Arecont Lies, Now Threatens Lawsuit

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 02, 2012

Last week, we reported Arecont lied in a recent ad. Now, Arecont is threatening legal action against IPVM. In this note, we explain how Arecont lied, how their objection ignores our core complaint and the US laws that cover false advertising.

[For Arecont's position, see the Cease and Desist letter Arecont sent to IPVM.]

[Update January 2013: Arecont has not followed up with any further action.]

Here's the Ad

In the ad, Arecont shows an overview of a cafe. Within the overview are two circles - a larger one connected to a smaller one that presents a zoomed in view of a cashier handing a bill to a customer.

ad displayed

However, looking at the circles side by side, they are clearly not the same scene:

comparison

What is going on here?

Here's the Lie

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

The scene displayed in the ad differs from the scene the 'actual image' is from. Arecont confirmed this when they later released the 'actual video' of the scene.

The comparison below contrasts them:

comparison av ad

Arecont's ad falsely misrepresents their performance by showing a very wide Field of View (FoV) in the advertisement but then taking the 'actual image' from a far smaller FoV with a different angle.

Why It's Important

The ability to captue fine details over large areas is a key competitive differentiator in the surveillance camera market. The smaller the FoV, the easier it is for any camera to capture and display such details. Arecont's manipulation of images from two FoVs enables them to deceive and falsely represent the ability of their product to capture such details.

Here's the Law

Not only is this an ethical issue, multiple US regulations and laws exist to stop vendors from false advertisement.

For instance, the Federal Trade Commission has rules against this:

"The FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium. That is, advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers. A claim can be misleading if relevant information is left out or if the claim implies something that's not true."

The Arecont ad clearly implies that the 'actual' image is from the scene displayed in the ad, when it is not, nor is it disclosed in the ad whatsoever.

Additionally, the US Lanham Act protects against this:

"In commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activities, shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act."

Indeed, this ad provides grounds for Arecont's competitors to seek damages from Arecont.

Arecont's Objections

Unfortunately, Arecont's objections misunderstand our complaint:

"The image in the circle labeled 'actual image' in Arecont’s print advertisement is, in fact, an actual, true image from an Arecont camera. Rather than falsely conclude that the image was simply too good to be true and, therefore, that it must be false advertising..."

Whether or not the 'actual image' is from an Arecont camera, the core issue remains. The false advertising is a consequence of using an image that is not from the actual scene displayed in the ad but one that is far smaller.

Additionally, we upated our original post to reflect Arecont's feedback on the 'source' of the individual images.

What's Next?

It is puzzling that Arecont is seeking such a public, protracted referendum on their ethics and quality. However, we have clearly explained the facts behind this matter and the reasons why the ad is manipulative, deceiving and lies to consumers about Arecont's performance. If Arecont has other facts that would change this analysis, we welcome them at any time and would be happy to update our publication.

2 reports cite this report:

Hikvision Attacks IPVM on Mar 20, 2017
Hikvision has attacked IPVM repeatedly over the last month, both in the international press and in its dealer communications. Attacks Listed On...
Axis: Take Down This Deceptive Commercial on Dec 24, 2015
Axis' puzzling marketing campaign continues, reaching a new low. Check out this commercial: [premium_content] UPDATE Feb 2016: After...

Related Reports

Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Hikvision China Criticizes The WSJ on Nov 15, 2017
Hikvision, through the Chinese government's authoritative news service, has criticized the WSJ investigation into Hikvision. In this...
WSJ Investigates Hikvision on Nov 13, 2017
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has released a detailed investigation into Hikvision's government ownership and cybersecurity problems, hitting the...
Ingram Micro: The Blind Lead The Blind on Nov 02, 2017
Ingram Micro, as a huge as they are overall, with $40+ billion in annual sales, has never been a force in physical security, despite, or perhaps...
Avigilon / Canon New Lawsuits, No Settlement on Oct 11, 2017
In July, Canon sued Avigilon, a notably rare move amongst major players in the industry, including Canon's subsidiaries Axis and Milestone. At...
Deceptive ASIS Attendance on Oct 06, 2017
ASIS is being deceptive with its conference reporting, effectively inflating the event's real actual attendance. What they try, but struggle to...
'Clowns' Allege Ubiquiti 'Completely Fraudulent' on Sep 20, 2017
A short seller has alleged Ubiquiti is 'completely fraudulent'. Ubiquiti's CEO has responded calling them 'clowns'. Here is the short...
Cloud Guy Prints Book, Misses Irony on Sep 15, 2017
On-premise security systems are dead. But $75 print books are alive and well. Such are the lessons from Brivo's CEO new book "The Five...
The 3 Most Outstanding Security Manufacturers (OSPAs) Make No Sense on Sep 08, 2017
The Outstanding Security Manufacturer finalists (US edition) are here: And if you are wondering, "How did those 3 get chosen?" then you are...
Hikvision Happy With Bad Security Unless Hit With Bad Press on Aug 28, 2017
Hikvision is happy to have bad cyber security unless they are hit with bad press, as we detail inside. When you look at the pattern of their...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Amazon Key In-Home Package Delivery Examined on Nov 21, 2017
Interesting idea or invitation for criminals to rob you? Amazon's recent announcement of Key, a service that will help manage visitors, welcoming...
Top Maglock Provider Warns Against Using Maglocks on Nov 21, 2017
Do not buy my company's product. It sounds strange indeed, but a senior Allegion consultant stated that maglocks should not be used in common...
CBR vs VBR vs MBR - Surveillance Streaming on Nov 21, 2017
How you stream video has a major impact on quality and bandwidth. And it is not simply CODEC choice (e.g., H.264 vs H.265). Regardless of the...
Dahua Hard-Coded Credentials Vulnerability on Nov 20, 2017
A newly discovered Dahua backdoor is described by the researcher discovering it as: not the result of an accidental logic error or poor...
Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Nest Secure Alarm System Tested on Nov 16, 2017
Google's expansion continues, this time into home security with their Nest subsidiary's move into alarm systems. They paid more than a...
Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Isonas Cofounders Split, Launch Partner/Competitor on Nov 16, 2017
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when door access security is at stake. But that is exactly what has happened at Isonas. Senior employees...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact