WHAT WE DO:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses.
The FTC's Division of Consumer and Business Education (DCBE) plans and implements public education campaigns for consumers and industry about fraud, deception, and unfair practices. DCBE produces, promotes, and disseminates educational messages and award-winning materials to consumers, businesses, and law enforcement officials through multifaceted communications and outreach programs.
WHAT WE OFFER:
Through our publications, online activities, efforts with other federal agencies and non-governmental organizations, marketing initiatives, and media outreach, we reach tens of millions of consumers and businesses each year. In Fiscal Year 2008, DCBE distributed more than 9.6 million English and Spanish publications, and recorded more than 39 million accesses of consumer and business information on the FTC Web site (www.ftc.gov).
The consumer information section of the site - www.ftc.gov/consumer - offers practical information on a variety of consumer topics, including: advertising claims; buying, leasing and renting cars; credit; debt collection; employment and job placement; identity theft; investment schemes; online shopping; scholarship scams; sweepstakes; telemarketing; work-at-home schemes...and more. FTC information can help you avoid rip-offs and exercise your consumer rights. So read up!
All FTC consumer and business publications and articles are in the public domain. Feel free to post them, reprint them, adapt them, or link to them.
DCBE's print materials are free and available in bulk. For more information, visit www.ftc.gov/bulkorder.
WHAT WE NEED:
DCBE is looking for partners to help us get the word out about mission-related activities. Your organization might:
1. Make Brochures Available to Your Community Members
If you work for an organization that serves consumers directly, it may have a location designed for the public to pick up free information. Or, you may know where in your community most people get their information. Make sure that consumer brochures are available in these places so people can pick up free copies.
2. Encourage Your Co-Workers to Use Consumer Information
Sharing information with your colleagues can help them better understand consumer issues, which, in turn, can make it easier for them to help those they work with. Let them know about the resources you have found!
Email can be a quick and effective way to let your co-workers know about the FTC's free consumer publications. Include a link to www.ftc.gov/consumer, where they can find all the FTC publications in English and in Spanish.
3. Include Consumer Messages and Tips in Your Organization's Newsletter
By including short articles with practical and easy-to-follow tips, you can provide valuable information that everyone can use. To find FTC feature articles on a specific topic, click on a category name from the list at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/resources/articles.shtm.
4. Link to the FTC's Web site From Your Organization's Web site
Visitors to your Web site will appreciate having a direct link to important information from the nation's consumer protection agency.
Ask your webmaster to place a button on your Web site with a link to the FTC consumer pages. Visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/resources/partners.shtm to find the FTC's collection of "quick-jump" banners and buttons that direct consumers to FTC educational Web sites on credit, online safety, identity theft, diet and fitness issues, and others.
The FTC has just launched a new Web site for kids, www.ftc.gov/YouAreHere. With interactive games and activities, the site encourages kids to think like consumers and make wise decisions in the marketplace. Kids aged 8-12 will learn basic economic concepts, such as business competition, advertising techniques, and fair market practices.
The site features animated guides Emily and Isaac, who help visitors navigate a virtual mall and interact with shopkeepers and other customers. Kids can design and print advertisements for a shoe store, uncover the suspicious claims in a vitamin ad, and guess the retail price of various candies based on their supply, demand, and production costs. They can learn about target marketing by matching various cell phones with their target audiences and learn about competition by comparing sales pitches from three different pizza joints. When they want to kick back and relax, they can join their friends at the cinema to watch a short film that illustrates the origins of the FTC.
For parents and teachers, the site offers fact sheets that cover advertising, marketing, and competition in more detail, along with ideas for related activities. The FTC encourages teachers to use the site in classroom activities related to consumer economics, government, social studies, history, language arts, and other related topics. After-school program counselors can use the site to teach kids practical consumer tips and help them explore the role of business and government in everyday life.
Colleen P. Tressler
Senior Project Manager
Division of Consumer and Business Education
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Mail Drop NJ-2267
Washington, DC 20580
202-326-2368; fax: 202-326-3574
Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy