The Student Association of the United States of America has issued a letter to President Donald Trump, urging the Federal Trade Commission to “take immediate action” against the “unprecedented” amount of deceptive advertisements that it says students are receiving on college campuses.
The letter, sent Monday to the FTC, cites two separate incidents of ads that appear to be paid for by the university sponsoring the program.
The first appears to be on an official university website for a private university.
The second, from the same website, is from the University of Washington, which offers private colleges in the state of Washington.
The university behind the first advert is the University at Buffalo, a public university that has not disclosed its relationship with the student union, according to the letter.
The association said the second ad is a parody, which it described as “disturbing.”
The association wrote that the advertisements “contain blatant misrepresentations of the terms and conditions of their use and are misleading, deceptive, and in some cases misleading in their content, as well as their use of third-party advertising services.”
“The ads are being offered by students, but are also being advertised by private organizations, such as university advertising firms, which are the actual participants in the scheme,” the letter said.
“As a result, we believe it is important to provide you with clear, specific information regarding the specific ad(s) that are being used and to notify you if you think your personal information is being used improperly.”
The Association of American Universities, which represents more than 3,000 colleges and university, said the FTC should take immediate action against the misleading ads.
“This is not the first time that the agency has been forced to take action against deceptive advertisements,” the group said in a statement.
“We have already called for action against these types of deceptive practices, and we remain committed to doing so.”
A spokeswoman for the University Association of New York State, which manages the Buffalo university’s advertising, said in an email that the university had been in touch with the association to “help with the letter.”
“We are working closely with the FTC to determine the appropriate next steps,” said Jillian Brown, the association’s communications director.
“Our goal is to make sure that students, alumni and the public receive information that is accurate, balanced and timely.”