News & Analysis as of

Trick Or Treat: Cookies And Consumer Privacy In Online Advertising

The proliferation of online goods and services means consumer data is available to those with a need or interest in possessing it. One method providers and third party partners employ to collect online consumer data is the...more

UK Consumer Protection Regulator Cracks Down on Undisclosed Endorsements and “Cherry Picking” Reviews on Social Media

Social media is reportedly rife with influencers promoting or reviewing products or services without disclosing compensation or other consideration that they’ve received for such endorsements. The Competition and Markets...more

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

Lyft Faces Second Wave of TCPA Litigation for Sending Autodialed Texts

Lyft, Inc. – the popular ride hailing service featuring the iconic pink moustache – is facing a second class action lawsuit in California alleging violations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”)....more

Class Action Filed Against Indianapolis Colts over App

This month, the Indianapolis Colts, app developer Yinzcam, Inc., and ultrasonic technology provider Lisnr, Inc., were hit with a federal class action lawsuit in Pennsylvania for violating the Electronic Communications Privacy...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

Using Pop Culture References in Advertisements? Just Do It Right

In this age of smartphone cameras and hashtags, an impromptu remark or a right place-at-the-right-time snapshot can “go viral” and create instant and immense goodwill. Businesses today use social media as a tool to promote...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

Navigating the Maze of E-Cig Marketing Regulations

Federal regulators, and states, counties and cities throughout the country, are enacting new laws, rules and regulations in the e-cigarette marketing space. How can e-cig manufacturers and related marketing affiliates...more

Court of Appeal Recognizes Regulator's Robust Implied Power in Name of Public Protection

In Law Society of Alberta v. Beaver, 2016 ABCA 290, the Alberta Court of Appeal held that suspended lawyers are not entitled to act as “legal agents,” a limited status in which the agent can represent another person in...more

What the NFL’s Ratings Swoon Says to Professional Services Marketers

If you ever doubted that the media landscape is shifting, you only need to look at the reports that the NFL, the mightiest-of-mighty media properties, is experiencing a large dip in viewership. Through the first five weeks of...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

FTC Targets Auto Dealers, Alleges Deceptive Financing Practices

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an action against nine auto dealerships and their individual owners in a California federal court that the FTC described as its "first action against an auto dealer for 'yo-yo'...more

YouTube Encourages Transparency by Offering Optional Disclosures on Paid Videos

As more and more companies voluntarily implement measures to enhance transparency among their user base, this month, YouTube introduced the option for creators to feature paid promotion disclosures on video content....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

A Step in the Right Direction: FDA Says It Will Refine Regulations on 'Healthy' Claims for Food

FDA recently announced that it will take a second look at its “healthy” regulations, and it is soliciting public comments on a dozen or so topics. Walk down any aisle at the grocery store and you will find foods...more

FTC Settles Supplement Maker Over Unsubstantiated Claims and Expert Endorsement

On October 5, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled its case with Supple, LLC over certain advertising claims regarding its Supple joint supplement. Between 2011 and 2015, the company advertised (via social media,...more

Could You Please Be Less Specific?: How Specificity in Advertising Could Result in a “Written Warranty”

Passed in 1975, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act ("MMWA") requires, among other things, manufacturers and sellers of consumer products to provide consumers with detailed warranty coverage information. Often, original equipment...more

Companies Perceived By The FTC as Top Violators

As discussed in the previous section, the FTC collects complaints about organizations that allegedly violate the data privacy, data security, advertising, and marketing laws. Each month the FTC’s Division of Planning and...more

Petition for Writ of Certiorari Denied by Alabama Supreme Court in Key Sales Tax Case

Last Friday the Alabama Supreme Court denied the ADOR’s petition for writ of certiorari in the case of State Dep’t of Revenue v. Omni Studio, L.L.C. The denial by the Supreme Court follows a pro-taxpayer ruling in the Alabama...more

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