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FDA: “Milk” Probably Was a Bad Choice

Apparently even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on board with ‘90s nostalgia. This week, the agency effectively rebooted the nearly 20-year-old debate on whether alternative milk and plant-based drink products should fall within the definition of “milk”. The FDA governs the proper labeling of foods, including ensuring that foods conform to a certain … Continue Reading

Florida Federal Judge Admonishes “Shotgun Pleading,” Grants Dismissal

A Florida federal judge chided putative class action lead plaintiff Michael Fox for what she described as “a quintessential shotgun pleading” last month and dismissed two defendants to Fox’s consumer protection lawsuit. Fox alleged violations of Florida’s consumer protection and gratuity notice laws against Loews Corp., Loews Hotels Holding Corp., MB Redevelopment LLC, and Loews … Continue Reading

Telomere Biology Company Reaches Settlement with FTC over Deceptive Advertising Claims and Endorsements

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) approved a final consent order against Telomerase Activation Sciences, Inc. and Noel Patton (collectively, “TA Sciences”) following allegations that TA Sciences made certain substantiated claims regarding its supplement and topical serum products.  FTC alleged that TA Sciences lacked sufficient evidence to support its health-benefit claims, including claims that its products … Continue Reading

ANA Releases Version 2.0 of Media Agency Template

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) released version 2.0 of the ANA Master Media Buying Services Agreement.  The original template was issued in July 2016 as a supplement to the ANA’s landmark report on media transparency, conducted with K2 Intelligence. Among other aspects, the new template includes language designed to reflect best practices on a global … Continue Reading

A Puffed Quinoa By Any Other Name Would Still Be False Advertising

Puffed quinoa snacks presumably would contain mostly quinoa right? Not according to the putative class action lawsuit filed in a New York federal court earlier this year. Lead plaintiff Russell Ransom alleges that defendant I Heart Foods Corp.’s line of “I Heart Keenwah” puffed quinoa snacks are not, as the name implies, primarily quinoa. Rather, … Continue Reading

Got Margarine? Post Seeks Dismissal of Mashed-Potato False Labelling Suit

Briefing closed last month on Post Holdings Inc.’s attempt to dismiss a putative class action false labeling suit over Post’s prepackaged mashed potatoes, which Post claims are “made with real butter.” The plaintiffs allege that although the product does contain real butter, Post misrepresented that in fact it also contains margarine. The plaintiffs initiated suit … Continue Reading

University of Illinois Launches Suit Against “Make Illinois Great Again” Shirt Seller

The University of Illinois sued Ted O’Malley, the seller of shirts that feature the University’s former symbol, “Chief Illiniwek,” and the phrase “Make Illinois Great Again” for trademark and copyright infringement, false advertising, trademark dilution, various common law torts, and violations of Illinois consumer protection laws in March of this year. The University owns various … Continue Reading

E.V.Oh.No! Olive Oil Salad Dressing Maker Must Face False Advertising Suit

An Illinois federal court recently rejected packaged food company Pinnacle Foods Group LLC’s attempt to dismiss a putative class action suit against it over its line of “Wishbone E.V.O.O. Dressing- Made With Extra Virgin Olive Oil” salad dressings. The lead plaintiff allegedly purchased a bottle of the dressing in Illinois and took it across state … Continue Reading

FTC Stops Another Deceptive Work-From–Home Business Coaching Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently charged two Utah individuals and their telemarketing operation with violating the FTC Act and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule by deceptively claiming that their business coaching services could help consumers start home-based businesses that could earn thousands of dollars a month. According to the FTC, the defendants targeted consumers … Continue Reading

COPPA Revisited: The Do Not Track Kids Act of 2018 Provides a Glimpse into What Lawmakers Could Do to Ground Services with Large Teen Customer Bases

In enacting the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, Congress determined that the safeguards built into the statute should apply only to children under 13. It sought to focus the restrictions on collection and use of personal information on younger children who are particularly vulnerable to marketing tactics because of their unfamiliarity with advertising and the … Continue Reading

Mobile Phone Maker Reaches Settlement with FTC Over Deceptive Privacy and Data Security Claims

Mobile phone manufacturer Blue Products, Inc. and its co-owner and President, Samuel Ohev-Zion (collectively, “BLU”), reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) over allegations that BLU misled consumers by allowing a China-based third party to collect detailed personal information about consumers.  The FTC alleged that the Chinese entity collected U.S. consumers text message … Continue Reading

ANA Urges Marketers to Help Fight California Data Privacy Measure

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is working with the California Chamber of Commerce and a broad range of companies and industry groups to oppose a California ballot initiative that would drastically change how consumer information is collected and shared. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 would apply to almost every company that conducts … Continue Reading

A Straight-up Victory for States Rights in Regulating Sports Betting

On May 14, 2018 the Supreme Court of the United States released its decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.  This decision invalidates the key Federal prohibition on State-authorized sports gambling businesses, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).  Under PASPA, except in connection with very narrow exemptions, States could not authorize entities … Continue Reading

Judge Dismisses Some Country of Origin Claims Against Guinness Beer

In January 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts against Guinness beer for misrepresenting that Guinness Extra Stout was brewed in Dublin when it is actually brewed in Canada. Plaintiff claimed that the prominent use of “Traditionally Brewed” and “St. James’s Gate Dublin” in conjunction with “Imported Guinness Extra Stout” created a false … Continue Reading

The Sapin Decree on digital advertising services has come into force. It nevertheless raises several questions regarding its implementation.

The much-awaited Decree No. 2017-159 of February 9, 2017 on digital advertising services (the “Sapin Decree”) has entered into force as of January 1, 2018. This Decree adapts the rules of the French Sapin law of January 29, 1993 – originally introduced for traditional media, i.e. television, radio and press – to digital media and … Continue Reading

ANA Legal & Regulatory Webinar: TCPA Trends and Hot Topics

Please join us on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 at 1:00 pm eastern for a webinar providing an overview of TCPA exposure risks in telemarketing, including the risks for calls and SMS using an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS) and what previously constituted an ATDS under FCC guidance. It will also cover the recent D.C. Circuit Court … Continue Reading

FTC Sends Warning Letters to Companies Over Warranty Claims

Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sent warning letters to six (6) major companies that market and sell automobiles, cellular devices, and video gaming systems. The FTC indicated that it has concerns about the companies’ statements that consumers must use specified providers to keep their warranties intact. Unless warrantors provide the parts or … Continue Reading

“Weight Loss” vs. “Weight Management”: Vitamin Shoppe Sidesteps False Advertising Suit

Putative class representative Andrea Nathan renewed her efforts to hold Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. liable under California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and breaches of express and implied warranties over Vitamin Shoppe’s “Garcinia Cambogia” dietary supplements after a California district court judge tossed the suit in February of this year. Vitamin … Continue Reading

FTC Slams Anti-Aging Supplement Seller for False Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently reached an agreement with New York-based Telomerase Activation Sciences, Inc. and its CEO Noel Patton (collectively, “TA Sciences”), barring TA Sciences from making false or unsubstantiated claims regarding the efficacy and health benefits of two of TA Sciences’ products. According to the FTC’s administrative complaint, TA Sciences falsely advertised … Continue Reading

High Stakes: Iowa Ends Up Paying $1M For Blocking Pro-Marijuana T-Shirts

The state of Iowa will be covering the bill in a protracted lawsuit over Iowa State University’s decision to bar a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (“NORML”) from using the university’s trademarks on T-shirts. ISU students won approval in 2012 to use the ISU mascot bearing a marijuana leaf … Continue Reading

Reed Smith Incoming First-Year Associate Erika Auger Publishes Law Review Note

Erika Auger, a third-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law, will have her note published in The Chicago-Kent Law Review.  Erika’s note, The “Art” of Future Life: Rethinking Personal Injury Law for the Negligent Deprivation of a Patient’s Right to Procreation in the Age of Assisted Reproductive Technologies 94 Chi.-Kent. L. Rev. __ (2018), … Continue Reading

The Chain Gang – FTC’s New Blockchain Working Group May be Good News for Marketers

One of the greatest developments for marketers in 2018 is likely to be the proliferation of new and innovative applications on the blockchain in the context of marketing and promotion, particularly in connection with loyalty programs, ad fraud mitigation, and ongoing CRM activities that combine brand affinity and peer-to-peer influencing.  The potential magnitude of the … Continue Reading

Let the Chips Fall Where They May: Frito-Lay Litigates No Artificial Flavors Claim

Last month, a federal judge denied Frito-Lay’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit involving allegations that its “Salt and Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips” contain artificial flavors. Specifically, the plaintiffs asserted that Frito Lay: (1) did not specify the type of malic acid on the ingredient panel; and (2) falsely labeled the chips as containing no artificial … Continue Reading
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