL florists emerged in the administration area of the FOL portal related to updating text on the homepage of YOUR website.

In that regard, after you attempt an update you will get this:
"The Content you've requested requires support assistance. Please contact FOL support at 800-576-6721."

After calling the number I spoke with a FTD FOL rep. by the name of "Muigel" who told me that FTD must now manually approve update requests due to recent "federal rules and regulations that have been put in place."

Your comments are welcome.....


StriderSEO said...

It's hard to imagine a good reason for this, as the hosting company is not liable for the content of the site.

My guess has to be that FTD is either concerned about pro-b&m content (weak) or they understand that quality content on a florist's site can help them outrank FTD (tinfoil hat).

It must be tough having your most important marketing asset controlled by your biggest competitor.

Anonymous said...

If in fact the FEDERAL mention can be documented, FTD has now opened themselves up to new scrutiny.

If it's Federal, then deceptive use and misuse falls into play.

Really hope that it's they, that open the FEDERAL DOOR !

Mark McFall said...

I don't know if FTD records calls, but the rep I was speaking to seemed unsure of how to handle my question as to why I need permission to update my own site.

The mention of federal rules seemed like a tactic to get me off the phone. That's why I asked for his name.

Cathy R said...

About the hosting site not being liable for the content of a site, the US FTC guidelines say "Advertising agencies or website designers are responsible for reviewing the information used to substantiate ad claims. They may not simply rely on an advertiser's assurance that the claims are substantiated. In determining whether an ad agency should be held liable, the FTC looks at the extent of the agency's participation in the preparation of the challenged ad, and whether the agency knew or should have known that the ad included false or deceptive claims."

FTD is far more than just a hosting company when it comes to florists. They financially benefit from the transactions in a significantly greater way than a typical hosting service/client relationship.

Would love to hear more details about this new FTD assertion of content control. Does it also apply to their non-hosted affiliates and to the feeder sites that place dubious content elsewhere but send shoppers to FTD hosted shopping carts?