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FTC Makes New Strides in Social Media Influencer Space with Settlement, Warnings, and Guidance

This month, online gaming social media influencers Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell settled the Federal Trade Commission’s first charges against individual failure to disclose material information in social media endorsements. Martin and Cassell are both operators of YouTube channels with millions of subscribers in the online gaming community and owners and officers of CSGOLotto, Inc., an … Continue Reading

NIST Updates Its Security and Privacy Guidance

Earlier this month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) issued its fifth and latest draft of its “Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations” guidance document. The NIST guidance document expands on previous drafts that focused on privacy and security improvements for the federal government and now provides security and privacy … Continue Reading

Dona J. Fraser, formerly of ESRB, to serve as Director, Children’s Advertising Review Unit

Dona Fraser, a leading privacy expert, comes to CARU from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulatory program developed by the video game industry. Dona brings to CARU a strong understanding of the marketplace challenges facing children’s advertisers, the complexities of children’s privacy issues and extensive experience with self-regulation. Dona has spoken on these … Continue Reading

Laura Brett Selected As New NAD Director

Last week, Laura Brett was named director of the National Advertising Division of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (“NAD”). Laura Brett joined the NAD in 2012, and is widely viewed as an excellent choice to maintain continuity with former director Andrea Levine. Laura speaks frequently at advertising conferences about the role of the NAD in the … Continue Reading

FTC Warns 11 Companies Over Made in USA Claims

It seems to be another star-spangled banner year for the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and its crackdown on certain “Made in USA” claims. In 2016, the FTC cited 29 companies for their misleading “Made in USA” claims.  With the year’s halfway mark behind us, reports indicate that the FTC has similarly warned 11 companies for … Continue Reading

Texas Passes New Driverless Car Law: Drivers Not Required in Texas

Last month, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that expressly allows motor vehicles with “automated driving systems” to operate on Texas highways. While Texas had previously been silent on the issue of driverless cars, Texas Senate Bill 2205 authorizes these vehicles to operate on the roadways, provided that the operators (who may or … Continue Reading

You’re invited to an ANA and Reed Smith Webinar: “GDPR, ePrivacy and Advertisers: Sorting out the Confusion”

As we’re now less than a year away from the GDPR taking effect, there is a lot of confusion out there over myths versus reality. Reed Smith presenters will participate in a webinar hosted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that will explore the practical considerations and the new thinking that brands and their … Continue Reading

FTC Submits Comments on Security Support for IoT Devices

The Federal Trade Commission in June submitted comments to the working group convened by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is studying the security of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices and how they interact with consumers. This request for comments focused on how IoT device manufacturers can effectively … Continue Reading

Advertiser Fined By FCC For Use Of Emergency Tones in Football Ads

The FCC entered into a settlement late last month with TEGNA, Inc. (“TEGNA”) for $55,000. The case erupted after TEGNA used Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) tones in its television ad promoting the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team.  The advertisement at issue opened with EAS tones along with sounds of gusting winds and thunder claps, and aired … Continue Reading

Vermont Legislature Passes Fantasy Sports Bill

In a move to become the latest state to regulate daily fantasy sports (“DFS”), the Vermont Legislature has passed a bill defining fantasy sports games and directing the state attorney general and governor’s office to develop a registration fee and tax system for fantasy sports operators and players in the state. Additionally, the bill bars … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Claims Against Trampoline Companies Over Online Reviews

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) last week agreed to settle charges levied against the marketers of Infinity and Olympus Pro brand trampolines. Those charges asserted that the marketers, under the guise of a variety of fake business names and review organizations, directed visitors to fictitious websites containing biased reviews that were actually written by one … Continue Reading

Consumers Sue Chocolatier Fannie May Over Empty Space In Chocolate Boxes

A putative class filed a false advertising claim against the Chicago chocolatier Fannie May Confections Brands Inc. earlier this month. Fannie May allegedly sells 7.0 oz. products in opaque boxes.  According to the complaint, consumers are deceived because the size of the boxes are larger than the volume of the products contained inside, leaving consumers … Continue Reading

FTC Extension of Robocalling Rules Is Approved By Federal Court

Last week, a D.C. District Court declined to find the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to extend robocalling restrictions to telemarketing calls that use “soundboard” technology unconstitutional or in violation of any procedural rules. The Soundboard Association, a telecommunications interest group, argued that the FTC rule was unconstitutional because the FTC bypassed the notice-and-comment requirements typically … Continue Reading

Federal Court Enters FTC Settlement in Fake Prize Mail Scheme

Recently, a California federal court has entered into a stipulated order reflecting a settlement between the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and a defendant charged with operating a mail fraud scheme. In September 2016, the FTC filed charges against Defendant Ian Gamberg and two other individuals, alleging that the group conspired to print and mail false … Continue Reading

Influencers and Advertisers Warned By FTC Over Instagram Posts

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced this week that it sent more than 90 letters to social media influencers and advertisers, reiterating the need for influencers to “clearly and conspicuously” disclose their relationships with brands in social media posts that promote or endorse branded products. The FTC reviewed the Instagram posts of various unnamed celebrities, … Continue Reading

Diet-Pill Marketers Settle With FTC Over Email Marketing and Weight Loss Claims

Colby Fox and his companies Tachht, Inc. and Teqqi, LLC recently settled a case with the Federal Trade Commission over an email marketing scheme and claims regarding the companies’ diet pills. According to the FTC, which filed the proposed order in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, the defendants … Continue Reading

Upromise Penalized for Violating FTC Privacy Order Over Rewards Program

Upromise found itself in front of the Federal Trade Commission answering very tough questions earlier this month. The inquiry was related to a 2012 order requiring that Upromise include disclosures about data collection practices and conduct third-party assessments about Upromise’s data security safeguards. The FTC alleged that Upromise failed to comply with the terms of … Continue Reading

FTC Identifies Top Categories of Consumer Complaints for 2016

On Friday, March 3, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its annual summary of consumer complaints—a compendium of complaints lodged over the course of 2016. These complaints are collected through the Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN), which is a database of millions of consumer complaints available to law enforcement agencies. Of the over three million … Continue Reading

Contractual Audit Rights: How to Overcome Real-Life Challenges Webinar

Douglas Wood, Partner at Reed Smith LLP, will be presenting a webinar on Contractual Audit Rights: How to Overcome Real-Life Challenges. Clear Law Institute will host the webinar, which you can attend live on February 27 at 1 p.m. ET or view a recording anytime after the event.     You can receive a 35% discount off … Continue Reading

Avoid the Perfect Storm

Washington has been hit with a political Tsunami unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes.  But you know that.  What you may not know is how this tidal wave is going to change your day-to-day operations in advising marketers and their supply chain.  You may not know what to expect and how to respond.  Need … Continue Reading

FTC Settlement Applies “Made in the USA” standard to “Built in the USA” Claims

Continuing its focus on “Made in the USA” claims, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”), on February 1, applied its standard for those claims to “Built in the USA” claims by entering into a settlement with water filtration company, iSpring Water Systems, LLC (“iSpring”). In a move that appeared contrary to previously released guidance, … Continue Reading

FTC Will Consider Spying Toy Privacy Concerns

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), in response to a complaint filed by Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) and other consumer groups, made the decision to review the potential privacy and security concerns associated with electronic, internet-capable children’s toys, namely My Friend Kayla and i-Que Robot, designed by Genesis Toys and Nuance Communications. EPIC … Continue Reading
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