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We’ve talked about the issue of “truth in advertising” a few times before but it bears repeating that it’s the single most important element your advertising campaign can contain. As obvious as it sounds, some companies are still learning the hard way that their product needs to do what their advertising says it will do. Take identity theft security company, LifeLock, for example. Their advertising “guarantee[s] to protect your good name”. If only they could do the same for their CEO, Todd Davis.

In an effort to show just how secure their service is the CEO plastered his REAL social security number in all of the company’s advertising, an aggressive campaign that began in 2006. Since then, it has been brought to light that Mr. Davis’ identity has been stolen at least 13 times as reported by the Phoenix New Times. What’s interesting about this is that the first time word got out that his identity had been stolen, the company tried to spin the story into a positive claiming that it only happened once and LifeLock was there to help the whole way. In reality, Todd Davis has currently amassed thousands of dollars of debt from having his good name stolen. An AT&T account alone opened in his name accrued a whopping $2,390 that has since gone to a collection agency.  AT&T was not happy about losing that money and neither was the FTC, who is now suing the company $12 million for deceptive advertising. The lesson here is simple: know your product works!