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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

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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.

Fire monitoring in Illinois trending in industry’s favor

Still, some communities won’t bow to federal court decision saying public fire districts can’t be in alarm monitoring business
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02/12/2014

DES PLAINES, Ill.—The Lemont Fire Protection District is ending its fire alarm monitoring program, citing a recent federal appeals court decision saying public entities can’t monopolize such monitoring.

ADT, McAfee: Home security intersects with smartphone security

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I recently wrote about ADT’s announcement that it is partnering with Internet security provider McAfee this year to offer customers a plan that not only protects their homes, but their digital devices and data. Now a recent survey on how not protecting your smartphone can impact your security at home highlights just how important such a partnership is.

ADT made the announcement about McAfee at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Now, this week, ADT and McAfee released the results of the survey on how physical and digital security intersect in today’s world and how important it is for consumers to take steps to protect their online devices.

Their survey found that 39 percent of respondents “use technological devices to control their home security systems and 34 percent use smartphones to do so.”

But the survey of more than 1,000 consumers, which a press release said was commissioned by The Futures Company, indicated that about 51 percent of respondents “reported having their personal security compromised through both physical and online breaches.”

Disturbingly, however, the survey found that “respondents did not seem too concerned with protecting them, and many are comfortable sharing their passwords with others. Two in three smartphone users (67 percent) and tablet users (65 percent) report that they protect their devices with a password, yet nearly half (49 percent) admitted to sharing their password with at least one other person, risking their personal security and all the data found on their device.”

And, the press release said, “since over 33 percent of people use their devices to control to their physical alarm systems, and more than half of them fail to secure their devices with basic protection like private passwords, it seems our need for awareness in security is as great as the need for security itself.”

How will the ADT and McAfee partnership help?

Here’s what the companies had to say:
 

In the initial phase of the security collaboration, ADT will be bundling ADT Pulse, a complete security and automation solution that uses mobile technology, with McAfee LiveSafe, an award-winning data, identity, and digital device protection service. Together, the two services will provide an additional layer of protection for a customer's home or business, accessible through any web-connected smartphone or tablet. The ADT and McAfee partnership will develop a cohesive platform where users can easily protect their digital and physical domains from a single and centralized, easy-to-use portal. Together, ADT Pulse and McAfee LiveSafe service will establish new security standards and best practices that protect homes, properties, data, and personal identities.

"We are constantly seeking ways to increase protection for our customers in an increasingly connected and complex world," said Arthur Orduña, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at ADT. "Partnering with McAfee adds another vital layer of security to our Pulse solution with McAfee LiveSafe service, and opens up innovation opportunities for our platforms and products."

 

ADT: Consumer Electronics Show 'very important'

The event is productive for the security company on many fronts
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01/21/2014

LAS VEGAS—The annual Consumer Electronics Show didn’t used to loom so large on ADT’s radar. But 2014 marks the second year in a row the security giant has had a booth at CES and the company now views it an event not to be missed, according to Tony Wells, ADT SVP and chief marketing officer.

ADT hires new VP of investor relations

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01/09/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—Timothy Perrott is the new vice president of investor relations at ADT, the company announced Jan. 9.

ADT at CES 2014: New partnerships expand security beyond the home

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

ADT announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week that it is partnering with Ford Motor Company in 2014 to enable drivers to do such things as open garage doors or control their thermostats from a car.

The company also is partnering with Internet security provider McAfee this year to offer customers a plan that not only protects their homes but their digital devices and data. Additionally, ADT is partnering with health solutions provider Ideal Life to support its ADT Health platform “with real-time health management services.”

ADT also announced it has added enhancements to ADT Pulse—such as remote garage door control.

The announcements all have one thing in common: expanding ADT’s security reach beyond the customer's home.

“As a pioneer in the home security and automation space, ADT is focused on evolving the security industry by developing new ways for consumers to integrate our products seamlessly into their everyday lives,” said Arthur Orduña, senior vice president and chief innovation officer for ADT, in a prepared statement. ADT, which became an independent company in the fall of 2012 after splitting from Tyco International, had a booth this week at the CES show for the second year in a row.

Here’s more from ADT on the new PULSE enhancements, which will be available this spring:
 

ADT PulseVoice App: ADT Pulse Voice app offers the hands-free convenience of using voice commands to control nearly all areas of the home in the Pulse ecosystem, including lights, thermostats, door locks, small appliances and security systems. ADT Pulse Voice also responds to user’s vocal commands and provides auditory feedback on system status and confirmation of actions.
ADT Pulse Wireless Platform: The ADT Pulse Wireless Platform features an innovative and sleek design with an intuitive, touch-friendly user interface. The wireless control panel securely and safely manages all ADT Pulse controlled devices such as lights, thermostats, locks, and small appliances. Created with the user in mind, the ADT Pulse Wireless Platform is designed to deliver a non-invasive and seamless installation experience for homeowners, reducing installation time by half and avoiding any in-wall wiring.
ADT Pulse Remote Garage Door Control: To help ensure security and control at all access points of the home, ADT Pulse will feature remote garage door controls by incorporating leading technology developed by Linear LLC. This new feature will enable users to secure and control their garage door via the ADT Pulse smartphone app from around the corner or around the world.
Canopy App: Building on the trusted expertise of ADT home security services, the Canopy mobile application for iOS and Android provides users added personal protection and networking while on the go. Canopy enables users to identify the whereabouts of and communicate with friends and family members in a designated virtual circle. Additionally, the integrated ADT Chaperone feature provides a direct line to trusted ADT monitoring centers anytime and anywhere. ADT Chaperone is a subscription-based feature within the Canopy app that provides added protection and peace of mind in situations such as entering a dark parking garage or walking alone across campus at night.

 

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