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

Where to Find More Info on the FTC’s Top Rules for 2022

Last week, Jessica Rich wrote about the FTC’s rulemaking plans for 2022. Make sure you read that post for a detailed analysis of what the Commission is planning. As we looked at which of those topics have generated the most interest on Ad Law Access recently, we wanted to point you to

Shortly after the state of California filed a lawsuit against Amazon alleging deceptive prices, Amazon agreed to pay $2 million in penalties and restitution.

Under the stipulated judgment, Amazon is restrained from using an advertised reference price based on a formula, algorithm, or other method that produces misleading or false results until April 1,

Advertising Law Summer SeriesThe replay of our recent webinar Selling Online: How to Avoid Flattening the Curve of an Uptick in Website Traffic is available here.

COVID-19 has increased the already dizzying amount of online sales, making the applicable marketing requirements increasingly important. These rules affect not just how companies advertise and promote products and services online,

Ad Law Access PodcastAs retailers have shifted to online and ship to store/ship from store sales, we’ve been getting a variety of questions from our retailing clients.

On the latest episode of the Ad Law Access Podcast, Advertising and Marketing chair Christie Grymes Thompson and partner Kristi Wolff answer retailer questions regarding pricing, shipping, refunds, customer reviews, and

Ad Law Access PodcastAs COVID-19 continues to dominant the news and the effects sweep across the country and globe, one of the important issues that directly affects companies and consumers alike is price gouging. In fact, the AGs in 32 states sent a letter to online retail platforms (Amazon, eBay, Craigslist and others) urging them to do more

As a follow-up to our recent posts on price gouging (see here, here, and here), we noted recent signs that federal and state authorities have escalated their enforcement efforts.

  • On Monday, the President signed an executive order to prevent hoarding and price gouging of crucial medical supplies.  It authorizes criminal prosecution of

Before You Market Around CoronavirusUntil recently, most consumers likely associated anything starting with “Corona” with a sunny beach and a lime wedge.

Not anymore.

The public is rightly concerned about coronavirus and how to avoid catching it.  And where the public has questions, marketers will have answers.  Here are a couple things to think about before rushing that next