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Category Archives: Federal Trade Commission

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Wet Wipes Manufacturer Must Back Up Its Flushing Claims (And Not Consumers’ Plumbing)

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Green Marketing
On May 18, 2015, the FTC announced a settlement with Nice-Pak Products, Inc., concerning claims that its moist wipes are “flushable,” “break apart after being flushed,” and are “safe” for sewer and septic systems. Nice-Pak marketed and sold its flushable wipes primarily through private label brands, such as Costco’s Kirkland Signature Moist Flushable Wipes, CVS’s… Continue Reading

Decision Highlights Questions Over Substantiation for Weight Loss Claims

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug
The Eleventh Circuit recently issued a decision in an contempt proceeding against Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals and several individuals. The case highlights the ongoing debate over whether clinical trials are required for weight loss claims and, if so, whether the clinical trials must be on the full product formulation rather than active ingredients. In 2008, a federal district… Continue Reading

FTC Settles with Retail Tracking Company that Made Privacy Policy Promises It Couldn’t Keep

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security, Retail
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced its first settlement with a retail tracking company, resolving allegations that Nomi Technologies, Inc., a micro-location platform that provides analytics services to retailers through its product “Listen,” failed to abide by several promises it made in its privacy policy. Under the terms of the agreement, Nomi is prohibited… Continue Reading

Claiming Safe Harbor on Your Website? Recent FTC Enforcements Provide Some Lessons About Certification Lapses

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced on Monday two more Safe Harbor-related settlements with two companies for misrepresenting their participation in the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework, which is subject to the FTC’s deception authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act.  The U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework is a method whereby U.S. companies can comply with… Continue Reading

“Throttled” Motion to Dismiss; FTC Case Against AT&T for “Unlimited” Data Promises Continues

Posted in Federal Trade Commission
On March 31st, a federal judge in California District Court issued an Order denying AT&T’s motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) lawsuit against the company concerning its advertising and business practices for its mobile wireless data plans. The FTC’s case against AT&T will now move forward on the merits. The FTC initiated the… Continue Reading

Senate Unanimously Approves “Internet of Things” Resolution

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
While the broader issues of consumer privacy and data security remain hot topics,  Congress and government enforcers have focused particular zeal on emerging technologies.  Just this week, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution calling for the development of “a strategy to incentivize the development of the Internet of Things.”  The resolution recognizes that the Internet… Continue Reading

FTC Enforcement Targets BMW Warranties

Posted in Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission  (“FTC”) announced last week that it reached a settlement with BMW of North America, LLC, (“BMW”) regarding the maintenance and repair warranty that BMW’s MINI Division provided consumers. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (“Act”), a company that provides a warranty cannot condition that warranty on the purchase of parts or services… Continue Reading

Reauthorization of MOU Between CFPB and FTC Promotes Regulatory “Harmony”

Posted in Consumer Financial Services, Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced on March 12 the reauthorization of the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) entered into by the two agencies on January 20, 2012.  As in the original, the new MOU addresses coordinated efforts in the areas of law enforcement, rulemaking and guidelines, research, consumer… Continue Reading

FDA Avoids Legality in Warning Letters Regarding Cannabis-Based Dietary Supplements

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug
FDA recently made public a batch of warning letters issued in February.  Among these were several letters issued to dietary supplement companies regarding their use of express disease reduction claims, such as inhibiting malignant tumor growth, reducing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and treating chronic depression. But wait, there’s more. Four letters were issued to companies… Continue Reading

FTC Settles with Health App Marketers for Unsubstantiated Melanoma Detection Claims

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug, Telehealth
The Federal Trade Commission announced this week that it has reached settlements with two marketers for “deceptively claiming their mobile apps could detect melanoma, even in its early stages.” MelApp and Mole Detective claim to have the ability to accurately screen for a mole’s analyzed melanoma risk despite the absence of clinical testing. The FTC… Continue Reading

Kelley Drye Webinar: Examining the FTC’s Report on the Internet of Things—February 23, 2015 at 1 PM

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Kelley Drye
As discussed in this blog post, the FTC has issued its long-awaited report entitled The Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World.  The report includes recommended privacy and security best practices for companies that create and sell connected devices.  But the line between best practices and alleged violations can quickly blur.  Please join… Continue Reading

FTC Administrative Law Judge Rejects Commission’s Definition of “Biodegradable”

Posted in Advertising Litigation, Federal Trade Commission, Green Marketing
Decision Also Reiterates Appropriate Standards for Consumer Perception Surveys On February 6, 2015, Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell announced his decision (“Initial Decision”) in the case of FTC vs. ECM BioFilms.  The Initial Decision rejects the FTC’s position codified in the FTC’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (“Green Guides”) that “[i]t is deceptive to… Continue Reading

Throttled: TracFone Enters $40 Million Settlement with FTC over “Unlimited” Plans

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing
Last week, the FTC concluded a $40 million settlement with TracFone – the largest prepaid mobile provider in the U.S. – over allegations that the company throttled customers’ purportedly unlimited data plans. The FTC alleged that TracFone advertised $45 per month unlimited plans, but systematically throttled and/or suspended customers’ connections after they passed a certain… Continue Reading

FTC Publishes Internet of Things Report

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security
Last week, the FTC issued its long-awaited report entitled The Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World.  The report includes recommended privacy and security best practices for companies that create and sell connected devices.  But the line between best practices and alleged violations can quickly blur. Companies that provide an IoT product… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Upholds FTC on POM’s Advertising, Strikes Two-Study Standard

Posted in Advertising Litigation, Federal Trade Commission
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion on Friday, January 30, upholding the Federal Trade Commission’s findings that POM Wonderful’s advertising, in which it claimed that consuming POM Wonderful pomegranate juice could prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, was deceptive. Although the D.C.… Continue Reading

Join Kelley Drye at the ABA Consumer Protection Conference – February 12 in Washington, DC

Posted in Federal Trade Commission
The American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law will be presenting its biennial Consumer Protection Conference on February 12, 2015 in Washington, DC. The conference will bring together federal, state, and international enforcers, in-house counsel, social media/culture experts, and private practitioners to explore and discuss cutting-edge advertising, privacy, social media, and regulatory developments, all in… Continue Reading

Privacy Groups Ask FTC to Investigate Contest Sponsor for Alleged COPPA Violations

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Privacy and Information Security, Promotions Marketing, Social Media
Last week, ten privacy groups requested that the FTC open an investigation into a Topps Co. online contest, which they allege violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Specifically, the groups claim that Topps’s #RockThatRock contest collected photos of children under age 13 without obtaining their parents’ consent. Last spring, Topps invited its Facebook,… Continue Reading

FTC Clarifies Standard for Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission
In late September 2014, the FTC announced its “Operation Full Disclosure” initiative, during which the agency sent warning letters to more than 60 companies addressing how the companies made disclosures in their respective ads.  Our blog entry about Operation Full Disclosure is available here.  The warning letters generally recommended that, among other things, disclosures be… Continue Reading

FTC Claims that AT&T Failed to Deliver on ‘Unlimited’ Data Promises

Posted in Federal Trade Commission
Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against AT&T Mobility, LLC (“AT&T”) over claims that AT&T violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by engaging in unfair and deceptive practices relating to the company’s “unlimited” data plans. The FTC asserts that AT&T… Continue Reading

FTC Continues Green Guides Enforcement with Warning Letters

Posted in Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission announced this week that it recently sent warning letters to 15 marketers of plastic waste bags advertised as being “oxodegradable,” “oxo biodegradable,” or “biodegradable.”  “Oxodegradable” and similar terms refer to an additive applied to the bag to enhance biodegradability in the presence of oxygen.  The letters, which are not available publicly,… Continue Reading

FTC v. Bayer: The Good News

Posted in Advertising, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug
The Department of Justice recently filed a motion in federal court against Bayer Corporation over advertising for its probiotic supplement, Phillips’ Colon Health.  The DOJ alleges that Bayer lacks the “competent and reliable scientific evidence” that a prior 2007 order requires the company to possess for any efficacy or benefit claim for a dietary supplement. According to… Continue Reading

FTC Closes an Investigation Involving Reviews by Employees

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Social Media
In previous posts, we’ve noted that if a person who writes a review about a product has a connection to the company that makes the product, that connection should be clearly disclosed. The types of connections that trigger this disclosure requirement include things such as payments, free products, and, of course, employment. According to press… Continue Reading