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Maryland and Other States Weighing Taxes on Digital Ads

On March 18, the Maryland General Assembly passed the first state gross revenue tax directed at digital advertising, which is broadly defined to encompass any advertising appearing on a website, mobile app or any similar digital platform (House Bill 732). The legislation’s status remains uncertain due to an expected gubernatorial veto and potential legislative override. … Continue Reading

FTC Finally Strikes Gold With Made in USA Enforcement: Williams-Sonoma Agrees To Pay $1 Million in Consumer Redress

In the past few months, a minority of the commissioners have called for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) to take the heretofore unprecedented step of seeking consumer redress in Made in USA (MUSA) cases. (In the past such cases only involved money when penalties were imposed for violating an existing order).  In a … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Update: FTC and States Combat Scams, Price Gouging and Deceptive Ads

We recently blogged about regulatory warning letters and a consumer class action stemming from consumer-facing advertising related to the coronavirus. Today, we write to provide updates on state and federal efforts to protect consumers and a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) press release sounding the alarm on B2B coronavirus scams. State regulators are confronting many of … Continue Reading

It’s a Mixed Salad for the ‘Natural’ and ‘Pure’ Claims for Foods With Trace Pesticides

Can you call your processed food product “natural” or “pure” when it contains a residual amount of an herbicide or pesticide that the manufacturer did not add but was used by a producer in growing an ingredient in the product? Recent cases confirm that such a product can still be called “natural” – at least … Continue Reading

The Ad Industry Wants a Delay to CCPA Enforcement As It Considers CCPA Cookie Compliance Frameworks and Ongoing Rulemaking

A letter penned by the top ad industry trade associations (the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Association of National Advertisers, the American Advertising Federation and the Network Advertising Initiative) was sent on Jan. 29 to California Attorney General (AG) Xavier Becerra requesting a delay in enforcement of the California … Continue Reading

FTC on Influencers and Consumer Reviews from the NAD Conference

Earlier this week at the National Advertising Division (NAD) annual advertising law conference, Mamie Kresses, a senior attorney in the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Advertising Practices division at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), offered her views on influencers and consumer reviews, two topics near and dear to our hearts. We wanted to share some key … Continue Reading

California’s Law Regulating Online Bots, Effective July 1, 2019

California’s new “bot” law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17940, et seq. (SB 1001) takes effect on July 1, 2019.  This means that any company or individual that uses bots online for solicitations of commercial transactions or to influence a vote in an election should ensure appropriate “clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designated” disclosures are … Continue Reading

Ad and Publishing Industries Confront CCPA Challenges While Congress Considers Privacy

The junior Senator from Missouri, Joshua Hawley (R), has introduced s 1578, which would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create and make available a “do not track” (DNT) signal that consumers can associate with their devices and require that online services look for the signal and, when indicated, not collect, use or share … Continue Reading

Judge Rules That USDA’s Approval of “Natural” Label Claims Protects Same Claims Used in Advertising

On April 8, 2019, a judge in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Civil Division, granted summary judgment to Hormel Food Corporation (Hormel) in a case filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) on the grounds of standing and pre-emption, confirming the rule established in jurisdictions across the country that the approval … Continue Reading

20 Years Young: The Maturing of COPPA in a Privacy-Conscious Age

We cover children’s privacy and advertising weekly. However, in light of COPPA’s recent 20th anniversary, and in the wake of CARU’s biggest-yet West Coast CARU conference, ADLaw has enlisted CARU super lawyer Katie Goldstein* to help us recap the past 2.5 decades of KIDlaw. 1998: A Concern for Children’s Privacy Was Born From the moment home … Continue Reading

To Ensure a Complete Release, Address California’s New Section 1542

Civil Code Sections 1541 and 1542, California laws that govern the extinguishment of certain obligations, were recently amended by Senate Bill No. 1431. The subtle amendments made to these code sections not only impact ordinary settlement agreements but also impact a variety of other releases that intend to be a complete release of all potential … Continue Reading

Increased Scrutiny on Notice and Choice for Use of AD Profiling, Especially Using Mobile Location Data

If your marketing department’s app-etite for serving geotargeted ads via mobile app is growing, read this article from our privacy colleagues Taylor Bloom, Alan Friel, and Niloufar Massachi.  Self-regulators and local law enforcement expect clear notice before a customer downloads an app to make sure the Minority Report ad delivery treatment is accepted and seen … Continue Reading

Judge Sours on Natural Class Action Lawsuit Against Starbucks Gummies

Class action lawsuits alleging misleading advertising of food and beverage products show no sign of abating anytime soon. So we have to give a shout out once in a while when the good guys score a win and common sense appears to prevail. This happened recently in a class action alleging that Starbucks had misleadingly … Continue Reading
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