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Experian Sues Lifelock For "Misleading" Ads

  • Ad Age, Wednesday, February 27, 2008 12 PM

Credit agency Experian has charged identity-theft insurance company Lifelock in a lawsuit that charges it with "misleading advertising and fraud." Experian claims that Lifelock has illegally put fraud alerts on credit files it manages that "have caused damage to both Experian and consumers and threaten to degrade the effectiveness of fraud alerts over time." So far, more than 720,000 people have signed up for Lifelock's service and the company is currently running a $50 million ad campaign in which the CEO hands out fliers with his Social Security number to people on the street.

A mobile billboard also displays the number and he shouts that "if anything happens while you are a client of Lifelock, we will cover all losses and all expenses up to $1 million." The Lifelock system automatically puts fraud alerts on customers' credit reports every 90 days, and Experian claims that's a violation of the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Lifelock also includes the removal of customer names from pre-approved credit-card offers and other junk-mail lists - something consumers can do for free.

Lifelock CEO Todd Davis calls the suit "frivolous" and says "this is about Experian not wanting to have competition."



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