WebMD’s chief medical officer, Dr. Thomas R. Blanchard, is calling for a national ban on the use of secure web gateway marketing and a crackdown on marketing techniques that could lead to malware infections and other serious health risks.
“We’re going to be taking action to get this ban passed,” Blanchart said in an interview with FoxNews.com.
“We’ve got a lot of evidence now that it’s very likely that a lot more people are going to get infected.
And if that’s true, it’s not a good thing.
And we’re going after it.”
Blanchard said the health risk posed by insecure web gateway marketers could be so high that the FDA should issue a formal warning about the dangers.
Blansman said that’s because the WebMDs current marketing practices are not effective enough to combat malware and other threats, but that there’s also too much pressure placed on WebMD to make sure consumers are protected.
“When you’re putting all the money into marketing, you don’t really want to know the risks,” Blansmans comments read.
“It’s a way to make money.
So I think it’s a problem.”
Blansman told FoxNews that the Webmds current practices are ineffective because they’re designed to promote and sell products and services to consumers through “social media, direct mail, and a few other channels that aren’t designed to protect consumers from malware.”
If you’re not careful, it will turn your business into a revenue stream for your marketing,” Blanesman said.
Blansmans findings echo a study released this week by the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC found that while many WebMD advertising programs have proven to be effective at getting people to visit WebMD, some advertising campaigns have proven more damaging to their businesses.
The FTC said in a press release that WebMD is among the largest and most profitable marketing agencies in the world and that its marketing programs have been used to mislead consumers about health risks, including the links to “safe” sites.
The agency said WebMD failed to disclose the risk that users were getting infected with malware and viruses, and it did not disclose to consumers how they could avoid getting infected.
Blanchesman told the FoxNews program that his agency has made progress on addressing the dangers posed by secure web gateways and other marketing techniques, including a new program that will use mobile technology to promote a website that has a secure connection to the Web.”
It’s not about advertising, it is about promoting good products and a secure Web,” Blancmans comments to FoxNews, “but it’s also about protecting the Web from hackers.
“Blancmans agency also plans to launch a campaign to educate consumers about the risks of insecure web gatesteps, and Blanss group plans to begin developing and testing a WebMD security system.
Blancman said Webmd will begin testing its security software and will provide updates to consumers when they need them.
Blanchman said he’s also considering creating a free WebMD portal for consumers to search for services and products that could help them avoid infections.”
And that’s a very, very important message that we’re trying to get across.””
And if the Web doesn’t like it, we’re prepared to do something about it.
And that’s a very, very important message that we’re trying to get across.”
Blanchessons group is also working with other health care providers, including universities and health systems to develop a national database of secure Web gateway marketing programs.