Posts from February 2024.

The Advertising Law Blog provides commentary and news on developing legal issues in advertising, promotional marketing, Internet, and privacy law. This blog is sponsored by the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions group at Olshan. The practice is geared to servicing the needs of the advertising, promotional marketing, and digital industries with a commitment to providing personal, efficient and effective legal service.

The war on drip pricing continues. New York’s new credit surcharge law is now in effect requiring business to provide important pricing disclosures. The law amends and clarifies New York’s existing credit card surcharge law, General Business Law Section 518. Key requirements are outlined below.

Chair of the firm's Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Group and Co-Chair of the firm’s Brand Management & Protection Group Andrew Lustigman will speak on the panel “Shining a Light on ‘Dark Patterns’: What All Companies Must Know About this Rising Area of FTC Advertising Enforcement” as part of ACI’s 7th Annual Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance Forum on Advertising Claims Substantiation on February 9, 2024, at 9:45 a.m. The panel will explore how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other enforcers are rapidly increasing their focus on “dark patterns” in advertisement designs, which are practices that regulators believe can trick or manipulate consumers into buying products or giving up their privacy. In addition, the Commission also just released a new proposed rule governing subscription offerings/negative options. Topics to be considered will include: specific website design and advertising practices that are currently triggering enforcement activity; the types of allegations being brought by the FTC in cases where dark advertising patterns are alleged; how companies can avoid being the next target in this rising wave of deceptive advertising enforcement; restoring your product’s reputation after it falls prey to a dark pattern; and the FTC’s latest amendments to the rules governing subscription offerings/negative options and junk fees.

Andrew Lustigman, Chair of Olshan's Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Group and Co-Chair of the firm’s Brand Management & Protection Group, and associate Morgan Spina published an article in New York Law Journal entitled “Regulation of Automatic Renewals Remains Key Issue for Lawmakers.” In the article, Andy and Morgan discuss the revision of statutes surrounding subscription renewal fees, specifically those that are relevant to the cancellation of automatic renewals.

Lawsuit dismissed for failure to allege a physical nexus

A recent decision in the Western District of Pennsylvania has provided a rare defendant’s victory in an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) website accessibility lawsuit. In Murphy v. Spongelle LLC (decided on January 24, 2024), the plaintiff alleged that Spongelle’s website did not meet the ADA requirements for accessibility to visually impaired individuals. There have been thousands of similar lawsuits over the past decade, and the main reason for this proliferation is that there are still no clear guidelines for ADA compliance that businesses can follow when setting up a website. What made Spongelle unusual is that Judge Richard A. Lanzillo dismissed the lawsuit, raising critical questions about whether a website can be deemed a “public accommodation” under Title III of the ADA.

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