Cruising – “Port Lecture” shopping honesty – in Alaska, at least

Posted on Aug 28, 2013 | Comments Off on Cruising – “Port Lecture” shopping honesty – in Alaska, at least

Ships-in-Skagway

Cruise ships in Alaska have had to change their ways when it comes to those ubiquitous port lectures about “the best places to shop.”

Following a court case that claimed the lectures mislead guests, who often believe they are sponsored by the cruise line, the guides now must make it clear that what they are offering is not professional advice but rather an advertisement for paying clients. The companies admitted no wrongdoing, but did agree that port lecturers would disclose they didn’t work for cruise lines and are engaged in advertising.

The Alaska Public Radio Network (APRN) reported last week that earlier this year three Florida-based companies, Onboard Media, Royal Media Partners, and the PPI Group, agreed to a $200,000 settlement with the state.

They  agreed from now on to be clear about whom they work for, to desist from making negative comments about stores not in their programs, and to stick to the truth about sale prices and return policies.

APRN quoted one anonymous shopkeeper who said he had in the past paid $25,000 plus 10% of sales to be part of the programs.

A million tourists visit Southeast Alaska every summer, and they are a key part of the economy of the 49th state.

Alaska is the first state to crack down on port lecturers.

Monday, August 26, 2013

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