Last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which protects consumers from deceptive business practices, issued an advisory titled “Keep your AI claims in check.”
When it comes to marketing, “false or unsubstantiated claims about a product’s efficacy are our bread and butter,” wrote Michael Atleson, an attorney with the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices.
Artificial intelligence is a on everyone’s lips at the moment, “and at the FTC, one thing we know about hot marketing terms is that some advertisers won’t be able to stop themselves from overusing and abusing them.”
Given the renewed interest, “for companies where AI was previously No. 4 on the list of proof points, machine learning capabilities should merge into the main hook of the announcement,” advises PR strategist Camilla Tenn.
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“If AI-related coverage can get a new, unknown brand into its target publications today, it could help get the brand’s pitch deck in front of potential investors or partners tomorrow,” she writes in TC+.
Tenn recommends imitating major players like Google and Samsung, which have dedicated teams that release a steady stream of material about “ongoing projects” tied to prevailing tech trends.
“Even if those projects don’t see the light of day, the PR team has strategically positioned the brand as ‘innovative,’” says Tenn. “With this precedent, startups should not feel abashed to use any means necessary to get their name out there.”
Good advice for marketing mercenaries, but keep those pitches straight — reporters know when we’re being sold to, and the FTC isn’t messing around.
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Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
How to turn an open source project into a profitable business
Many devs rely on donations and crowdfunding to monetize open source projects, but with the proper planning, teams can leverage their work for commercial clients who’ll put them in a higher tax bracket.
Offering users customer support or consulting services are common revenue streams, according to product development consultant Victoria Melnikova, who also says devs should form partnerships and use platforms like Reddit and Hacker News to reach potential paying customers.
“To find your path, talk to your clients and understand their goals and pains.”
To fix the climate, these 10 investors are betting the house on the ocean
Tapping the ocean for energy led to disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which released nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Today, wind power and wave action are just two technologies leading investors to take a closer look at ocean conservation technology, reports Tim De Chant.
To learn more about the opportunities they’re chasing and discover how climate change is shaping their investment thesis, he surveyed:
- Daniela V. Fernandez, founder and CEO of Sustainable Ocean Alliance, managing partner at Seabird Ventures
- Tim Agnew, general partner, Bold Ocean Ventures
- Peter Bryant, program director (oceans), Builders Initiative
- Kate Danaher, managing director (oceans and seafood), S2G Ventures
- Francis O’Sullivan, managing director (oceans and seafood), S2G Ventures
- Stephan Feilhauer, managing director (clean energy), S2G Ventures
- Sanjeev Krishnan, senior managing director and chief investment officer, S2G Ventures
- Rita Sousa, partner, Faber Ventures
- Christian Lim, managing director, SWEN Blue Ocean Partners
- Reece Pacheco, partner, Propeller
Pitch Deck Teardown: Gable’s $12M Series A deck
Remote workspace platform Gable raised a $12 million Series A to scale up its operations, which currently serves more than 5,000 workers in 26 countries.
“Making the business of shared