Tag Archives: Advertising

Feds Investigate Ad Agency Media Buying Practices

According to the Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have opened an investigation into media-buying practices in the advertising industry, and have begun to issue subpoenas.  The investigation will reportedly look at, among other things, alleged non-transparent practices, including whether advertising agencies received rebates from media outlets.  The investigation comes after the 2016 report on media transparency conducted by … 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

ANA Urges Marketers to Help Fight California Data Privacy Measure

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is working with the California Chamber of Commerce and a broad range of companies and industry groups to oppose a California ballot initiative that would drastically change how consumer information is collected and shared. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 would apply to almost every company that conducts … 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

Don’t Have a Cow! Court Dismisses GMO Labelling Suit Against Dannon

Last month, a New York federal judge dismissed a proposed class action that alleged Dannon Company, Inc. unlawfully labelled its yogurt products as “natural” when in fact the cows that produced the milk that produced the yogurt may have eaten feed made from corn that was genetically modified or were raised using hormones or antibiotics. … Continue Reading

Kentucky Fried Justice: Court Dismisses KFC Bucket Dispute

A New York District Court dismissed the complaint of Anna Wurtzburger against fast food staple KFC over the size of KFC’s $20 “fill up” bucket. Wurtzburger alleged she purchased KFC’s “fill up” bucket meal advertised as consisting of “an eight piece bucket of chicken,” relying on the advertisement’s depiction of a bucket that may have … Continue Reading

Just Like Grandma Used to Infringe: Trademark Battle Sparks Over “Nana”

Granny can’t catch a break. In the food and beverage industry, “NANA”-formative trademarks are plentiful.  However, the owner of several such marks has overstepped its bounds, asserts Nana Joe’s LLC in its complaint filed earlier this month in the Eastern District of Texas.  Nana Joe’s makes vegan and gluten free granola products, and has branded … Continue Reading

Montel Williams Aims Pot Shot at Cannabis Trademark Infringers

Talk show host and cannabis mogul Montel Williams recently filed suit against multiple medical marijuana retailers under the Lanham Act and Florida state law for trademark infringement, false advertising, violations of the right to publicity and right to privacy, and unfair business practices. Williams markets a line of medical-grade cannabidiol, or CBD, oils for use … Continue Reading

“Local” is a Claim Requiring Substantiation in False Advertising Action

U.S. District Court in Utah decided an interesting case involving whether an advertiser can use the word “local” in Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. v. Leland Sycamore et al.  Defendant Leland Sycamore had invented the trade secret process and formula for making “Grandma Sycamore’s Home-Maid Bread.”  After securing trademark registration for the bread packaging design, Leland … 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

Ninth Circuit Concludes No First Amendment Issue with California Ban on Paid in-Store Alcohol Advertisements

Last month, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, upheld a California “tied house” law prohibiting manufacturers and wholesalers from providing anything of value to retailers in exchange for advertising their alcohol products. Retail Digital Network, LLC, (“RDN”) an advertising agency that placed advertisements in wine and spirit retail stores, alleged that alcohol manufacturers and wholesalers … 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

Digital media are now caught by French regulation and in particular by stringent transparency requirements

By virtue of the French “Sapin” law of January 29, 1993, France has become one of the most transparency-regulated media markets in the world, and remains so today. With the new Decree No 2017-159 of February 9, 2017, the protection of advertisers is further strengthened by extending the transparency requirements of the Sapin law to … Continue Reading

Squeezing the Supply Chain: Premium Publishers Align with Advertisers in Fight to Clean Up Murky Digital Media Ecosystem

Advertisers aren’t alone in their quest to clean up the digital media ecosystem—this, according to an open letter penned by Digital Content Next (DCN) CEO Jason Kint. Kint’s letter was in response to P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard’s IAB speech last month, where Pritchard drew a line in the sand regarding the quality and … Continue Reading

The Quarter Ham: California Court of Appeal Affirms Judgment in Unfair Competition and False Advertising Case

You can still get your quarter ham “STARTING AT $23.99” from Honey Baked Ham, Inc. according to the California Court of Appeal in its unpublished decision on November 8, 2016.  The Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s judgment that Honey Baked Ham, Inc. did not engage in unfair competition or in false or deceptive … Continue Reading

Join Reed Smith at the 2017 ANA Advertising Law & Public Policy Conference

The digital world is growing and lawyers are increasingly engaged in every aspect of the process, from content creation to consumer protection. Lawyers are helping CMOs, brand managers, and creative directors in producing stellar marketing campaigns leverage a wide array of resources. Our very own Doug Wood will be moderating: TWEETING WITH WORDS For a … Continue Reading

It Was a Matter of Seconds: Putative Class Action Complaint Filed Over Facebook Video Metric Error

A putative class action lawsuit has been filed against Facebook, Inc. just one month after Facebook announced that an erroneous formula had caused it to inflate a key video metric for the past two years. Facebook admitted the error in a September 23, 2016 post on the Facebook business page.  The metric at issue—the average … Continue Reading
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