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Category Archives: Advertising

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FTC Warns Influencers to be Clear About Endorsements on Social Media

Posted in Advertising
Everyone who is anyone is on Instagram these days, apparently. But not all posts on the photo-sharing platform are purely organic; some result from material connections between influencer or celebrity posters and the brands or products they are endorsing. This connection is not always made clear to viewers, however, according to the Federal Trade Commission… Continue Reading

Sealed: Three IT Companies Settle FTC Deceptive APEC Privacy Claims

Posted in Advertising, Privacy
If a business advertises it is a member of a privacy program, even a voluntary one, it had better be, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In separate but related complaints, the FTC alleged that three businesses – software provider Sentinel Labs Inc., private messaging app developer SpyChatter Inc., and cybersecurity software company Vir2us… Continue Reading

FTC Finds Water Company Claims Are All Washed Up

Posted in Advertising
The push to “Buy American” aims to encourage consumers and businesses to support homegrown industry.  So, when a water filter maker’s claims of “buil[t] in the U.S.” didn’t hold water, the company quickly found itself in a sea of trouble with the FTC. Georgia-based iSpring advertised and sold its water filter to consumers on its… Continue Reading

The Scrutiny Continues: Social Media Activities Continue to Draw Consumers and Consumer Protection Enforcement Alike

Posted in Advertising, Enforcement
Since we last wrote about how marketers can craft social media policies to offer engaging promotions while meeting the scrutiny of regulators, social media has continued to be a popular venue for marketers to reach consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also kept the spotlight on compliance with the FTC Guides Concerning Use of… Continue Reading

Millar to Speak on Green Marketing at Foodservice Packaging Conference

Posted in Advertising
Environmental claims are attractive to marketers because they are attractive to consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidance—the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, or Green Guides—to help industry assess what consumers will understand about various “green” claims. Among the most important claims is whether a product is “recyclable,” and determining… Continue Reading

Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative Launched

Posted in Advertising
The newly launched Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI), modeled on the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) and its Core Principles, is the latest food industry self-regulatory announcement under which participants agree to limit advertising to children under 12 or in elementary schools (from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade). The Council of Better Business Bureaus… Continue Reading

FTC Extends Comment Deadline on Proposed Changes to Jewelry Guides

Posted in Advertising, Labeling, Regulations
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) announced that it will extend the period for the public to comment on its proposed update to the Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries (the Jewelry Guides, published in 16 C.F.R. Part 23). Comments are now due June 3, 2016, instead of April 4, 2016.… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Refuses to Moot TCPA Class Action, Leaving Business Open to More Suits

Posted in Advertising, Litigation, Regulations
The Supreme Court yesterday denied an attempt by a defendant to moot a class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 48 Stat. 1064, Pub. L. 102–243 (Dec. 20, 1991) (codified at 47 U.S.C. § 227), on the basis of an unaccepted settlement offer to the named plaintiff. The case, Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez,… Continue Reading

Brain-Training App Maker to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC False Ad Claims

Posted in Advertising, Litigation
Lumosity, an online site and smartphone app, is supposed to help its users train their brains so they can achieve their “full potential in every aspect of life.” Unfortunately, the company was unenlightened when it came to avoiding false advertising claims. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the company claimed that using its products… Continue Reading

FTC Issues Enforcement Policy Statement and Guidance on “Native Advertising”

Posted in Advertising
“Native Advertising” has been on the radar screen for several years, with consumer groups, businesses and regulators alike considering what the rules of the game should be to avoid deception as the nature of publishing and advertising continue to evolve at a dizzying pace. Those rules became clearer on December 22, 2015, when the Federal… Continue Reading

Two App Developers Agree on COPPA Settlement with FTC

Posted in Advertising, Privacy
Two app developers have settled complaints from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that they allowed third parties to collect information, including persistent identifiers, through their apps, and allowed third parties to serve advertising to children, in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC’s announcement was released the same day it announced… Continue Reading

Tips for Writing Social Media Policies

Posted in Advertising, Data Security, Privacy, Regulations, Sweepstakes & Promotions
As many marketers spend a large and growing share of the ad spend on social media, basic principles of truthful advertising must be kept in mind and applied in the new and varied media.  After all, the platforms may change, but the underlying requirements do not.  Thus, for responsible marketers, a robust social media policy… Continue Reading

FCC Releases Much-Anticipated TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order

Posted in Advertising, Data Security, Privacy
As we previously reported, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) adopted a significant Declaratory Ruling and Order on June 18, 2015 to clarify aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), namely, the use of “automatic telephone dialing systems” and/or artificial or prerecorded voice messages to send telemarketing and informational calls and texts to… Continue Reading

Businesses Beware: FCC Adopts Significant TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order

Posted in Advertising, Data Security, Privacy
At its Open Meeting on June 18, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted a significant Declaratory Ruling and Order to clarify aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), namely, the use of automatic dialing systems and/or artificial or prerecorded voice messages to send telemarketing and informational calls and texts to consumers (“robocalls”). The… Continue Reading

California Federal Judge Rejects Apparel Company’s Motion to Dismiss “Made in America” Suit Under California Law

Posted in Advertising, Labeling, Regulations
A California federal court this month ruled against defendants’ attempt to rely on a federal law requiring U.S.-origin claims on textile fabric products to displace a California statute with more stringent requirements about “Made in the USA” labels.  The ruling allows a class action suit to proceed, lowering the hopes of retailers and manufacturers that have found compliance… Continue Reading

Perception of Deception

Posted in Advertising, Labeling
In the advertising world, we know that deception lies in the eyes of the beholder.  Agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or self-regulatory bodies like the National Advertising Division (NAD), legally stand in the shoes of the consumer, in the absence of consumer perception studies.  In private litigation, however, the question of consumer perception… Continue Reading

FTC Says #Gameover for Sony’s #Gamechanger Claims

Posted in Advertising
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) applies a couple of cardinal rules for advertisers playing in the social media space: tell the truth and disclose endorsement arrangements.  Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC and its advertising agency Deutsch LA, Inc. apparently broke those rules in advertisements launching Sony’s PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) in 2012.  Each agreed to… Continue Reading
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