Archives: FTC

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If an Agency Calls Something Unfair, Does That Magically Make It Unlawful? A Recent Blog Post by the FTC’s Chief Technology Officer

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) tech blog quietly published a post that could have broad implications – for privacy practitioners and beyond. In this post, the agency takes the novel position that if consumer data is compromised in a security incident and the company does not provide consumer notice, that could in and … Continue Reading

May 2022 Public Commission Meeting – Meet Commissioner Bedoya, Plus Blasts from the Past, Endorsements and an FTC Legend

In February 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it was going to reexamine the Endorsements and Testimonial Guides (Guides) and sought comment on whether and how the Guides should be changed, including addressing issues involving reviews, affiliate links, children’s perceptions and changes in technology. Two very long years later, the FTC has proposed … Continue Reading

A Deeper Dive into the FTC’s Proposed Changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Continued Interest in Negative Option Programs

At last week’s public Federal Trade Commission (FTC) meeting, the commissioners unanimously voted for possible changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). Given the intense interest in FTC rulemaking and the important role the TSR plays in FTC enforcement, we thought this warranted a closer look.  First off, this is a very different rulemaking process … Continue Reading

What’s Going on at the FTC? New Employee Survey Raises Issues If You Are Engaging with the Agency

A recent survey of FTC employees put forward some interesting numbers. In 2020, FTC staff were asked if their senior leaders “maintain high standards of honesty and integrity” and 87 percent answered positively. In November 2021, the same staff were asked the same question and the positive responses dropped by 34 points to 53 percent. … Continue Reading

The FTC’s Website Redesign – Broken Links, Missing Content and Broken Dreams

Whether you are an FTC fan or foe, we can all agree that one of the agency’s crown jewels is its consumer and business education program. For decades, this program has provided information that has helped consumers protect themselves and has provided businesses with important information and guidance to inform their decision making. And probably … Continue Reading

What’s in a Label – Three Takeaways from the FTC’s First Enforcement Action Brought Under the New Made in the USA Rule

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finalized a new rule (Rule) that would allow the agency to seek civil penalties in matters where a company made a false and unqualified Made in the USA (MUSA) claim on product labels. In the rulemaking process, however, the FTC developed a very broad definition of “labels,” which … Continue Reading

Bamboozling Part II: The FTC Brings Back Retro Penalty Offense Letters like Bell Bottoms and Big Hair

What do bamboo fabric and green claims have to do with toys, weight loss, car rentals and fur coats? Sounds like the start of a Dad joke, but unfortunately this is no laughing matter. It is the FTC reaching back to bygone eras for help in getting money in its enforcement cases. Much virtual ink … Continue Reading

The Rubber Hits the Road to the Tune of $10 Million – FTC and Illinois Sue an Auto Dealership

Not many people enjoy sitting in a car dealership spending hours evaluating or making a costly purchase, but it’s far more frustrating when the dealership allegedly engages in practices that face the ire of law enforcement. A recent case announced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is important for many reasons. First, it’s a helpful … Continue Reading

No Time to Weight and Watch for Children’s Data Compliance

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently settled with Weight Watchers (WW) and its subsidiary Kurbo for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act  (COPPA). COPPA requires websites, apps and other online services to obtain express parental consent prior to collecting, using or disclosing personal information of children under 13. It is a complex … Continue Reading

FTC and the States — Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask

A lot has been written about the impact of the Supreme Court’s AMG decision on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) future law enforcement approaches and strategies. One option is more administrative litigation, but that process can take many years and requires the FTC to demonstrate that the challenged practices were “dishonest or fraudulent.” Another option … Continue Reading

A Return to Substance: The 8th Public Commission Meeting Kicks Off Yet Another Mag-Moss Rulemaking

Having recovered from the exceedingly lackluster seventh Federal Trade Commission (FTC) meeting, the two-hour eighth meeting had actual votes and a bit of drama. But be careful what you ask for. We highlighted the lack of consumer turnout at the last meeting, and that was certainly not the case this month – even members of … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Guidance on Use of Consumer Reviews: Brands, Platforms and Comparison Websites Are in the Hot Seat

The use of consumer reviews as a marketing strategy has grown exponentially in recent years, and brands have become increasingly reliant on consumer reviews as a marketing strategy to drive consumer purchase behavior. In fact, a recent study by Bright Local revealed that over 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations … Continue Reading

Made in USA, Part Three – Materials Not Available in the US

This is our third blog in a series that is examining potential ambiguities in the Federal Trade Commission’s (Commission) Made in USA (MUSA) guidance – ambiguities that become particularly more important now that MUSA claims in labeling are the subject of a new Commission, the violation of which can lead to civil penalties. Suppose a … Continue Reading

All Eyes on Us – the Latest FTC Case Involves Contact Lenses plus an Important Lesson About Incentivized Reviews

Up until now, most of the FTC’s law enforcement involving the Contact Lens Rule (Rule) has focused on sellers of cosmetic or decorative lenses. Indeed, safety concerns about decorative lenses were newsworthy in 2010, when Lady Gaga appeared in her Bad Romance video with “cartoonishly large eyes.” But the agency just announced a case against … Continue Reading
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