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Judge stays ADT’s second lawsuit against Vision Security

ADT ordered to first comply with previous settlement agreement it made with the door-knocking company in an earlier lawsuit over deceptive sales techniques
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04/30/2014

OREM, Utah and BOCA RATON, Fla.—A federal judge has put a 45-day hold on a second lawsuit that ADT had brought against Utah-based Vision Security over alleged deceptive sales practices. During that time, the two companies must follow a recent settlement agreement ADT worked out with Vision after ADT previously sued that door-knocking company on very similar charges.

Guardian hires another Devcon exec

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I wrote recently about Barry Bruce becoming Guardian Protection Services’ new senior VP of corporate sales. Bruce formerly was VP of national sales for Devcon Security, the residential security company that ADT acquired last summer.

Now Warrendale, Pa.-based Guardian has hired another former Devcon VP, Guardian announced today.

Michael Brand, who was VP of sales at Devcon, joined Guardian on April 3 to become director of Guardian’s southern region, assuming responsibility for all sales and operations, the company said. The region includes branches in Austin, San Antonio, Tampa, Charlotte and Philadelphia.

Brand was hired by Devcon in 2010 and then worked for ADT after it bought that company. “During his tenure,” Guardian said in a news release, “Mr. Brand held the positions of area manager, regional director and vice president of sales, including responsibilities for sales and field operations for the residential, commercial and HOA (home owners association) business segments.”

Before he joined Devcon, Brand worked for Brink’s, where he was general manager for that company’s Deerfield, Fla. branch, the news release said.

His previous experience includes leading New Jersey and Massachusetts branches of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and being a sales training coach with AT&T’s broadband division, according to the news release. It said Brand has a B.A. in communication from Hofstra University.

In a prepared statement, Bruce praised his new (and former) colleague: “I have worked with Mike Brand in the past and have great confidence in his capabilities. I have no doubt he will help us achieve new levels of success in our southern region.”

 

ADT goes after small business

Orbegoso: Opportunity is significant; only 50 percent of small businesses have monitored security
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04/14/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT is going after small business with targeted offerings for specific vertical markets, the first of which it launched on April 10.

Survey: Small retailers feeling insecure

Video surveillance and other solutions would allay fears, they say
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04/14/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—Small retailers aren’t feeling too physically secure these days.

ADT’s new CMO, VP of dealer sales newcomers to industry

But both Jerri DeVard and Jim Vogel say their varied backgrounds have prepared them for their new roles
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03/28/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT went outside the security space to find its new chief marketing officer and its new vice president of dealer sales. Both new hires say they’ll put the skills they honed working in other industries to good use at ADT.

ADT Pulse a feature of 2014 HGTV smart home

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03/27/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT on March 26 announced a renewed partnership with HGTV to showcase the latest innovations in home automation, monitored security, energy efficiency and smart home design throughout the 2014 HGTV Smart Home Giveaway.

ADT settles FTC complaint that it misled consumers

 - 
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ADT misled consumers by paying experts to promote ADT Pulse on NBC’s Today Show and through other media outlets without revealing the experts were paid—giving the impression the experts’ reviews were independent, the Federal Trade Commission alleges.

The administrative complaint is part of the FTC’s “ongoing crackdown on misleading endorsements in advertising,” according to an FTC news release. Now, to resolve that complaint, ADT has reached a settlement with the FTC that prohibits ADT “from misrepresenting paid endorsements as independent reviews in the future,” the March 6 news release said.

I asked Boca Raton, Fla.-based ADT about the matter. The company provided this response: “ADT has a tough disclosure policy that follows the FTC endorsement guidelines. That’s why we are happy to have resolved the matter amicably, and why we are willing to commit publicly to maintain that policy.”

Here’s what happened, according to the FTC:
 

ADT paid three spokespersons, including a child safety expert, a home security expert, and a technology expert, more than $300,000 to promote the ADT Pulse, with one spokesperson receiving more than $200,000. Two of those spokespersons also received a free ADT Pulse security system, valued at approximately $4,000, and free monthly monitoring service, according to the complaint. In exchange, the spokespersons appeared on more than 40 different television and radio programs nationwide and posted blogs and other material online.

ADT set up media interviews for the endorsers through its public relations firms and booking agents – often providing reporters and news anchors with suggested interview questions, and background video, also known as b-roll, according to the complaint. The paid ADT endorsers were introduced by program hosts as experts in child safety, home security, or technology, usually with no mention of any connection to ADT. The endorsers sometimes demonstrated child safety, home security, or technology products other than the ADT Pulse, adding to the impression that they were providing an impartial, expert review of the products.

The settlement is not official yet. The FTC has given unanimous preliminary agreement to it, but the commission won’t take a final vote until a March 6-April 7 public comment period closes.

Here are more specifics of the agreement, according to the FTC’s news release:

             [The order]

-Prohibits ADT from misrepresenting that any discussion or demonstration of a security or monitoring product or service is an independent review provided by an impartial expert.
-Requires ADT to clearly and prominently disclose, in connection with the advertising of a home security or monitoring product or service, a material connection, if one exists, between an endorser and the company.
-Requires the company to promptly remove reviews and endorsements that have been misrepresented as independently provided by an impartial expert or that fail to disclose a material connection between ADT and an endorser.

 

ADT earns “A” rating from Better Business Bureau

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03/07/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT announced today that it has been awarded an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau. The security company had previously held a “B+” rating with the BBB.

New front in Illinois fire monitoring battle

Proposed legislation would allow public fire districts back into monitoring business after a court ordered them out of it
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02/26/2014

DES PLAINES, Ill.—Just as Illinois fire protection districts are shutting down their fire monitoring programs because of a federal court ruling saying such public entities aren’t authorized to be that business, proposed new state legislation would grant the districts that authority.

ADT helps Atlanta ‘Secure the Roses’ after snowstorm

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02/19/2014

ATLANTA—ADT gave out free roses to Atlanta residents this week after winter storm Pax cancelled many Valentine's Day plans last week, the company announced Feb. 18.

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