Universal Advertising, Inc. – Project Fal$e Hope$

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have filed suit against a Centerville, Utah company (Universal Advertising, Inc.) accusing the company of making false claims to entice franchisees to buy into the business.

The company has apparently used language such as: “Immediate Cash Flow! Incredible Return on Investment! The Perfect Home Based Business!” in its marketing to convince others to buy in.

The suit alleges Universal has violated the Franchise Rule that requires franchisers to have a reasonable basis for earnings claims, to provide complete and accurate financial information to potential buyers and to disclose the number of prior purchasers who achieved the same or better results as touted in promotional material.

The franchise (Universal) provides, for a minimum of $3,995, a display rack to the franchisee, which holds business cards and pamphlets.  The franchisee then finds suitable areas (such as restaurants, hair salons, etc.) to place the display racks. The franchisee then charges rent to businesses to display the business cards and brochures within the display rack.

Unclear in this article is why people actually believed they needed to pay Universal $3,995 for a display rack they certainly could have found at Wal-Mart for $100.

The FTC has labled this crackdown on home-based businesses “Project Fal$e Hope$.”


Explore posts in the same categories: Civil, Craig's commentary

6 Comments on “Universal Advertising, Inc. – Project Fal$e Hope$”

  1. They should have called it “Project What-Have-You-Been-Smoking?”

  2. Howard Perks Says:

    Before you write an article slandering someone else’s business you should have your facts straight.

    You wrote…”The franchise (Universal) provides, for a minimum of $3,995, a display rack to the franchisee, which holds business cards and pamphlets.” and “Unclear in this article is why people actually believed they needed to pay Universal $3,995 for a display rack they certainly could have found at Wal-Mart for $100.

    Fact is….. For $3,995 you get 5 not 1 Profit Centers made of a shatterproof polycarbonate material. It has a security bar and lock made of metal. The pedestal/stand is made from steel. You also get Lifetime warranty, a business start-up kit, 1000 business cards and life-time e-mail coaching. The units themselves are between $400-$800 depending on how many you buy.

    You’re not going to find anything close to these units at Wal-mart for $100.

    The reason I responded is because I have been researching this business and am considering starting a business of my own. I reseached scams online and came across an article that stated ther was a suit against Universal and Paul.

    The only thing I think Paul and Universal are guilty of is making some mistakes in their advertising. Through my research and crunching the numbers this business is in no way a Project False Hope, just a victim of some guidelines missed.

  3. Larry McLamb Says:

    It looks like they have already put Universal Advertising out of business. This is a totally misleading report. I can not put it any better than Mr. Perks has already put it. You see I am a product of this company and I love the concept.

    I purchased my units a few years ago and did not pay $3,995 for one unit. I am ready to expand my company and just learned of this report and the law suite. I hope the courts clear up this mess ASAP so Universal can get back to its business.

    I would like to track the status of this law suite. I need someone to email me if they know the status.

  4. Yvette Maldonado Says:

    I have 10 boards that I would like to sell to someone who has been successful in this business. I don’t have the time to do this business.

  5. Larry McLamb Says:

    I just read Yvette Maldonado’s coment about want to sell 10 boards. If they are the units from Universal Advertising I am interested. Please provide my email address to Yvette Maldonado. Thank you

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