Communications & Media Antitrust & Trade Regulation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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FTC to Take Additional Steps to Rein in Influencer Marketing?

Last week, two advocacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) taking direct aim at the burgeoning influencer marketing industry. The complaint implores the agency to take enforcement action...more

Is Marriage a “Material Connection”? The FTC Challenges an “Independent” Expert Based on Marital Status

Medical endorsements can be powerful selling tools for health care products. But if a medical professional has a connection to the company marketing the products that would be material to consumers in evaluating the...more

Check the Box to Avoid Food & Beverage Packaging Litigation

Shagha Tousi, a partner in Nutter’s Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Business Litigation and Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation practice groups, addressed product packaging litigation in the food and...more

Manufacturer Settles FTC “Made in USA” Lawsuit

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC” or “Commission”) announced that Georgia-based glue manufacturer Chemence, Inc. (“Chemence”) has agreed to pay $220,000 to settle a lawsuit filed in connection with Chemence’s...more

Guidelines for Privacy Certifications and Trustbrands

Privacy certifications, or “trustbrands,” are seals licensed by third parties for organizations to place on their homepage or within their privacy policy. The seals typically state, or imply, that the organization which has...more

FTC Associate Director for Advertising Practices Elucidates the Commission’s Handling of Referrals From NAD

The advertising industry’s self-regulatory system may be “voluntary,” but ignoring NAD’s recommendations—or declining to participate when asked—buys advertisers a prompt referral to the Federal Trade Commission. NAD often...more

Advertising Law - October 2016 #3

YouTube Adds Sponsored Content Notification Feature - To help influencers achieve compliance with the necessary disclosures about their relationships with advertisers, YouTube has unveiled a new tool to provide notice to...more

FTC Announces Settlement of “Made in USA” Litigation

Earlier this week, the FTC announced settlement of one of the few “Made in USA” cases the agency has litigated in recent years. Earlier this year, we sent an update regarding the FTC’s lawsuit against Chemence, Inc., in...more

Don’t Forget About FTC Compliance: Substantiating Claims to Avoid Misleading Consumers

Life sciences companies regularly review their labeling and promotional materials to ensure compliance with Food and Drug Administration requirements. FDA makes its Warning Letters publicly available, and failure to correct...more

Paid Celebrity Endorsements in Social Media: The FTC Is Watching

How much trust do you place in celebrities who endorse products on social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube? Do you stop to consider whether they are compensated for their efforts...more

Stuck in the Middle with the FTC

Legal actions regarding “Made in the USA” claims, whether prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or through various state unfair trade practices acts, often settle early in the proceedings. For example, in 2014,...more

UK CMA Announces Closure of Investigation into PCWs for Energy Tariffs

On 6 October 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced the closure of its investigation into a suspected competition law breach by some price comparison websites (“PCWs”) for energy tariffs on the...more

No Protection for Network Marketing Provider That Had Knowledge and Authority to Control Deceptive Conduct of Affiliates

In Federal Trade Commission v. LeadClick Media, LLC, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17383 (2nd Cir. 2016), the Second Circuit recently held that an affiliate marketing network provider could be subjected to liability under the Federal...more

It’s Not an Illusion! DISH Not Required to Give Credit When Channels Go Dark

Expanded Basic. Choice. Choice Plus. Cable and satellite TV customers pay monthly fees for bundled channel packages of different sizes. The packages are becoming “skinnier,” allowing you to customize your service from a set...more

Time to Set the Clock: Self-Regulatory Enforcement of Cross-Device Tracking Begins in February 2017

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) recently announced that self-regulatory enforcement of its cross-device guidance will begin in February 2017. Accordingly, companies that engage in cross-device tracking and...more

FTC Clamps Down on Nationwide Deceptive Marketing Campaign

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently filed suit against several related companies in connection with a nationwide campaign of deceptive marketing and billing practices....more

Marketers of Health Supplement Settle FTC Charges Over Deceptive Advertising

Recent FTC action, and $150 million judgment, is a reminder that advertising rules must be followed and health claims need to be backed by scientific evidence. ...more

The Tech Industry’s Next Frontier?

Tongue-in-cheek references to Pokémon Go as a health App aside, maybe the tech industry is on to something. In the U.S., seven out of every ten deaths are due to chronic diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease. Perhaps...more

I accept!

So, you’re ready to launch your new online business or mobile app. The website looks great, and the app tile has an elegant, simple design that’s sure to stand out on phone and tablet screens. Missing anything? Oh, yeah, that...more

FTC Obtains $1.3 Billion Judgment Against Individual Who Operated Payday Lenders

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has obtained a $1.3 billion judgment against the individual operator of several payday lenders and related servicing and marketing companies in a lawsuit filed in a Nevada federal district...more

St. Louis Taxi Commission Not Immune From Uber’s Antitrust Suit

As we’ve written, Uber, the popular app-based car service, has been on the antitrust defensive, facing allegations that its algorithm for calculating prices restricts price competition. In Wallen v. St. Louis Metropolitan...more

Advertising Law - October 2016 #2

No Shades of Gray in Order Banning Supplement Claims - In a case based on a referral from the National Advertising Division, the Federal Trade Commission obtained summary judgment and a final order against an advertiser...more

Beware Social Media Masters, FTC Taking Long Look at Phony Blogs

In the age of digital communities, bloggers, vloggers and Instagramers create and disseminate a huge amount of content on myriad topics, building trust, credibility and a loyal following through authentic content on a variety...more

FCC Sets Out Revised Privacy Rules For Broadband Providers

On Thursday October 7, 2016, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), Tom Wheeler, announced a proposal for new privacy rules for broadband providers in a post on the FCC’s website. Chairman Wheeler...more

FTC Targets Tech Support Companies for Deceptive Pop-Up Marketing

On October 12, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that a temporary restraining order had been issued by a court of law against five related tech support companies and their respective principals (the...more

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