Heather Wylde

My 1st Impression of Anik Singal’s Book “Don’t Say That” about FTC Compliance for Online Businesses

If you’re in the online sales and marketing world or an online entrepreneur, you have probably heard of the book “Don’t Say That” by Anik Singal and Greg Christiansen. It’s all about how to become FTC compliant to reduce your risk of being fined by the FTC.*

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in the United States has turned their eyes toward the online coaching industry due to numerous consumer complaints. The marketing & sales laws aren’t new, but they weren’t really enforcing them before. Now, they’ve been going after influencers, online coaches, and anybody using questionable marketing techniques. Anik Singal was one of them – he got fined a massive amount of money and went through over a year of court proceedings.

He’s written this book to tell us what the FTC is looking for and how to avoid running afoul of them. The information in the book is pretty solid, and it’s presented in an accessible way by the lawyer helping him write it. Most of it can probably be found on the FTC’s website (ftc.gov), but it’s not in legal speak here.

My problem with this whole thing is that Singal doesn’t seem sorry. He’s not admitting fault or saying he was not good to people. Instead, he’s acting like he didn’t know he couldn’t do those things and is now stepping in to be a savior.

When you buy the book, there are several upsells. The book itself is in a learning portal, not a standard ebook format, and there are pitches throughout for a masterclass where he’ll likely try to sell courses teaching “successful compliant marketing.”

It feels like this is mostly about saving his reputation and pivoting to compliant marketing. The information is good, but I’m reluctant to support it because it feels a little gross, like another marketing angle.

I’m sure he’s being as compliant as possible now, but he still seems to be using bro marketing scare tactics and what I call the “magic manipulative formula” using the dark side of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Used consensually by a trained practitioner, NLP can be amazing for transformation. But using it in marketing to influence people’s subconscious is unethical.

The FTC enforcement will stop some of these manipulative practices, like false scarcity, but I worry aggressive marketers will just lean harder into the tactics that are still allowed, like fear-based marketing, which works especially well on trauma survivors who are often drawn to the coaching industry.

Let me know what you think of Anik Singal’s book, and the book funnel.

I’ll be making more content around FTC compliance from my perspective as an online marketer and sales strategist, and I’d love to know what you’d like to learn!

*This info is for educational purposes ONLY, it is NOT legal advice. I’m an not a lawyer and I am not affiliated with the FTC or Anik Singal.

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