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Category Archives: Federal Trade Commission

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FTC Closes Investigation Involving Proposed Changes to PayPal’s Terms

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Mobile Marketing, Telemarketing and Call Center Operations
Earlier this year, PayPal announced planned changes to its User Agreement that would have, among other things, given the company broad rights to contact people by phone or text messages. The provision stated, in part: You consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages from PayPal at any telephone number that you have… Continue Reading

Who’s Watching Dietary Supplement Advertising?  Everybody!

Posted in Advertising, Class Action, Federal Trade Commission, NAD
For several years now, dietary supplement advertising has been squarely on the radar of the FTC, state regulators, self-regulators, and last but never least, plaintiff’s lawyers. A recent FTC settlement with the makers of the dietary supplement, Procera, highlights that point. The FTC’s investigation appears to have begun with a nudge from the self-regulatory body,… Continue Reading

FTC Shuts Down a Risky Risk-Free Offer

Posted in Federal Trade Commission
This morning, the FTC announced that it had stopped a group of 15 companies and 7 individuals from using deceptive “risk-free trial” offers to sell skincare products online. At the Commission’s request, a federal court issued a temporary restraining order against the defendants, halting their marketing practices, freezing their assets, and appointing a receiver over… Continue Reading

FTC Updates FAQs for Endorsement Guides, Offers More Guidance on Social Media and Video Endorsements

Posted in Federal Trade Commission, Promotions Marketing, Social Media
The FTC recently revised its “What People are Asking” page, a source of informal guidance relating to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides.  The Endorsement Guides were last revised in 2009.  The FAQ revisions are intended to address current advertising and marketing trends, such as the use of Twitter endorsements, “like” buttons, and uploaded videos. The revisions… Continue Reading

All Eyes on Homeopathics: FTC Workshop Signals Targeted Regulatory Scrutiny of Homeopathic Products

Posted in FDA, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug
On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission “FTC” announced it will be hosting a workshop in September to evaluate advertising for over-the-counter homeopathic products. Homeopathy is an alternative medicine practice dating back centuries that incorporates the principle of “like cures like,” which holds that a given disease’s symptoms are “healing responses” that can be replicated by… Continue Reading

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