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The Fyre Festival Storm Continues: Kendall Jenner Settles Over Social Post

For those following the fallout from the Fyre Festival, the drama continues.  Last week, model and influencer Kendall Jenner settled a bankruptcy lawsuit for $90,000 relating to her promotion of the Festival. To refresh your memory, Fyre Festival was planned for spring 2017, advertised as a music and culinary paradise held on a private island … Continue Reading

The FTC Sends Additional Rounds of Warning Letters Over Health and Earnings Claims Related to Coronavirus

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced it has issued twenty-one additional warning letters to marketers throughout the United States for making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent coronavirus (COVID-19). Relatedly, the following day, the FTC announced it has issued ten warning letters to multi-level marketing companies (“MLMs”) to remove or … Continue Reading

April Warning Letter Showers: The FDA Issues Over Twenty Warning Letters to Companies Making Fraudulent Coronavirus Claims

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued over twenty 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 subject to the FDA’s warning … 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

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

1-800 Contacts Eyes Reversal of Judgment for Anticompetitive Advertising Agreements

On March 5, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard argument on an appeal seeking to overturn judgment against contact lens distributor 1-800 Contacts (“1-800”) for antitrust violations relating to agreements with competitors on advertising keywords.  This post follows our prior coverage of this matter, and is designed to highlight the … 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

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

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

NAD Announces Updated Filing Fees for 2020

This week, the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (“NAD”), the investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, announced changes to its filing fees that will take effect on January 1, 2020. The following price structure will apply to bring a challenge: Under $250M – $10,000 (New Category) National Partner – $25,000 Under … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Guidance for Influencers

On Tuesday, the FTC released a set of guidelines for online influencers dictating when and how influencers must disclose sponsorships to their followers. The guidelines, available here, break down disclosure requirements and provide tips for influencers on how to avoid deceptive advertising. In general, the guidelines largely reflect what the industry has gleaned from FTC … Continue Reading

USDA Issues Highly Anticipated Interim Domestic Hemp Production Rule

On October 29, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) released its highly anticipated interim final rule establishing rules and regulations for domestic hemp production. These interim regulations were required by the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act (2018 Farm Bill), which tasked the USDA with promulgating a regulatory framework for hemp production in the United … Continue Reading

Aloe Vera Supplement Marketer Feels the Burn After FTC Settlement Over Company’s Misleading Health Claims

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced its settlement with a Florida-based marketer and seller of aloe vera-based supplements over allegations that it deceived consumers in claiming that its products were effective treatments for a range of conditions affecting seniors, such as chronic pain, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, and acid reflux. According to the FTC’s … Continue Reading

Website and Its Operator Settle FTC Charges They Sold Fake Indicators of Social Media Influence

Devumi, LLC (“Devumi”) and its owner and CEO, German Calas, Jr. (“Calas”) have agreed to settle the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) complaint alleging that Devumi and Calas engaged in deceptive online marketing tactics in violation of the FTC Act. In this first-ever type of complaint, the FTC alleges that Devumi and Calas sold fake indicators … Continue Reading

FTC Obtains Temporary Restraining Order To Halt Company’s “Misleading” and “Bogus” Real Estate Seminars

Earlier this month, a federal court entered a temporary restraining order against a Utah-based business, which the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection (“DCP”) alleged used deceptive promises of big profits to lure consumers into real estate seminars costing thousands of dollars. According to the complaint filed by the FTC … Continue Reading

Does this new shirt make my claims look less puffy?

Claims that a product is “revolutionary,” “never before seen,” or providing a solution to an unsolved problem can be sometimes cavalierly regarded as puffery. We often find ourselves warning clients that the National Advertising Division (NAD) has sometimes required advertisers to have a reasonable basis for innovation claims (i.e., claims that their product is a … Continue Reading

The FDA and FTC Join Forces in Issuing Warning Letter to CBD Product Company

On October 22, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a public statement regarding a joint warning letter sent to Rooted Apothecary, LLC, a Florida-based company, for unlawfully marketing several of its products containing cannabidiol (“CBD”). The warning letter indicated that Rooted Apothecary, LLC was illegally marketing … Continue Reading

FTC Settles with Beauty Brand Over False “Organic” and “Vegan” Claims

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a $1.76 million settlement with Truly Organic, Inc. and its CEO over allegations that the company’s personal care products advertised as “100% organic” were anything but. According to the FTC’s complaint, since at least 2015, the company advertised a range of personal care products including body washes, … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Warning Letters to Three CBD Companies

This week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sent warning letters to three companies that sell cannabidiol (“CBD”) products regarding the health claims found in the companies’ advertisements. The companies sold a variety of products containing CBD, including oils, tinctures, capsules, creams, and “gummies.” Each company claimed that its CBD products can prevent, treat, or cure … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Two More Actions Enforcing The Consumer Review Fairness Act

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced two new actions under the Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”) against companies that allegedly used non-disparagement provisions in consumer “form contracts” in connection with their respective services to rent properties. These two actions follow the FTC’s inaugural CRFA actions against three companies last month, which we previously … Continue Reading

FTC Continues Enforcement Against Deceptive “Free” Trials and Negative Option Plans

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced settlements with operators of a worldwide negative option scam, in which online marketers deceptively advertised “risk free” trial offers of its products, but charged consumers full price for the trial products and automatically enrolled them in negative-option continuity plans without their knowledge or consent. As we previously … Continue Reading
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