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Advertising Law Blog

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.

Showing 118 posts in FTC.

Sweepstakes and Promotions During a Pandemic

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have turned to online sweepstakes and promotions as a means of both promoting their brand and showing support to coronavirus relief efforts. Certainly, sweepstakes and promotions can be an effective way to achieve these dual purposes.   As we previously reported, brands that have hastily run promotions without thinking through the consequences of various events have run into a firestorm of negative publicity as well as potential class actions.  Making sure that the promotion incorporates the items below can help ensure that a promotion is legal, properly structured, and contains appropriate protections for the brand. Read More ›

FTC Files Complaints against Companies That Failed to Fulfill Promises of Fast Delivery of Protective Equipment

The importance of timely delivery remains a top priority, particularly when making enhanced delivery promises. In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FTC has filed complaints against three online merchandisers it believes have failed to deliver on quick shipping promises in contravention of the FTC’s Mail, Internet and Telephone Order Rule, commonly known as the Mail Order Sales Rule. Read More ›

Dark Patterns: FTC Reaches $10 Million Settlement with Children’s Online Learning Program over Marketing and Subscription Practices

Online children’s education company Age of Learning, Inc., also doing business as ABCmouse, has agreed to pay $10 million to settle the FTC’s charges that it made it difficult and confusing for subscribers to cancel their memberships.  The settlement highlights the importance of a compliant subscription enrollment pathway, including readily-accessible cancellation processes.  It also highlights a growing focus by regulators and others on “dark patterns” online marketing techniques. Read More ›

Federal Enforcement against Marketers Making Allegedly Deceptive Coronavirus-Related Health Claims

As we have previously reported, like other regulators, the FTC has been quick to take action against companies that it believes are seeking to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The FTC has sent warning letters to approximately 300 companies that it has alleged were making unsubstantiated or potentially misleading claims about products related to the coronavirus. Recently, the FTC has taken decisive action against a company to which it has previously sent a warning letter, alleging that such company has continued to make deceptive and misleading advertising claims in spite of the FTC’s warning. Read More ›

Andrew Lustigman Contributes to Business Ethics During COVID-19 Companies Digest Article

Andrew Lustigman, head of Olshan’s Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group, was featured in a Companies Digest article comprising assessments by leading business law attorneys. Read More ›

Lustigman, Grieco, Shaffer, and Spina Contribute Four Guidance Notes on Direct Marketing in OneTrust DataGuidance

Advertising, Marketing & Promotions practice chair Andrew Lustigman, Intellectual Property/Privacy partner Mary Grieco, AMP partner Scott Shaffer, and associate Morgan Spina authored four Guidance Notes on direct marketing in California recently published in the prestigious OneTrust DataGuidance (subscription required). The first, entitled “California – Emarketing,” covers both the state and federal legislation, as well as regulatory guidance from the Federal Trade Commission, concerning emarketing. In the second, “California – Telemarketing,” the authors examine the numerous pieces of state and federal legislation governing telemarketing, including the “Automatic Dialing Law” and the “Unwanted Calls Law.” The third, entitled “California – SMS/MMS Marketing,” discusses various state and federal laws on SMS/MMS, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and the consent requirements that advertisers must follow when using these services. In the fourth, “California – Postal Marketing,” the authors explore various state and federal laws on postal marketing, such as California’s “Mail Solicitation Law” and the federal “Deceptive Mail Act.”

SEC Brings Enforcement Actions Against Companies for Misleading COVID-19 Claims

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) filed enforcement actions on May 14, 2020, against two unrelated companies, Turbo Global Partners, Inc. (“Turbo”) and Applied BioSciences Corp. (“APPB”). The SEC charged both companies with securities fraud based on alleged materially misleading statements that the companies were offering and shipping products to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19). These actions taken by the SEC are consistent with approaches taken by other regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”), with regard to misleading statements made in connection with coronavirus-related products. On the whole, regulators appear to be particularly cognizant of businesses and individuals seeking to take improper advantage of the circumstances created by the global pandemic, and as such are taking action against such companies and individuals. Read More ›

Andrew Lustigman Quoted in Bloomberg Law on DOJ’s, FTC’s and FDA’s Attack on Coronavirus Fraudsters

Andrew Lustigman, head of Olshan’s Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group, was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article on the coordinated attack on coronavirus scams led by The Justice Department (“DOJ”), the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), and the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). All three agencies have filed charges against and have sent warning letters to people and companies for advertising unapproved COVID-19 treatments or preventatives. Given the import that these efforts have to public health during the pandemic, the agencies’ attention is intensely focused on preventing coronavirus fraud, so while the DOJ is investigating a wide range of fraudulent activity, the FTC and the FDA are evaluating false claims about treatments and cures. “That intensity is shown by how quickly the agencies are taking cases to court and asking for orders to stop the fraudsters,” said Mr. Lustigman. Wasting no time, the DOJ has filed at least four civil lawsuits against people allegedly selling fraudulent cures/treatments, obtaining temporary restraining orders against three of the defendants. The FTC and FDA, meanwhile, have sent warning letters both to sellers of unapproved treatments and to multi-level marketing companies for unsubstantiated claims made by their independent distributors.

Fashion Nova Reaches $9.3 million Settlement with the FTC Over Charges of Violating Shipping and Returns Rules

Online fast fashion retailer, Fashion Nova, has agreed to pay $9.3 million to settle FTC charges that it failed to properly notify consumers and give them a chance to cancel their orders that were not shipped in a timely manner. The FTC also alleged that Fashion Nova used gift cards to compensate consumers for unshipped merchandise instead of providing refunds, as required.  Read More ›

FTC Reaches $15 Million Settlement With Tea and Skincare Company For Failing To Adequately Disclose Material Connections To Endorsers

The FTC has reached a settlement with Teami, LLC (“Teami”), a tea and skincare company that allegedly used deceptive health claims and a bevy of undisclosed social media influencer endorsements to promote its products. This settlement, comprised in part of a significant monetary judgment, comes on the heels of the FTC seeking public comment on its Endorsement Guides in light of the changing social media advertising landscape. The FTC’s recent policy and enforcement actions seem focused on online influencer advertising campaigns. Read More ›

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