Archives: Advertising Law

Subscribe to Advertising Law RSS Feed

Enforcing Canadian Anti-Spam Law

The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has aroused concern among marketers on both sides of the border since it started coming into force in July 2014 (some provisions, such as a private right of action, do not take effect until next year). It has stricter consent requirements than the US CAN-SPAM Act, as well as rules … Continue Reading

The NAD’s First Native Ad Case Since Issuance of FTC Native Ad Guides

Just five months after the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released its Native Ads Policy Statement, the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (“NAD”) has followed suit and issued a decision in its investigation of Joyous Inc.’s (“Joyous”) native advertising practices (NAD Case #5956, 05/19/16). In its routine monitoring, the NAD explored the formatting … Continue Reading

Math Question As Age-Gate and Invite-A-Friend Under Fire

The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (“CARU”) routinely monitors web sites and mobile apps for compliance with its Guidelines and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).  Through that routine monitoring, CARU recently discovered the information practices of the 1st through 7th grade mobile applications called Friendzy (e.g., 1st … Continue Reading

FTC Enters Proposed Consent Order Against Lord & Taylor for Native Advertising Campaign

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has wasted no time in bringing an action against an advertiser for allegedly deceptive native advertising. The FTC released its Enforcement Policy on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements (“Native Advertising Guidelines”) in late December 2015 (which we blogged about here) and last week the FTC concluded an enforcement action against Lord & … Continue Reading

The Issue of Harm in Lawsuits on Retail Price-Comparison Advertising: Massachusetts Cases to Note

While the swell of class-action lawsuits based on retail price-advertising practices continues to build daily (particularly in California), retailers should note an interesting development from last week in a case out of Massachusetts. In that case, Mulder v. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. [FN 1], the plaintiff alleged a number of claims that centered around Kohl’s … Continue Reading

Businesses Take Heed: FTC’s Recent Report, Conference Signal Big Data’s the Big Deal in 2016

FTC Kicks Off New Year with New Report on Growing Use of Big Data Analytics Across All Industries Without so much as a week of 2016 having lapsed, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) released a new report with recommendations to businesses on the growing use of big data. The report, “Big Data: A … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Policy Statement and Business Guides on Native Advertising

Just before 2015 came to an end, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released its much anticipated Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements (“Policy Statement”) along with informal, practical guidance for businesses titled “Native Advertising: A Guide for Businesses” (“Business Guides”). The FTC first began considering native advertising in a December 2013 workshop. Native advertising … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Advertising-Related COPPA Charges Against Two App Developers

This week, the FTC announced settlements with two developers of children’s apps that it claimed had failed to comply the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). While any COPPA enforcement by the FTC is noteworthy, these cases are particularly interesting in that they are the FTC’s first COPPA enforcement actions that are based on allegations that a child-directed online service … Continue Reading

Caveat Venditor: FTC Amends Telemarketing Sales Rule to Enhance Anti-Fraud Protections and to Update and Clarify Several Key Provisions Relating to the National Do Not Call Registry

On November 18, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a final rule setting forth a number of key amendments to its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).  [FN1]  Specifically, in response to changes in the financial marketplace, the final rule prohibits the use of certain payment methods in telemarking.  In addition, and of likely much greater … Continue Reading

New State Privacy Regulation for Connected Televisions

California will become the first state in the nation to regulate information gathered by connected television manufactures through the televisions they sell. Assembly Bill No. 1116 (“AB 1116”) was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown on October 6, 2015 and will take effect January 1, 2016. There are three major provisions to AB … Continue Reading

Possible Issues with FCC’s Clarifications to the TCPA

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted a package of declaratory rulings regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”), which the dissenting Commissioners warn could cause issues for businesses that communicate with their customers via phone or text messages.  InfoLawGroup discussed this vote and issue in a previous post.  Last week the rulings passed … Continue Reading

Live-Streaming Apps; What We Aren’t Talking About

There are many articles circulating the web about new live-streaming video technologies like Meerkat. These tremendous apps make it possible for users to stream real time video from their phone to the internet for all to view, turning every individual into a real-time video-journalist.   Brands and entertainment properties have also jumped into the fray … Continue Reading

FTC’s $11.9 Million Win Emphasizes Need to Follow Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) just won another important victory as part of its crackdown on deceptive health claims. LeadClick Media (“LeadClick”) and its parent company were held responsible for claims made by affiliate marketers and ordered to pay a total of $11.9 million in ill-gotten gains from a deceptive weight-loss product-marketing scheme.… Continue Reading

FTC Files Complaint Against DirecTV for Inadequately Disclosing Terms of Customer Contracts

On March 11th, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against DirecTV for violations of Section 4 of the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA)(15 U.S.C. § 8401 et seq.) and Section 5(a) of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. § 45(a)) alleging that DirecTV failed to adequately disclose the terms of various elements of its … Continue Reading

Better Business Bureau Updates its BBB Code of Advertising

On Thursday, the Better Business Bureau announced that it has made large-scale revisions to its self-described “cornerstone product,” the BBB Code of Advertising.  The Code imposes self-regulatory obligations on all entities who advertise in North America.  It is enforced at the local level by the BBB’s 112 local offices throughout US and Canada and, for … Continue Reading

It’s Not Just For Kids – FTC Takes Issue with Search Terms and Testimonials

The FTC started 2015 by showing its continued attention to advertising concerning kids and testimonial issues, as well as an advertiser’s purchase of search terms. In a recent case brought against a manufacturer of children’s supplements, the FTC had concerns about its advertising claims, use of testimonials, and lack of disclosures, as well as its … Continue Reading

Numerous Warning Letters Serve as a Reminder that the FTC is Always Watching

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been very active in its enforcement efforts in the past couple of months. In addition to other actions which we have blogged about, the FTC recently sent dozens of warning letters to advertisers in two separate efforts. In September, the FTC sent letters admonishing companies for their failure to … Continue Reading

Alcohol Ads In the Digisphere – New-ish Guides In Town

At the end of September, thirteen leading beer, wine and spirits producers published the Digital Guiding Principles (DGPs) as part of their global commitment to reducing harmful drinking.  These are self-regulatory guidelines — they are not law, although some of the principles track legal requirements in the U.S.  Moreover, these principles do not replace any other guidelines … Continue Reading

“Like-Gated” Promotions No Longer Permissible on Facebook

Last week, Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) announced a major upcoming change, effective November 5, 2014, to its Platform Policies that will affect the vast majority of promotions run on the platform. The announcement introduces a significant restriction on use of the “Like” functionality in connection with promotions (including sweepstakes and contests). Facebook stated its intention is … Continue Reading

New Connecticut Mini-TCPA Provides for Giant Penalties and Attorneys’ Fees

Companies sending text messages or conducting voice telemarketing in Connecticut beware! Connecticut has substantially amended its telemarketing law (the “mini-TCPA”), which now may regulate even more conduct than the federal TCPA – particularly, push notifications and in-app messages. In addition, the mini-TCPA provides for reasonable attorneys’ fees, which may present an incentive for plaintiffs to … Continue Reading

Alert: The NAD Rejects Use of Aggregated Online Consumer Reviews As Substantiation for “Most Recommended” Claim

In a case of first impression, the National Advertising Division (NAD) recently issued a decision concerning substantiation for consumer preference claims that should put advertisers on alert. In, Euro-Pro Operating, LLC, Shark-brand Vacuum Cleaners, NAD Case Reports #5717 (May 29, 2014), the NAD reviewed an advertising claim Euro-Pro made for its Shark-branded vacuum cleaners in … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court Provides a National Standard for Who Can Sue for False Advertising Under the Lanham Act

Just last week, the United States Supreme Court provided much-needed clarification on the issue of who has standing to bring a false advertising claim under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1152(a).  The decision, Lexmark Int’l v. Static control Components, US Supreme Court slip opinion (March 25, 2014), provides a national standard that remedies a three-way … Continue Reading
LexBlog