JAN 27, 2014

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Marketing Maven

Best of the Beatles

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While Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr made news by playing together at the Grammy Awards, it brings to mind a deceptive marketing ploy involving the third living former Beatle which was made over 38 years ago.

Pete Best was the drummer for the group for over two years until he was fired (for reasons which still have yet to be made clear) in August 1962.

After he was removed from the group, Best made a number of unsuccessful attempts to revive his career. During 1965, while residing in the United States, Best and the eponymous group he was affiliated with at the time released an album on Savage Records.

The album was called "Best of the Beatles" and many young people spend their money to purchase it thinking it came from the group. The deliberate play on words was not inaccurate; Best had been a member of the Beatles. But it was and is clearly deceptive.

An Internet search shows the New York State Bureau of Consumer Fraud did hold a hearing but apparently took no action.

But deceptive advertising on a record label and deceptive advertising involving mortgage lending are two different things.

The scuttlebutt is that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is clamping down on false and/or misleading advertising practices. That should not be news to anyone.

Around this time last year, I spoke with a compliance expert about this very topic.

Years ago a state regulator told me that going after deceptive advertising was easy because it is "low-hanging fruit."

They get the same direct mail everyone else does. They watch television and read newspapers and magazines.

Poor advertising practices among mortgage originators should not be the topic of a column in 2014 because one would think the industry would have cleaned up its practices by now. I guess I am mistaken.

FYI: Origination News is starting to gather data for its annual survey of loan officers. From this survey we generate our list of the top 200 loan officers by volume for 2013. Even if you don't feel you have done enough volume to qualify for the list, please fill out the survey. Every person who submits data gets a free subscription to Origination News. Visit http://www.originationnews.com/losurvey to access the submission form. Completed surveys are due on March 8. The Top 200 list will appear in the April issue of Origination News.

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