In the latest iteration of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) approach to testimonials and endorsements in the context of online advertising, the Commission alleged that AmeriFreight, a company that arranges the shipment of consumers’ cars through third-party freight carriers and its owner posted customer reviews without disclosing that it had provided a financial incentive for

Don’t miss out on your chance to learn how the FTC’s Operation Full Disclosure can affect you. Join us November 18 at 1:00 p.m. ET for the complimentary webinar, “The FTC’s Operation Full Disclosure: What You Need to Know.” Led by John P. Feldman, partner at Reed Smith LLP, and Michael Ostheimer, staff attorney in the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices, the webinar will cover ways to ensure all ads are complying with the FTC’s standards, the latest on the commission’s ongoing efforts to educate the industry on proper disclosure practices, and what to expect in the coming months with regard to enforcement.

This webinar is part of a series of complimentary webinars from the ANA Government Relations group focused on legal and regulatory issues currently affecting the marketing community.

For more information or to register visit
Continue Reading The FTC’s Operation Full Disclosure: What You Need to Know

Advertisers, read our firm’s latest client alert on the FTC’s Operation Full Disclosure to learn about what your company can do to meet the FTC’s “clear and conspicuous” requirements. Take advantage of this opportunity to closely review and remedy any inadequacies in your advertising disclosures before more aggressive steps are taken by the FTC and the plaintiffs’ class action bar.
Continue Reading ‘Full Disclosure’ Provides Advertisers with Opportunity to Fix Inadequate Disclosures

As part of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee monthly webinar series, Reed Smith attorneys Stacy K. Marcus and Travis P. Nelson will be leading a discussion tomorrow, Wednesday, February 12, 2014, examining the effect of social media on the consumer finance industry, including how social media can and should be used by the industry and how to apply existing laws to this dynamic and evolving medium.
Continue Reading Join Us for ABA Webinar on Social Media in Consumer Finance

This post was written by Michael Coffino and Marc Goldich.

The press release is an efficient and effective way to provide new or updated information about the operations, business and financial performance of public companies, especially during periods between formal public filings, such as 10Qs and 10Ks.  Where there have been recent, material developments, companies may be required to make public disclosure (through a press release, a Form 8-K, or both) on a more immediate basis rather than wait for their next Form 10 K or Form 10-Q.  At other times, companies may wish to make a disclosure that, while not strictly necessary, concerns a significant industry or company development.  Because the current regulatory environment commands increased transparency in public companies, doubts about whether issuers are duty-bound to speak often are appropriately resolved in favor of the disclosure.  Companies often must make strategic decisions regarding what, when and how to disclose such information.  This is especially true when a company is compelled to correct a prior material misstatement by disclosing bad news that, taken in isolation, presents a limited picture of the company’s financial and business condition and prospects.

It is important to keep in mind that press releases tend to pack a punch, and sometimes disproportionately so.  Markets tend to absorb the contents of press releases with a fair degree of immediacy, and press releases often will have a discernable impact on stock price.  When the news is bad, in addition to a decline in stock price, consequences can include reduced workforce, reduced compensation, damage to corporate credibility and reputation, and increased risk of litigation.  It is not unusual for markets to overreact to news that is not placed in the overall context of the larger business or financial picture.  Worse, corrective disclosures in a vacuum can precipitate a rush to judgment by potential class action plaintiffs or their lawyers champing at the bit to launch a securities fraud class action.Continue Reading To Bundle or Not to Bundle: Public Company Strategies in Packaging Corrective Disclosures in Press Releases