Tag Archives: FTC

U.S. District Court Sanctions Weight-Loss Supplement Marketers for Violating Past Court Order

A judge in the Northern District of Georgia has found a number of defendants, comprising a larger company named Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Hi-Tech”), in contempt for repeated violations of court orders prohibiting the defendants from making deceptive marketing claims about weight-loss supplements and erectile dysfunction products. As a result of the order, Hi-Tech is required … Continue Reading

FTC Issues New but Narrow COPPA Guidance on Voice Recordings

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released a policy enforcement statement to provide additional guidance under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) for organizations that use audio voice recordings of children. This additional guidance builds on the FTC’s 2013 updates to COPPA that brought additional data types, such as photographs, videos and audio … Continue Reading

Nominations for FTC Commissioner Vacancies Announced

The president has announced two nominations for Federal Trade Commission posts, including the chair position. Joseph Simons, who served at the agency for almost two decades and directed the Bureau of Competition from 2001 to 2003, has been nominated for the chairmanship, while Rohit Chopra of the Consumer Federation of America has also been nominated … Continue Reading

227k Consumers to Receive Refund Checks from Dietary Supplement Company Settlement

Roughly 227,000 consumers will receive an average of $43 each in an effort by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to send refunds to purchasers of dietary supplement products sold by Health Formulas LLC. The $9.8 million total refund is the result of a 2016 settlement with the company, its owners, and related companies, such as … Continue Reading

FTC Provided Guidance Regarding Affiliate Marketing

The FTC alerted consumers to the truth behind online advertisements connected to affiliate marketers in a September 20th blog post titled, What’s affiliate marketing? Should I Care? The FTC took action against an online marketing operation this summer over a low-cost trial scam involving tooth-whitening products. According to the FTC, many consumers remain unaware that … Continue Reading

“Pact” Health App Breaks Pact, Settles With FTC

Pact, Inc. settled charges with the FTC on September 21, 2017 that the mobile software application company engaged in deceptive acts and practices, unfair billing practices, and failure to disclose material terms relating to its Pact app. The Pact app is premised on paying members that complete health-related weekly “pacts” with funds generated by users … Continue Reading

FTC Makes New Strides in Social Media Influencer Space with Settlement, Warnings, and Guidance

This month, online gaming social media influencers Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell settled the Federal Trade Commission’s first charges against individual failure to disclose material information in social media endorsements. Martin and Cassell are both operators of YouTube channels with millions of subscribers in the online gaming community and owners and officers of CSGOLotto, Inc., an … Continue Reading

FTC Submits Comments on Security Support for IoT Devices

The Federal Trade Commission in June submitted comments to the working group convened by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is studying the security of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices and how they interact with consumers. This request for comments focused on how IoT device manufacturers can effectively … Continue Reading

International Consumer Protection Agencies Will Share Intelligence About Business Practices

On June 30, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (“ICPEN”)—an international network of more than 60 consumer protection agencies—updated its website.  Although seemingly minor, this update represents ICPEN’s continued efforts to coordinate resolution of international consumer protection issues. For consumers, the ICPEN website is both informative … Continue Reading

Federal Court Enters FTC Settlement in Fake Prize Mail Scheme

Recently, a California federal court has entered into a stipulated order reflecting a settlement between the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and a defendant charged with operating a mail fraud scheme. In September 2016, the FTC filed charges against Defendant Ian Gamberg and two other individuals, alleging that the group conspired to print and mail false … Continue Reading

Influencers and Advertisers Warned By FTC Over Instagram Posts

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced this week that it sent more than 90 letters to social media influencers and advertisers, reiterating the need for influencers to “clearly and conspicuously” disclose their relationships with brands in social media posts that promote or endorse branded products. The FTC reviewed the Instagram posts of various unnamed celebrities, … Continue Reading

Diet-Pill Marketers Settle With FTC Over Email Marketing and Weight Loss Claims

Colby Fox and his companies Tachht, Inc. and Teqqi, LLC recently settled a case with the Federal Trade Commission over an email marketing scheme and claims regarding the companies’ diet pills. According to the FTC, which filed the proposed order in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, the defendants … Continue Reading

Upromise Penalized for Violating FTC Privacy Order Over Rewards Program

Upromise found itself in front of the Federal Trade Commission answering very tough questions earlier this month. The inquiry was related to a 2012 order requiring that Upromise include disclosures about data collection practices and conduct third-party assessments about Upromise’s data security safeguards. The FTC alleged that Upromise failed to comply with the terms of … 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

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

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

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

Facebook Implements Additional Measures to Prevent Discriminatory Practices in Targeted Advertisements

Responding to news reports that journalists were able to purchase advertising on Facebook targeted to ethnic groups, Facebook announced several new changes to the company’s advertising products. The move highlights heightened scrutiny of advertising practices surrounding the increasing use of big data in many aspects of marketing and advertising. Facebook’s response grew out of a … Continue Reading

FTC Sends Warning Letters to Companies Making Zika Virus-Protection Claims

Last Friday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sent warning letters to ten online marketers that were making Zika virus-protection claims.  The Center for Disease Control believes that the Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes.  The marketers in focus are currently advertising that their products repel Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes. … Continue Reading

Lord & Taylor Settles with FTC Over Influencer Native Advertising Campaign on Social Media and Online Magazine

We’ve seen native advertising take many forms, from paid celebrity Tweets to advertisements masked as editorial content to paid influencers promoting brands on social media. With a growing number of companies engaging in native advertising, in particular those involving social media influencers, the relationship between independent bloggers and corporate brands has become a sticky issue … Continue Reading
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