Archives: Regulatory – United States

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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

Cause of Action Joins Defense of Electronics Maker in FTC Privacy Suit

The advocacy group Cause of Action has stepped in to help defend electronics maker D-Link in a suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission over the company’s purportedly insufficient protection of customers’ privacy. The FTC is targeting D-Link for making representations that its products, including wireless routers and Internet protocol cameras, feature strong security, even … Continue Reading

Herbalife Settles Multi-level Marketing Scheme for $200 Million

Almost 350,000 people who helped run Herbalife businesses are receiving checks from the Federal Trade Commission to compensate them for money lost due to the company’s deceptive earnings claims. Specifically, Herbalife was claiming that participants could expect to quit their jobs, earn thousands of dollars a month, and make a career-level income or get rich. … Continue Reading

States Act to Regulate Fantasy Sports

In attempts to lessen the uncertainty that still surrounds the legality of fantasy sports, Maryland and Florida introduced measures to clarify the rules of the road for the likes of DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. Maryland’s regulations, adopted by the state Office of the Comptroller, went into effect January 2, while Florida’s House of Representatives … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Upholds Indiana Ban on Robocalls

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld an Indiana statute banning robocalls, concluding that the statute was evenly applied in an effort to prohibit unsolicited calls made without a recipient’s consent regardless of the content of the message or the identity of the caller. Patriotic Veterans, Inc. brought suit arguing … Continue Reading

New Jersey Prohibits Company from Contractually Banning Online Customer Reviews

This week, NJ Attorney General Christopher Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs settled with Fertility Bridges, Inc., a fertility clinic operating in California and Illinois, over the clinic’s practice of contractually barring consumers from posting online reviews of their experiences with the clinic and its personnel. The provisions, set forth in the Terms of … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Data Breach Case with AshleyMadison for $1.6 Million

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) settled with online dating website AshleyMadison.com for $1.6 million stemming from FTC and state actions brought against the company as a result of a July 2015 data breach that exposed the profile and account information of approximately 36 million users. In addition to the settlement, AshleyMadison.com must also implement a … Continue Reading

FTC Settles with Vemma Nutrition for $238 Million Arising from Pyramid Scheme

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) settled with Vemma Nutrition Company for allegedly engaging in deceptive business practices and sales tactics akin to a pyramid scheme. According to the FTC, the company made deceptive income claims to its distributors and unsubstantiated health claims about its products, specifically representing that consumer demand for the products … Continue Reading

Telemarketer Penalized for Deceptive Tech Support Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission recently settled with Florida-based company Inbound Call Experts on December 22 for deceiving thousands of consumers with its telemarketing scheme. Under the final order, the company must pay a penalty of $10 million to settle the FTC’s charges that it used software designed to make consumers think their computers had viruses … Continue Reading

USDA Releases Recommendations for Food Date Labeling

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued new recommendations earlier this month as part of its efforts to clarify food labeling to improve consumer understanding and to reduce food waste. Specifically, the recommendations suggest that companies refrain from using date labeling terms, such as “sell by,” “use by,” or “best if used by,” or others … Continue Reading

New Laws Criminalize Online Ticket Bots and Protect Consumers’ Right to Review

Earlier this month, President Obama approved two pieces of consumer protection legislation aimed at curbing the use of automatic programs to purchase tickets through online sellers and limiting the ability of companies to use contacts to prevent customers from posting online product reviews. Both bills passed through Congress with bipartisan support, as we reported in … Continue Reading

Congress Introduces First Post-Obama Copyright Review Policy Proposal

Last week, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee introduced their first of many upcoming policy proposals aimed at modernizing U.S. copyright law, and, specifically, the U.S. Copyright Office. This proposal sets out specific changes for the Copyright Office, including creating an advisory committee, introducing an information technology modernization plan, increasing the Office’s … Continue Reading

FTC Unanimously Approves Settlement with Pet Food Manufacturer Over Alleged False Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission has approved a final Decision and Order settling a dispute with pet food producer Mars Petcare US, Inc. (“Mars”) related to advertisements for Mars’ Eukanuba brand dog food. The settlement arose from an FTC investigation into a number of television, print, and internet advertisements released by Mars in 2015 stating that, … Continue Reading

Natural Consequences: FTC Finds California Company Misrepresented Product Ingredients as “All Natural”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently granted summary decision against California Natural Inc., a seller and marketer of personal care products, holding that the company engaged in false and misleading advertising in claiming that its sunscreen SPF 30 product was “all natural.” Last April, the FTC issued an administrative complaint against California Natural, alleging that … Continue Reading

Looking for a Mind at Work: The FTC Presents a Staff Summary of its September 2016 Workshop on Disclosure Effectiveness

Quietly, the Federal Trade Commission staff published a summary of the workshop it convened on September 15, 2016 (“Putting Disclosures to the Test”).  The summary goes into detail and generally presents an accurate and objective recounting of the full-day workshop. Understanding how the Commission thinks about disclosures is critical because the FTC’s Enforcement Policy on … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Report on the “Sharing Economy” for Internet-Based Services

Last month, the FTC released a staff report entitled “The ‘Sharing’ Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators,” that assesses evolving business models relying on internet and app-based “sharing economy” platforms, such as peer-to-peer platforms (think, Airbnb), and their effects on more traditional industries. The 100-page report also discusses several “trust mechanisms,” such as reputation … Continue Reading

A Gentle Reminder from the FCC: Autodialed Text Messages Fall Under TCPA Restrictions

Last week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued an enforcement advisory reiterating its position that autodialed text messages must comply with requirements set forth in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Though it is unclear what prompted this specific advisory (perhaps, the upcoming holiday season), the Enforcement Bureau issued the warning in order to promote understanding … Continue Reading

FTC’s New Guidelines Provide Agency View on Data Breach Response

On October 25, the Federal Trade Commission released “Data Breach Response: A Guide for Business,” its latest guidance on data privacy and security regulation. The Guide seeks to help businesses comprehend the Agency’s understanding of both legal requirements and best practices, although what is legally required versus what is encouraged continues to be challenging for … Continue Reading

FTC Settles With Sales Lead Generators For $100,000

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) settled a claim against the Consumer Education Group for $100,000 regarding alleged violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”) and Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. The FTC alleged that Consumer Education Group made millions of illegal telemarketing calls, including unlawful robocalls, to consumers in an effort … Continue Reading

Still On The Line: FCC Refuses to Hang Up $20 Million Fine for False Advertising Levied Against Calling Card Companies

Last week, the FCC decided not to reduce the $20 million in fines it levied against four pre-paid calling card companies in 2015. The fines arise out of the companies’ deceptive marketing practices whereby they marketed calling cards that would provide thousands of minutes for low, prepaid prices.  The FCC found, however, that consumers were … Continue Reading

New Privacy Rules for Internet Service Providers

On October 27, 2016, the FCC adopted a new set of privacy and data security regulations applicable to “broadband service providers and other telecommunications carriers.” The rules place new restrictions on internet service providers’ (“ISPs”) ability to use and share their customers’ data. The Commission established two data classifications: (1) sensitive information, and (2) non-sensitive … Continue Reading
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