Tag Archives: FTC

New Litigation Against National Clothing Retailer for Use of “Up To % Off” Messaging

What Have Retailers Been “Up To” In New Jersey? The last few years have been quite interesting for retailers, with a number of different pricing and advertising related legal issues coming to the forefront. Recently, another new front in this battle opened in New Jersey where a national clothing retailer became the subject of a … 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

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

RadioShack Bankruptcy Case Highlights Value of Consumer Data

On Thursday, a bankruptcy judge granted final approval of the sale of RadioShack Corporation (“RadioShack”) assets to General Wireless Operations Inc. (“General Wireless”), which included customers’ personal information. In the order, the Delaware bankruptcy judge stated “ . . . no showing was made that the sale of personally identifiable information (the “PII”)(as defined in … 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

Recent International Study Reports Delinquencies in App Privacy Disclosures

In a recently reported study released by the the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (“GPEN”), the GPEN found that a testing sample of 1,211 mobile apps accessed during May of this year failed to provide users with adequate privacy protections under current regulatory provisions in the United States and in other countries. The GPEN is a coalition … Continue Reading

Mobile Apps: FTC Says Vague Privacy Policies and Lack of Terms a Problem

Last week, the FTC released a study it conducted in connection with price-comparison apps, deal apps and apps that allow people to pay for purchases using their mobile device while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.  The newly released study is the latest commentary from the FTC in a long line of workshops and reports that started in 2012 … Continue Reading

#Sweepstakes and #Contest #Entries on Pinterest Are Endorsements, says FTC; Implications Beyond Pinterest

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently investigated Cole Haan, Inc. to determine whether a contest that it conducted on https://www.pinterest.com violated Section 5 of the FTC Act, which, in part, requires the disclosure of a material connection between a marketer and an endorser when their relationship is not otherwise apparent from the context of the … Continue Reading

Even When the Connection is Obvious, Publishers Should Consider Disclosures in Native Advertising

Recently, a publisher’s article about its own branded products was caught in the headlights of a decision by the National Advertising Division (NAD).  An article in Shape magazine discussed the health benefits of staying hydrated and described attributes of Shape-branded products called “Shape Water Boosters.”  NAD, a division of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council administered by … Continue Reading

Knowledge-Based Authentication Approved as Method to Verify Parental Consent Under COPPA

On December 23, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a letter approving the use of knowledge-based authentication as a method of obtaining prior verifiable parental consent under its new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 312 (“Amended Rule”). The Amended Rule not only expanded the non-exhaustive list of acceptable methods … Continue Reading

Native Advertising: The Blurred Line Between Editorial and Sponsored Claims

The act of using editorial content for promotional and marketing purposes, or what has come to be known as “native advertising,” is a burgeoning and profitable area of advertising.  And not surprisingly, the practice has caught the eye of regulators as a potentially deceptive trade practice. In recent weeks, the National Advertising Division (NAD), a … Continue Reading

FTC Enters “Internet of Things” Arena With TRENDnet Proposed Settlement

With predictions that by 2020 more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the “Internet of Things” the issues for data security and privacy in an “all-connected, all-the-time” world are massive.  And as the FTC continues to forge ahead in efforts to address mobile and other burgeoning security matters it recently entered the … Continue Reading

What’s Up with Up To Claims?

For years, the generally accepted principle at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) and the National Advertising Division (“NAD”) has been that an “Up To Claim” (i.e. ‘save up to 50%’ or ‘experience up to a 50% difference’) is substantiated if approximately ten percent of consumers actually experience the touted results. … Continue Reading

FTC Report: Mobile Apps For Kids Not Making The Grade (NOTE: Not Just A Privacy Report)

On December 10, 2012, the FTC released a follow-up to its February 2012 report on mobile apps for kids.  The February 2012 report found that little or no information was available to parents about the privacy practices of the mobile apps the FTC surveyed on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market.  The FTC’s follow-up report finds … Continue Reading

Bieber Fever Gets a Dose of the FTC: Operator of Bieber Fan Site (Among Others) Agrees to One Million Dollar Settlement for COPPA Violations

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with Artist Arena LLC (“Artist Arena”), a company that operates pop star fan websites targeting the Tween set. In the  complaint against Artist Arena, the FTC alleged that Artist Arena  violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”) by failing to provide notice … Continue Reading

Data Breach at New York Utility Prompts Enforcement Action and Industry-Wide Data Security Review

By Boris Segalis and Nihar Shah In January 2012, two consolidated New York state utilities, New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas and Electric (collectively, “NYSEG”) experienced a data security incident that affected approximately 1.8 million utility customers. According to the notification letter that NYSEG sent to customers, unauthorized access to NYSEG systems containing  … Continue Reading

The NAD’s First Take on Pinterest: Pinterest Content Subject to Testimonial Guidelines

In a recent decision, the National Advertising Division (“NAD”) found that consumer “pins” on the “virtual bulletin board” site, Pinterest.com (“Pinterest”), are subject to the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“FTC Testimonial Guidelines”). Pinterest allows consumers to tag images to themed, virtual bulletin boards for other users of the Pinterest site to … Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Comment on New Proposed Revisions to COPPA Rule

Co-Authored by Shannon Harell Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released aFederal Register notice (“Notice”) seeking public comments on additional proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”). As we blogged in September 2011, the FTC initially issued proposed revisions to the COPPA Rule and requested comments on September 15, 2011 (“2011 Notice”).  The … Continue Reading
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