Advertising Litigation

Last month, plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against YouTube (and its parent company Google), alleging that the company violates Oregon laws by automatically renewing paid subscriptions to premium music, television, and video streaming services without adequately disclosing the offer terms or getting consent.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the company violated Oregon’s automatic renewal

Food + Personal Care Litigation and Regulatory Highlights – January 2022Welcome to our 2022 inaugural issue of Food and Personal Care Litigation and Regulatory Highlights, where we explore trends and developments from around these industries.  It’s fair to say that the year has started off very busy in both the courtroom and the regulatory arena.  On this chilly winter day, our first stop is in California.

Prop 65

Our friends at Kelley Green Law Blog get the starting position for this issue by highlighting a precipitous uptick in the number of Prop 65 filings over the prior year.  While the Covid-19 pandemic caused all sorts of disruptions to society and the economy, at least one area of business has thrived over the last two years:  private plaintiff enforcement of California Proposition 65.  In 2020-2021, over 40% more Prop 65 actions were brought by private plaintiff “bounty hunters” than in the two years prior to the pandemic (2018-2019).  Compared to a decade ago, private plaintiff groups now initiate three times more Prop 65 actions each year, and five times more than in 2008.  Learn more here about the most frequently cited chemicals and those that are emerging, including PFAS.
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The Pink Tax: A Litigation and Legislation UpdateWe previously reported on an emerging legislative and litigation trend relating to the “pink tax” – a gender-based pricing phenomenon that allegedly results in higher prices for goods and services marketed towards women as compared to substantially similar alternatives marketed towards men.  As predicted, the last two years have shown an uptick in litigation (which has been largely unsuccessful) and legislative action (some finalized and some pending).

Litigation

Last year, we discussed an early blow to the pink tax theory of liability in Schulte v. Conopco, d/b/a Unilever, et al.  In Schulte, the plaintiffs alleged that various personal care manufacturers and retailers violated the Missouri Merchandizing Practices Act (MMPA) by charging more for deodorants marketed for women than allegedly similar deodorants marketed for men.  The product lines at issue contained similar, but not identical, ingredients, came in different sizes, and were available in different scents (fifteen “feminine” scents in the line marketed for women and five “masculine” scents in the line marketed for men).  The Eastern District of Missouri dismissed the complaint, ruling that “Missouri law does not compel identical products to be sold at the same price” and that the plaintiff’s remedy “lies with legislation, not litigation.”  The Eighth Circuit affirmed on the grounds that the plaintiff mistook “gender-based marketing for gender discrimination.”  In order to state a claim, the court ruled that the plaintiff would have to allege that the only difference between the products was the price and the intended target of the marketing.  Here, because the plaintiff conceded that the products were, in fact, different, thus dismissal was appropriate.
Continue Reading The Pink Tax: A Litigation and Legislation Update

This summer, a plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit against Allbirds, alleging (among other things) that the company’s environmental claims – including claims about its “sustainable” practices, the “low carbon footprint” of its shoes, and its other “environmentally friendly” initiatives – are false and misleading.

The complaint – which is based largely on a PETA

Jessica L. Rich and Laura Riposo VanDruff, Two Former Senior FTC Officials Further Bolstering Kelley Drye’s Privacy and Advertising PracticesWe are thrilled that Jessica Rich and Laura Riposo VanDruff have joined the firm’s Privacy and Advertising practice groups. Both attorneys are former top officials at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with Rich having served as Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) and VanDruff as an Assistant Director in BCP’s Division of Privacy

Earlier this month, the nonprofit Earth Island Institute filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola, alleging that the company falsely and deceptively represents itself as “a sustainable and environmentally friendly company, despite being one of the largest contributors of plastic pollution in the world.”

These types of lawsuits aren’t new. As more companies have started to develop

Key Developments in CCPA Litigation for Q1 2021As we move deeper into the second year of CCPA litigation, the substantive issues continue to develop and we remain focused on the patterns and implications of recent filings and rulings.  In this post, we highlight notable developments in three cases that occurred in the first quarter of 2021.  These cases raise significant issues