Magazine article USA TODAY

Internet Marketing Needs Tighter Controls

Magazine article USA TODAY

Internet Marketing Needs Tighter Controls

Article excerpt

Infertility is big business in the U.S. Couples eager to conceive feed a growing, largely unregulated industry that grosses more than $3,000,000,000 a year. Prof. Jim Hawkins of the University of Houston (Texas) Law Center has undertaken the first empirical study of how fertility clinics market themselves on the Internet what they emphasize and what they leave unsaid.

It might be assumed that would-be parents involved in the often lengthy and always costly process of assisted conception would be most interested in success rates and cost. but Hawkins found only 56% of clinics with websites post their success rate on their "Home" or "About" pages and just 55% made any mention of price.

"The fact that clinics do not list prices really increases the costs people face when they search for the best clinic. Patients have to call the clinics or even visit to get pricing information. Coupled with the fact that clinics bundle the treatments they provide into pack ages differently, it makes price comparisons very difficult! …

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