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Defendants Reach Settlement with FTC Over Deceptive Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

Operators of a get-rich-quick scheme have agreed to a permanent ban on the marketing or selling of certain types of software as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) over allegations that the defendants deceived consumers by falsely claiming consumers could earn large sums of money working online utilizing the defendant’s products. … Continue Reading

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

FTC Targets Risky “Free” Trials and Negative Option Plans in Complaint Against Marketers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been granted a temporary restraining order barring several online marketers from engaging in allegedly deceptive sales practices in violation of the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA). The FTC’s complaint against Triangle Media Corporation, Jasper Rain Marketing LLC, Hardwire Interactive Inc., and Brian Phillips, the … 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

Preparing for the Next Phase of Influencer Marketing – The CGI Influencer

Social media influencers are constantly competing for likes, partnerships, and ways to differentiate themselves from others. A surefire way to distinguish oneself in the ever-growing sea of social influencers? Being a robot. Computer generated social media influencers like Lil’ Miquela and Shudu have racked up millions of Instagram followers and likes and have secured several … 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

YouTube Accused of Violating COPPA in FTC Petition

Parking your child with a tablet and the LittleBabyBum YouTube channel may not be as kid-friendly as it seems, a group of consumer advocacy groups told the Federal Trade Commission in April. More than 20 groups, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Public Citizen, and the Consumer Federation of America, asked the FTC to investigate … 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

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

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
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