Consumer Issues Conference 2009

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Thank you! The 10th Consumer Issues Conference was September 30 and October 1 with the theme of Unlocking the Digital Marketplace: Legal and Ethical Issues. We had excellent keynote and concurrent session speakers and workshops on selling, shopping and participating in the online world.

Look for audio files from the sessions on the program page as well as many of the slide sets.

If you are interested in the 2009 conference: Food Safety, Security and Sources. we had record attendance, excellent sessions, good dialogue and interesting tours. For audio from the sessions and presentation resources, look on the archived website linked at the bottom of this page.

Speakers and Topics
This year's keynote speaker will be Professor Patrick Murphy, Marketing Ethics Professor from Notre Dame University. He will speak on Ethical Issues for Marketers and Consumers in the Online World. Also speaking will be Susan Linn, an author and psychologist who will present her documentary film Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood, as well as giving a plenary speech on Reclaiming childhood from Corporate marketers & Media Moguls. UW Communications Professor George Gladney will be joined by his colleague Professor Frank Millar for a closing plenary entitled Enduring Issues in Communication and Cyberspace.

Other speakers and topics include

• UW Law Professor Dee Pridgen on Consumer Privacy in the Digital Marketplace: Federal Initiatives,
• UW Law Professor Matthew Wilson on International Issues in Electronic Commerce and Operating an Online Business,
• UW Law alumni Ryan Jardine, now with Kutak Rock in Denver, on Mobile Marketing and "Locational Privacy,"
• UW Management Professor Robert Sprague on the Use of Social Media Tools by Students, Consumers, and Small Businesses,
• FBI Special Agent Tory Smith on Cyberspace Security: Identity Theft and Consumer Fraud,
• UW Marketing Professor Stephanie Geiger-Oneto on Counterfeit Goods Marketed Online, and
• CSU Sport Management Professor Linda Sharp on Social Media and Student-Athletes: Legal and Policy Issues.

On Thursday, September 30 join in interactive workshop presentations. Choose from "Social Media Bootcamp," "Computer Security," and "Online Shopping Consumer Guide" (sessions are repeated).

CLE and Graduate Credit Available

Why this theme?
The digital marketplace is becoming more pervasive but raises some special issues for consumers, including privacy of personal information, commercialization of social communications, fraud, and even criminal issues. At the same time, the digital marketplace can be a boon for entrepreneurs and job seekers, if used properly.

This conference will bring to the forefront the ethical and legal issues associated with the digital marketplace in ways that can be used by consumers, businesses and policy makers. As always in Consumer Issues Conferences, we’ll highlight policy issues in which individuals can try to make a difference in how the world of digital marketing will evolve.
Project Objectives

The Consumer Issues Conference addresses consumer problems or issues. We define these as threats of fraud or misinformation, unfair advantage relative to consumers, or problems that cause some harm or risk to consumers. As a planning group our objectives are to

  • Develop an understanding of consumer issues and awareness of resources available to prevent and address them,
  • Empower consumers to address specific consumer concerns through education, collaboration, and participation in the public policy process,
  • Create opportunities for networking that can lead to collaboration among interested parties with different perspectives on consumer issues,
  • Improve consumer wellbeing through changes in personal actions and state and local government policy, (e.g. legislation introduced and/or passed, regulation, and funding), and
  • Empower students to create well-researched position papers and presentations on a specific consumer issue to relevant experts and policymakers, including legislators.


Registration by mail is now open. Online registration is now available Walk-on registrations will be accepted on-site but are not preferred because of the difficulties in estimating snacks and meal numbers. Registration fees for the Consumer Issues Conference are kept low so that cost is not barrier to attendance.

Registration includes all conference sessions, lunch, workshops and movie. Early registration ends September 16.
Early: $50. After September 16: $65.
Early senior citizen (60+): $40. After September 16: $55.
As always, students (with valid ID) are free.

Call for Posters
Posters profiling project or academic research are welcome. Please submit an abstract (up to 250 words) on the poster content. With the submission, provide your contact information (name, title, affiliation, e-mail and phone number) and whether your poster is research or project oriented. The posters are to be available during the conference in the conference venue (the Wyoming Union on the campus of the University of Wyoming) by 8:15 am on 30 September 2010 and should remain up until noon on 1 October. During the midmorning break on the 30th (approximately 9:45 and 10:20am) the authors should be next to their posters to discuss their work and answer questions. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, 1 September. Submission guidelines and presentation tips are available.

Call for Exhibitors
Exhibitors are welcome to reserve a table at the conference to display information of use to participants. To request exhibit space,
please complete the "Call for Conference Exhibitors" form by September 24.

One-Credit Graduate Course
Registration available through Outreach ends Sept. 20, 2010! If you would like UW graduate credit which includes participation in the conference, then enroll in FCSC 5102/COJO 5890: Communication in Cyberspace. This one-credit hour course will explore social, cultural, and ethical implications of cyberspace communication within the framework of rapidly changing contemporary technology, with emphasis on issues addressed at the Consumer Issues Conference. Includes applications to professional practice. The course will be led by Drs. George Gladney and Virginia Vincenti. For more information see the attached flyer. Click here for course syllabus.

Professional Development Credit Available to Attendees
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) – 9 PDUs
CLE (Continuing Legal Education) – 8 Credits Wyoming and Colorado
Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) – 1/2 Credit Unit
FCSC 5102/COJO 5890 Communication in Cyberspace – 1 UW Graduate Level Credit – 15 PDUs (AAFCS)

Want to help advertise the conference? Here is a poster to help. Here is a brochure to print. If you’d like more tools, please contact us!

Conference Hotel
The Planning Committee has arranged blocks of rooms at two nearby hotels for use by those registering for the conference. Be sure to mention the Consumer Issues Conference when making your reservation.

  • The Comfort Inn, 3420 E. Grand Ave., Laramie - (307) 721-8856, $89 + tax per night. Please make your own reservations by August 30th.
  • The Hampton Inn, 3715 East Grand Avenue, Laramie - (307) 742-0125: $95 + tax per night. Reserve by September 14th

Media Releases
The University of Wyoming's 2010 Consumer Issues Conference theme is "Unlocking the digital marketplace: Legal and ethical issues." Resources
– additional online and digital resources.

The Planning Committee

Dee Pridgen, College of Law
University of Wyoming, Associate Dean and Carl M. Williams Professor of Law and Social Responsibility, CoChair
Virginia Vincenti, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
University of Wyoming, Professor, CoChair
Cole Ehmke,
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
University of Wyoming, Extension Specialist in Personal Finance and Agricultural Entrepreneurship
Laurel Kubin, Larimer County Cooperative Extension
Colorado State University, Director
George Gladney,
Department of Communication and Journalism
University of Wyoming, Professor
Elizabeth Goudey, Esq., Students' Attorney Office
University of Wyoming, ASUW Students' Attorney
Carole Makela,
Consumer and Family Studies
Colorado State University, Professor
Terri Rittenburg,
College of Business
University of Wyoming, Professor Department of Management and Marketing
Matt Wilson, College of Law
University of Wyoming, Professor

Our program supporters provide financial as well as in-kind contributions to bring about this annual event.

UW Office of the President – UW Foundation
UW College of Business Dean’s Office
UW College of Law Dean's Office
UW Community Development Education Team of Cooperative Extension Educators
UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Natural Resources Dean's Office
UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Office of Academic and Student Programs
UW College of Business Department of Management & Marketing
UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
UW Department of Communication & Journalism
UW College of Arts & Sciences
UW Intellectual Property Law Club
If you or your organization would like to support this project as it raises awareness, and empowers and connects consumers to address public policy issues, then contact Dee Pridgen or Virginia Vincenti. The Consumer Issues Conference is a highly-rated event that has a history of creating impact.

Past Conference Websites
Food Safety, Security and Sources (2009)
Focus on Energy and Telecommunications (2008)
Money Matters (2007)

Home on the Range (2006)
Consumer Activism: Health Issues (2005)
Cars and Consumers (2003)
Credit Cards Marketed to Youth and Privacy Rights (2002)
Addressing Consumer Fraud (2001)
Rental Housing Inspection (1999)

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This page was last updated on April 01, 2011 .
Website designer, Randy L. Anderson