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Webinar: Advertising and Litigation Risks for Food and Dietary Supplement Companies

Join Jason Gordon on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, for a live webinar hosted by the FDLI and titled, “Influencers, Social Media Advertising, and Litigation Risks for Food and Dietary Supplement Companies.” Food and dietary supplement companies are increasingly using influencers and social media to advertise their products. These marketing strategies are even more important during … Continue Reading

Fash-Shunned: Selena Gomez Sues Fashion App for $10 Million for Allegedly Using Her Name and Likeness Without Permission

This month, actress and singer Selena Gomez filed a lawsuit in California state court against the makers of a fashion smartphone game for allegedly using her name and likeness without permission. According to the complaint, Gomez claims that the makers of the “Clothes Forever – Styling Game” app, which lets players dress celebrity avatars, “blatantly … Continue Reading

FTC Sends More Warning Letters to Companies Selling Fraudulent Products that Claim to Treat or Prevent the Coronavirus

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced it has issued ten additional warning letters to companies located in both the United States and abroad for allegedly selling unapproved products that may violate federal law by making deceptive or scientifically unsupported claims about their ability to treat coronavirus (COVID-19). The companies advertise products including a bundle of … Continue Reading

Keeping Up with Copyright: Kendall Jenner Sued for Infringement over Instagram Video

Last month, Kendall Jenner was sued for copyright infringement by a woman who claims Jenner posted her copyrighted video on Instagram without permission. The video shows Jenner walking out of a New York City building – waving and smiling at the camera and a group of fans and paparazzi gathered nearby. According to the complaint, … Continue Reading

FTC Sends Warning Letters to VOIP Companies Over COVID-19 Robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued warning letters to nine Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) service providers to warn them that “assisting and facilitating” illegal telemarketing or robocalls related to the COVID-19 pandemic is strictly against the law. The FTC’s letters claimed that the VoIP service providers were using practices that “prey upon consumer fear … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Legal Impact on Brand Advertising and Marketing

The unprecedented disruption caused by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created challenges for brands. Temporary and perhaps permanent changes to advertising and marketing strategies and executions have occurred and will continue to impact brands. On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Douglas Wood and Keri Bruce, partners at Reed Smith LLP, the ANA’s General Counsel and … Continue Reading

Trademark applications for COVID-19 and CORONAVIRUS surge at the USPTO

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is no stranger to receiving a flood of trademark applications following a news or pop culture event: from President Trump’s accidental tweet of “Covfefe” to the creation of the slogan “Boston Strong” following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, trademark applicants often try and capitalize on these events in order to … Continue Reading

FTC Settles With Tea Maker for Inadequate Disclosures and Unsubstantiated Claims

The FTC recently settled with Teami, LLC (“Teami”), an indication that the Agency is still actively reviewing health claims and monitoring social media influencers for proper disclosures.  Teami allegedly brought in over $15 million through its deceptive marketing tactics, but given the company’s financial condition, the FTC agreed to partially suspend its $15.2 million judgment … Continue Reading

Pain Relief Device Marketers Settle with FTC for $4 Million

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced its settlement with NeuroMetrix, Inc. over allegations that the company made deceptive claims that its nerve stimulation device called Quell, which is to be worn just below the knee, treats pain throughout the body and is clinically proven and cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to do … Continue Reading

FDA and FTC Send Warning Letter to Companies Selling Fraudulent Products that Claim to Treat or Prevent the Coronavirus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued warning letters to seven companies allegedly selling unapproved products that may violate federal law by making deceptive or scientifically unsupported claims about their ability to treat coronavirus (COVID-19). The companies advertise products including essential oils, teas, colloidal silver, and tinctures, which … Continue Reading

Advertising Watchdog Refers CBD Health Claims to the FTC

The National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (“NAD”), the investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, recently referred to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) advertising claims made by Grade A Nutraceuticals for its CannaPure CBD Oil dietary supplement, after the company failed to respond to NAD’s requests to provide substantiation for … Continue Reading

Cannabis Company is Sued for Showing Mural in Advertising Campaign

Artist Diana Perez filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Colorado federal court against a cannabis company and two advertising agencies over allegations that her street mural was featured in advertisements for cannabis-infused essential oil products without her permission. According to the complaint, Perez created the mural at issue, entitled “Besties” as a part of the … Continue Reading

Class Action Alleges Starbucks Shortchanges Customers’ Caffeine

Last month, a putative class action was filed against Starbucks, Inc. in California federal court alleging that the coffee giant is tricking customers into purchasing larger espresso-based drinks when they contain the same amount of caffeine as the smaller size. The complaint alleges that Starbucks engages in a “classic bait-and-switch scheme that causes unsuspecting consumers … Continue Reading

FTC Settles With Financial Company Over Fake Rankings of Financial Products and Reviews

This month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it reached a settlement with the operators of a website that compares student loans and other financial products over allegations of misleading ratings and reviews. According to the FTC’s complaint, LendEDU falsely claimed that its website provided “objective,” “accurate,” and “unbiased” information about consumer financial products, … Continue Reading

Was it all a fantasy? New York Appeals Court says fantasy sports are illegal

Introduction On February 6, 2020, the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Third Department upheld a lower court ruling from 2018 which held that daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests amount to illegal gambling, and are thus unconstitutional in the state. In light of this decision, the New York DFS operations of popular companies like FanDuel … Continue Reading

Advertising Watchdog Says Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Is Making False Health Marketing Claims

Last month, prominent advertising watchdog, Truth in Advertising, Inc. (“TINA”), notified the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force (the “Task Force”) in a formal complaint letter that Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop is violating a 2018 stipulated judgment that it entered into with the State of California. The 2018 stipulated judgment prohibits Goop … Continue Reading

Former “Bachelor” Contestant Stripped of $1 million Fantasy Football Win

Last month, a former Bachelor contestant was stripped of her $1 million prize won in a DraftKings online fantasy football contest after the company opened an investigation into the win amidst accusations of collusion. As we previously wrote about here, Jade Roper-Tolbert, a former contestant on the reality TV show “The Bachelor” beat more than 100,000 … Continue Reading

Proposed Class Action Targets CBD Maker Over ADA Website Accessibility

Last month, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in New York federal court against Charlotte’s Web, Inc., a Colorado-based maker of cannabidiol (“CBD”) oils, balms and gummies claiming that its website is not accessible to visually impaired shoppers, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). According to the complaint, plaintiff Joseph Guglielmo, … Continue Reading

Kendall and Kylie Jenner “Klauber-ed” for Allegedly Infringing Lace Designs

Last month, a New York based fabric manufacturer, Klauber Brothers Inc., filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in California federal court against apparel companies owned by Kendall and Kylie Jenner for allegedly stealing the company’s lace designs and using them to make and sell apparel under the Kendall + Kylie collection name. According to the complaint, … Continue Reading

NCAA’s Consideration of Training Expenses for Olympic Athletes and Name, Image and Likeness Debate to Take Center Stage at Annual NCAA Convention

Last week, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) proposed a new rule allowing elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes to have “additional training expenses” paid without jeopardizing their NCAA eligibility. Athletes designated “elite” by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and national sport governing bodies would be allowed to receive “developmental training expenses, including travel for … Continue Reading

Former “Bachelor” Contestant’s $1 million Fantasy Football Win Under Investigation

Last week, sports gambling giant DraftKings announced that it is reviewing a former Bachelor contestant’s $1 million win in an online fantasy football contest after she and her husband were accused of cheating. Jade Roper-Tolbert, a former contestant on the reality TV show “The Bachelor” beat more than 100,000 entries to win first place in … Continue Reading

NAI Issues New Guidance on Consumer Opt-In Consent for Sharing of “Sensitive” Data

The self-regulatory group, Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”), has issued new guidance, in which it mandates that its members obtain opt-in consent from consumers before collecting or using “sensitive” data for ad delivery and reporting, as well as for ad targeting. Specifically, the guidance states that a member must obtain a user’s opt-in consent for the … Continue Reading
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