Why TINA.org?

Have you ever been the victim of a false ad or a deceptive marketing scheme? Perhaps there was a time when a very compelling ad convinced you to buy a product or service, only to find out later that you had been misled by the marketing?

If so, you’re not alone.

Each year, American consumers lose billions of dollars as a result of deceptive marketing and false ads. These run the gamut from blatant lies and fraudulent scams to subtle ploys intended to confuse and mislead. Not only do these tactics impact us as consumers, but a mind-boggling amount of money is misdirected in our economy as a result of deceptive marketing. All too often, companies with quality goods and services lose out to businesses premised on false marketing campaigns.

This paradigm needs to change. We need to put a stop to the deception.

Truth in Advertising, Inc. (TINA.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Madison, CT, whose mission is to be the go-to online resource dedicated to empowering consumers to protect themselves and one another against false advertising and deceptive marketing. We aim to achieve our mission through investigative journalism, education, advocacy, and the promotion of truth in advertising. We are independently funded and do not accept any advertising dollars to support our work. TINA.org received its initial funding from Seedlings Foundation, which supports programs that nourish the physical and mental health of children and families, and fosters an educated and engaged citizenship.

In addition to offering you the resources to understand and avoid deceptive marketing practices, TINA.org keeps you updated on current issues with our reporting and offers you the means to help warn fellow consumers of current schemes in the marketplace through our Ad Alert program. (Our Ad Alerts also warn readers about certain ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution.) If you’ve been a victim of false advertising, you can also use our File a Complaint form to have TINA.org investigate your claim and share the details with others. Most importantly, at TruthinAdvertising.org you will find a community of consumers like you, who are sharing their experiences, views, and concerns about false and misleading advertising and joining the movement for change.

All that said, TINA.org is neither anti-marketing nor anti-business! We enjoy and are entertained by great ads as much as anyone. We recognize and appreciate that advertising serves an important role in our society – to introduce new products and services, to highlight competitive advantages, and to enhance brand engagement. TINA.org celebrates the best of advertising past and present.

TINA.org exists to out deceptive marketing and promote honest advertising.


Our Founder, Michael Vlock (1953-2017)

Dismayed by the deceptive advertising he saw around him and the government’s apparent inability to protect consumers from all the scams in the marketplace, investor and business leader Michael Vlock conceived the idea for an organization that would help protect and educate consumers about false advertising.

Recognizing that the rise of the internet and the ability to easily disseminate information to the public could produce abuses, he put this idea into motion by founding truthinadvertising.org. Michael worked ceaselessly to make the world a better place and the organization stands as a legacy to his vision of ensuring that companies are held accountable for taking advantage of consumers.

Michael Vlock received a BA from Hampshire College, where he pioneered new techniques in laser holography. He received his JD from Boston College Law School and used his legal skills in service to his career as a serial entrepreneur.