Tag Archives: Advertising

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

Starbucks Puts Another False Advertising Lawsuit On Ice

On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Starbucks. The class alleged a violation of Illinois’ Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, among other claims.  Specifically, the class alleged that Starbucks is engaging in unfair acts and practices … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Supplement Maker Over Unsubstantiated Claims and Expert Endorsement

On October 5, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled its case with Supple, LLC over certain advertising claims regarding its Supple joint supplement. Between 2011 and 2015, the company advertised (via social media, radio, and in-person pitches) that the supplement was scientifically proven to provide complete relief from chronic and severe joint pain stemming … Continue Reading

FTC Sues Terry Somenzi Over Fake Prize Schemes

Last week, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Terry Somenzi and International Advisory Services, Inc., among other defendants, for an allegedly fake prize scheme in federal court. According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants engaged in deceptive acts and practices by targeting thousands of elderly consumers, announcing in a personalized letter that the recipient had … Continue Reading

FDA Guides Industry For Use Of “Healthy” On Food Packaging

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced guidance regarding using the term “healthy” in the labeling of human food products. As background, the FDA issued final rules updating the Nutrition Facts label and serving size information for packaged foods this past May.  Those rules require that the Nutrition Facts label include changes in the … Continue Reading

Autozone Sued Over Its Loyalty Program

Late last week, a class action lawsuit was filed in California state court against AutoZone. The case was filed pursuant to AutoZone’s rewards program.  According to the complaint, AutoZone’s loyalty program provides consumers with a “reward credit” for each purchase they make over $20.  After five credits, consumers would allegedly receive a $20 reward, which … Continue Reading

House of Representatives Passes Consumer Review Fairness Act and Better Online Ticket Sales Acts

The House of Representatives passed two bills last week relevant to the advertising industry: the Consumer Review Fairness Act and the Better On-line Ticket Sales Act (“BOTS Act”). The Consumer Review Fairness Act is aimed at protecting consumers who write online reviews on certain websites, by invalidating “form contracts” which would impede those reviews from … Continue Reading
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