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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 5 posts in COVID-19.

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.

Reese Witherspoon’s Clothing Company Receives Backlash for Changing Rules in Teacher Appreciation Dress Giveaway for Covid-19

In 2017, California-based clothing company, Sunny Co. Clothing, posted a photo to its Instagram account displaying a model wearing Sunny Co. Clothing’s “Pamela” red, full-piece bathing suit. The caption stated that every person who reposts the image tagging Sunny Co. Clothing “will receive a FREE Pamela Sunny Suit.” Sunny Co. Clothing failed to set a maximum on the number of swimsuits available for the promotion. The post quickly went viral and Sunny Co. Clothing found itself in the undesirable position of not being able to fulfil its promotional obligations as it simply did not have enough swimsuits to meet the demand. Sunny Co. Clothing publicly learned the importance of having complete and conspicuously disclosed contest rules for social media giveaways. Reese Witherspoon’s fashion label, Draper James, is now learning the same lesson several years later. Read More ›

FDA and FTC Send Warning Letters to Companies Claiming That Products Can Help Boost Immune Systems Relating to Coronavirus Prevention

The FDA and FTC have issued joint warning letters to companies selling products that they claim are able to treat or prevent coronavirus. The regulators sent the first set of such warning letters to several companies on March 6, 2020 and have continued to send such warning letters since. Read More ›

FTC Chairman Simons Releases Statement Regarding Ongoing Work of the Consumer Production Bureau During COVID-19 Pandemic

FTC Chairman Joe Simons has released a statement addressing the FTC’s ongoing efforts to enforce consumer protections laws during the coronavirus pandemic. Read More ›

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