By ANNE GIBSON
A newspaper advertisement promoting investment seminars run by the Entrepreneurs Success Centre has been criticised for not telling the truth.
The Advertising Standards Complaints Board ruled that an ad headlined, "Here's how the rich make their money and you can too" did not tell people that it was only an introductory seminar, was "completely unacceptable" and did not disclose that further costs could be incurred.
Via their Entrepreneurs Success Centre, Auckland property investors Phil Jones and David Hows promote their Richmastery brand and run seminars which they claim will give investors the skills and information for successful investment.
An ad in the Dominion Post in July promoted a one-night seminar for $49.95. It showed Queensland-based Daniel Kertcher as Jones and Hows' teacher, said he had made a profit of "331 per cent in three months", gave eight reasons to attend and said that Kertcher had retired at age 28.
"Discover the truly amazing sharemarket secrets that have made NZ millionaires Phil Jones & David Hows thousands and thousands of dollars and helped propel them to multi-multi-millionaires ... using my jealously guarded money-making formula ... " the ad stated.
But Tim Vogel, of Wellington, went to a seminar and to a three-day options trading course run by Kertcher and said the ad was "misleading and deceptive" because the cost to the consumer was considerably more than $49.95.
Via Richmastery, Jones and Hows had placed numerous similar ads in the past year, Vogel complained. Although the one-night seminar gave a basic overview, people would have to spend $6685 on three-day courses and software to enable them to use the techniques being promoted.
In response, the Entrepreneurs Success Centre said the complaint was "vexatious and holds no merit", no other complaints were received and the ad was factually based.
The board ruled that the Richmastery ad "did not strictly observe the basic tenets of truth and clarity as it was not clear to the reader that there would be further costs or seminars".
The Consumers' Institute has warned that options trading is a high-risk business, said it has commented three times on a scheme Kertcher has been involved with and warns against his seminars.
The Richmastery web site attacks a Consumers article published late last year and other media coverage, claims 30,000 people have attended seminars and promotes them this week in Tauranga, Auckland, Whangarei, Dunedin and Christchurch.
By ANNE GIBSON