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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

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

Company Settles Credit Card Laundering Scheme With FTC

Last month, the FTC announced a $1,384,500 settlement with Michael Abdelmesseh and KMA Merchant Services, LLC in a lawsuit regarding a deceptive credit card laundering scheme. The FTC alleged that the defendants telemarketed fraudulent business opportunities to consumers that involved false promises of thousands of dollars in income as commission for loans made to small … 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

FTC Doubles Down on Cedar Oil Bed Bug Product Marketer

In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and Chemical Free Solutions LLC (“CFS”) reached a settlement barring CFS from making scientifically unsupported claims regarding the efficacy of its cedar oil-based bed bug eradication product Cedarcide Original. CFS made various false claims about its “BEST Yet!” bed bug and head lice products, including that it was … Continue Reading

Naked Juice Urges California Court to Defer to FDA on Use of “No Sugar Added”

Naked Juice, which is owned by PepsiCo (“Naked”), filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in a pair of class action lawsuits that claim its “No Sugar Added” labels on coconut water and orange juice are misleading and deceptive. Naked’s argument is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) already cleared use of the “No … Continue Reading

Telemarketing Giant to Pay $250,000 Penalty to FTC

InfoCision, Inc., an Akron, Ohio-based company, agreed last month to pay a $250,000 civil penalty and implement recordkeeping and monitoring practices to settle Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charges brought by the Department of Justice on the FTC’s behalf. The FTC alleged that since at least 2013 InfoCision conducted hundreds of telemarketing campaigns on behalf of … Continue Reading

FTC Settles With Hotel Room Resellers Over Alleged Misrepresentations

Reservation Counter, LLC and its parents companies have settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they misrepresented hotel bookings and credit card charges to consumers. The proposed order bars the defendants from future conduct including leading consumers to believe incorrectly that they are communicating directly with hotels to book rooms. As a result, the defendants may … Continue Reading

Maine Supplements FTC Weight-Loss Enforcement Action

Marketing Architects, Inc. (“MAI”), an advertising agency specializing in direct response radio and television ads, will pay $2 million in equitable relief to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Office of the Attorney General of Maine for allegedly creating and disseminating deceptive radio ads for weight-loss products AF Plus and Final Trim. The joint … Continue Reading

Reed Smith partner Douglas Wood is honored to be co-chairing the 2018 Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Advertising Law & Public Policy Conference.

The ad industry – and the brands that are its anchors to success – are under attack. Two articles appearing in major publications take publishers, brands and agencies to task on legal issues. Please see the BuzzFeed article and the New York Times article. On the other hand, occasionally there is some good news. Brian Jacobs’ article in … Continue Reading

Kirkland FACTA Case May Create Circuit Split

Kirkland, Inc. will face a putative class action for allegedly violating the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”). The plaintiffs filed their complaint against Kirkland in April 2017 for displaying the first six and the last four digits of their credit card or debit card numbers on their purchase receipts.  According to the plaintiffs, … Continue Reading

FTC Comes Down Hard on Mass-Mail Fraud Schemes

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a default judgment against David Raff, Millenium Direct Incorporated, and Ian Gamberg over charges alleging that they engaged in a mass-mail fraud scheme inducing mostly elderly consumers to pay money in order to receive a cash prize that never arrived. According to the order, announced December 18, the defendants … Continue Reading

Jason Gordon Will Deliver Free ANA Webinar on FTC Issues on January 9, 2018

Jason Gordon will be speaking on Tuesday, January 9th to the Association of National Advertisers. The free one-hour webinar, titled “The # FTC Review” will provide an update on the latest enforcement actions brought by the FTC and the types of enforcement actions the industry can expect to see from the FTC in 2018. Click … Continue Reading

U.S. Customs Determines Coffee Bean Country of Origin is Where Roasted

Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) published its final determination that the country where raw green coffee beans are roasted—not necessarily grown—is their country of origin for the purpose of government procurement.  It based this decision on the grounds that roasting raw green coffee beans renders them “substantially transformed” into a new article … Continue Reading

Soy Vey! FDA May Revoke Soy’s Heart Health-Claim

The FDA has called into question its health claim finding a link between consumption of soy protein and reduced risk of heart disease. Since 1999, the FDA has allowed manufacturers and advertisers to label soy products with an “authorized” claim of soy’s heart-health benefits.  However, proposed rulemaking may reduce it to a “qualified” claim of … Continue Reading

Prize-Linked Savings Laws Spread Across States

With Americans’ saving habits in the news as the federal government considers caps on retirement contributions, financial institutions should be aware that many states are passing laws making it easier to incentivize saving. To date, 26 states have enacted legislation that liberalizes their approaches to games of chance in support of good consumer saving practices. … Continue Reading

Quaker Oats Succeeds in Maple Syrup Suit

The Central District of California granted Quaker Oats Company’s Motion to Dismiss a Consolidated Class Action Complaint on October 10. Plaintiffs alleged Quaker Oats Company was liable for labeling its “Maple & Brown Sugar”-flavored instant oatmeal as “Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Maple & Brown Sugar” alongside an image of a pitcher of maple syrup.  The plaintiffs … Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Sanctions Weight-Loss Supplement Marketers for Violating Past Court Order

A judge in the Northern District of Georgia has found a number of defendants, comprising a larger company named Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Hi-Tech”), in contempt for repeated violations of court orders prohibiting the defendants from making deceptive marketing claims about weight-loss supplements and erectile dysfunction products. As a result of the order, Hi-Tech is required … Continue Reading

FTC Issues New but Narrow COPPA Guidance on Voice Recordings

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released a policy enforcement statement to provide additional guidance under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) for organizations that use audio voice recordings of children. This additional guidance builds on the FTC’s 2013 updates to COPPA that brought additional data types, such as photographs, videos and audio … Continue Reading

Nominations for FTC Commissioner Vacancies Announced

The president has announced two nominations for Federal Trade Commission posts, including the chair position. Joseph Simons, who served at the agency for almost two decades and directed the Bureau of Competition from 2001 to 2003, has been nominated for the chairmanship, while Rohit Chopra of the Consumer Federation of America has also been nominated … Continue Reading
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