Tag Archives: FTC

Taking a Break from the FTC Drama

The latest Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) public meeting was notable for what did not happen – there were no 3-2 votes taken over the strong objections of the Republican commissioners. With former Commissioner Rohit Chopra’s departure to head the CFPB, for at least the next few weeks – or, more likely, months – … Continue Reading

Much Ado About Penalties

So we have been writing quite a lot about the recent deluge of FTC Notice of Penalty Offense letters. And as we have told you, at their core, the letters are a vehicle that would potentially allow the agency to seek significant civil penalties against companies with actual knowledge that their actions violate the principles … Continue Reading

Less to the FTC’s Notice of Penalty Offenses Than Meets the Eye?

The FTC’s Notice of Penalty Offenses concerning endorsements and testimonials is barely a week old and it’s likely already had its intended effect. Hundreds, if not more, of consumer products companies are taking a second or third look at their practices when it comes to endorsements and testimonials and are beefing up their training and … Continue Reading

The Latest FTC Policy Statement Sets Its Sights on Negative Option Marketing

Policy statements are neither rules nor notices of penalty offenses, but when the FTC issues a policy statement discussing an area that has been the subject of a lot of enforcement activity, it warrants serious attention, particularly when the press release discusses ramping up enforcement on “illegal dark patterns that trick or trap consumers.” That’s … Continue Reading

Allow Me To Introduce Myself

I’m a longtime consumer protection practitioner but a new blogger in a new role. Now, I am well aware that there are many talented folks out there writing about these issues, but I will try my best to make these entries worthwhile, concise and valuable reads, with maybe just a touch of snark. And after … Continue Reading

CARU’s Revised Guidelines Are Not Kid-ding Around

By: Amy Mudge, Mike Ingram and Carolina Alonso The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) recently held their “Kidvertising” workshop to discuss the revised CARU Advertising Guidelines, which are set to take effect on January 1, 2022. The workshop tackled several issues important to child advertising including diversity and inclusion, influencers, and in-app and in-game advertising. … Continue Reading

FTC Puts 700+ Companies on Notice to Expect to Pay Penalties for Any Endorsement Violations

By: Linda Goldstein, Amy Mudge, Randy Shaheen, Jack Ferry and Matt Renick The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) announced on Oct. 13 a widespread enforcement action against deceptive endorsement practices. The Commission sent a Notice of Penalty Offenses to more than 700 companies, notifying them that conduct related to fake or misleading endorsements and … Continue Reading

Slaughterhouse-Five: Myth-Busting with the Commissioner at NAD 2021

By Randal Shaheen and Matthew Renick To kick off the final day of the National Advertising Division’s (NAD) 2021 virtual conference last week, FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter gave a keynote address laying out her views on consumer privacy and the digital data economy writ large. Specifically, Commissioner Slaughter sought to bust five myths about privacy … Continue Reading

Life in Plastic – It’s Fantastic

As the world contends with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, activists are sounding the alarm over another pandemic: the plastic pandemic. Environmentalist groups have been warning Americans about our overconsumption of plastic for years, but now states are taking notice and acting. California and Washington state recently enacted legislation establishing a tiered system designed to increase … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act Shows Alternative Path to Monetary Remedies

A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) action demonstrates how the FTC has pivoted toward enforcement actions based on specific acts of Congress and rules in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in AMG Capital. Congress passed the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act in December 2020, which made deceptive acts or practices involving the treatment, cure, prevention, … Continue Reading

COPPA Compliance Back in Congressional Crosshairs

With more children getting online, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is not the only stakeholder concerned about reevaluating regulations related to children’s online privacy. Certain members of Congress are also seeking to review the current landscape of compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Note that the FTC received public comments regarding possible … Continue Reading

SCOTUS: No Equitable Monetary Relief for FTC Under § 13(b)

Well, the buck stops here (for now). Last week, in AMG Capital Management, LLC v. Federal Trade Commission, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act does not authorize the FTC to obtain equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement. This highly anticipated landmark decision reverses decades … Continue Reading

Beware Operation CBDeceit

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced on December 17 that it has taken action against six sellers of CBD products.  In case you need a refresher, CBD is a substance found in the cannabis plant that is widely touted for its health benefits.  The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD at the federal level, and … Continue Reading

FTC Enforcement: What Is Equitable Relief?

All eyes remain on the Supreme Court and what, if any, changes the Court may make to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) authority to seek consumer redress. Will the Court strip the FTC of that authority entirely? The Third Circuit’s recent decision in an antitrust matter suggests so. The circuit court held Section 13(b) of … Continue Reading

Beware of Dark Patterns

Yoda cautioned Luke Skywalker to beware of the Dark Side. In The Golden Compass, we were told to beware of dark materials. For those old enough to remember, the town of Collinsport was told to beware of Barnabas Collins, who lurked in Dark Shadows. And little kids in general are just plain scared of the … Continue Reading

No More Blurry Searches: 1-800 Contacts Settles Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Search Term Restraints

Last week, mega-online retailer 1-800 Contacts settled claims brought by a class action suit in the Central District of Utah alleging that the company was the mastermind of a scheme to prevent competition in the online contact lens market. The plaintiffs, consumer purchasers of contact lenses, alleged that 1-800 Contacts coerced some of its competitors … Continue Reading

When Your ‘Looks’ Are Late: FTC Settles With Online Fashion Retailer Over Alleged Mail Order Rule Violations

Online retailers are well aware of how the promise of quick delivery can influence consumer purchasing decisions. Especially in times like these, when delivery times have slowed for many companies, marketers might be even more tempted to promise fast delivery as a way to entice consumers to place an order. A recent enforcement by the … Continue Reading

FTC Case Against Rent to Own Company Airs Differences Over Redress, Individual Liability and ROSCA

The Rent to Own industry has been a frequent target of Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) action. While the industry notes that it provides an ownership option for consumers who are unable to pay up front and who may not qualify for traditional credit, critics point to the fact that the final cost of … Continue Reading

Commissioner Wilson Weighs In on FTC Priorities

We have blogged quite a bit about efforts by one or both of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC or Commission) Democratic commissioners to push the Commission into a more enforcement-minded posture and to think creatively and expansively about the enforcement tools the Commission has at its disposal. Thus it seems appropriate to give equal time … Continue Reading

Regulators Issue Warning: These Products Cannot Treat Coronavirus

Last week at our #BakerDigitalForum (BakerHostetler’s forum on advertising, e-commerce, data privacy & security law) we heard from Richard Cleland, assistant director, Advertising Practices, for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. He informed attendees that the FTC’s priorities often come from the headlines, citing COVID-19 as the first example of current events … Continue Reading

The FTC, AI and Algorithms

If you got past the title to this point, congratulations – not sure that we would have. In exchange for your trust, we promise to try to address a complicated and fascinating subject in a relatively clear manner. That’s pretty much what Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) did in a recent … Continue Reading
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