News & Analysis as of

The Incredible Shrinking Red Bull Refund: How Should Courts Verify Class Membership?

A recent class action settlement has brought fresh attention to two age-old questions. The first: does Red Bull actually give you wings? The second: how carefully should courts screen out bogus claimants from proposed classes...more

Plugged-In Furniture - What's Past Is Prologue

As furniture becomes more and more tech-driven (e.g., USB ports, chargers, coolers, etc.) we can sometimes forget that claims to advancements in the basic sofa have been around for some time. Today's Westlaw's "Headnote of...more

Polsinelli Podcasts - Removing Caps on Punitive Damages: What is the Impact on Business? [Video]

Time will reveal the impact from the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision to remove caps on punitive damages. Some say it could either be helpful for consumers or a deterrent to job creation. Recently, the court ruled that a...more

Operation Full Disclosure! FTC’s Frontal Assault on Ads

In this blog we often discuss products being subjected to a lawsuit based on allegations that a label is false or misleading under California’s consumer protection laws. The Federal Trade Commission is similarly concerned...more

Plaintiffs Target Outlet and Factory Stores In Putative Class Actions

Plaintiffs recently filed several putative class actions in New York and California against prominent retailers including Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, The Gap, Saks Fifth Avenue, Levi Strauss, Nordstrom and Ralph Lauren. They...more

FTC Launches “Operation Full Disclosure” in Advertising Review

On September 23, 2014, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its launch of “Operation Full Disclosure” – an effort to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in advertising. According to the FTC’s press release,...more

Dispatch from NYC: Annual National Advertising Division (NAD) Conference is in Full Swing

The National Advertising Division is holding its annual conference this week in New York, and Foley Hoag is in attendance for what many consider to be the leading conference of its kind. Day One saw an impressive line-up of...more

Advertising Law - September 2014 #2

Use of Flawed Study Results in $3.5M Settlement with FTC - For relying upon the results of a flawed study to make what the Federal Trade Commission characterized as “baseless” and “hopelessly flawed” weight-loss claims...more

Mortgage Lead Generator Will Pay $500,000 to Settle FTC Charges about False Ads

On September 12, a mortgage refinancing lead generator, Intermundo Media, LLC (doing business as Delta Prime Refinance), agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty, among other things, to settle the FTC’s allegations that the...more

Guidelines to Avoid False Advertising

When making an advertisement, what is okay? • Identifying a competitor’s product in the advertisement to make a true comparison • Making a true statement about your product or a competitor’s product that is...more

Two-Party Market: Presumption of Confusion and Injury

Merck Eprova AG v. Gnosis S.p.A., et al. - Clarifying applicable presumptions in Lanham Act false advertising cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s use of presumptions of...more

A New Data Point on False Advertising, Causation, and Section 75-1.1

Earlier this year, in another false-advertising case, SMD Software, Inc. v. EMove, Inc., a plaintiff won a 1.7-million-dollar verdict based on section 75-1.1 alone. The jury instructions in that case did not specify what...more

Supreme Court Allows POM Wonderful to Sue Coke for False Advertising, Despite Its Apparent Compliance with FDA Regulations

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court in POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca Cola Co. (June 12, 2014) held that the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) does not preclude a private party from bringing a Lanham Act claim...more

Legal Alert: CFPB Warns Credit Card Companies About Potential UDAAP Violations When Marketing Promotional Interest Rates

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin on September 3, 2014 warning credit card companies that marketing materials for promotional annual percentage rate (APR) offers may be in violation of the...more

CFPB Warns Credit Card Companies Against Deceptively Marketing Promotional Offers

On September 3, the CFPB warned credit card companies against deceptively marketing interest-rate promotions, over concerns about companies luring in consumers with offers of reduced or zero interest for a specific purchase...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies an Insurer’s Duty to Defend in Disparagement Cases

Advertising injury liability coverage offered under commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies is aimed at protecting companies against claims, often brought by competitors, alleging harm by purportedly derogatory...more

Week in Review

Some popular online services made legal headlines this week. After years of litigation, a federal appeals court held that Yelp did not extort businesses by manipulating user reviews to coerce advertising purchases. While Yelp...more

The Supreme Court Resolves a Circuit Split Regarding Standing to Sue for False Advertising Under the Lanham Act

In Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc. (March 25, 2014), the Supreme Court unanimously held that "to invoke the Lanham Act’s cause of action for false advertising, a plaintiff must plead (and ultimately...more

Third Circuit Nixes Presumption of Irreparable Harm in Comparative False Advertising Cases

Continuing a trend that began in 2006 with the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ended the practice of presuming irreparable harm in Lanham Act...more

11 Ways to Avoid Advertising Missteps

Although advertisements are everywhere, many companies are not aware of the numerous state and federal laws and regulations that govern advertising. Below are several basic advertising concepts to help spot and avoid...more

Lanham Act Claims Are Not Precluded by Compliance with the FDCA

In POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., decided last month, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that companies can bring unfair competition actions under the Lanham Act even when their competitors have complied with the Federal...more

Second Circuit Clarifies the Use of Legal Presumptions of Consumer Confusion and Injury in Certain Lanham Act Cases

On Tuesday, July 29, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “clarified certain aspects of [its] false advertising jurisprudence” and held that, where literal falsity and deliberate deception have been...more

CFPB Fines Online Mortgage Company And Its Owner For Alleged Deceptive Rate Advertising

On August 12, the CFPB announced a consent order with a nonbank mortgage lender, its affiliated appraisal management company (AMC), and the individual owner of both companies to resolve allegations that the lender deceptively...more

$3.5 Million Cactus Juice Settlement Should be a Warning to Advertisers

In this health-conscious age, consumers are always on the lookout for new products which will improve wellness and quality of life. Marketers attuned to this trend may be tempted to increase sales by extolling the virtues of...more

Ninth Circuit Holds State AG Credit Card Add-On Suits Belong In State Court

On August 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that neither the federal question statute nor the Class Action Fairness Act provide a federal district court with subject matter jurisdiction over the Hawaii...more

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