Federal Trade Commission

Today, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez announced that Jessica Rich has been named Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (the “Bureau”). Rich, who has more than 22 years of experience at the Commission, currently serves as Associate Director in the Bureau’s Division of Financial Practices. She will take over the Bureau

A recent New York Times article discussed the FTC’s scrutiny of companies who engage celebrities to endorse their products in social media. The article serves as a timely reminder that this form of advertising, unless conducted carefully, can result in liability and monetary penalties for the celebrity and the advertiser.

The FTC is concerned that

On May 21, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) regarding proposed amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”). Notably, the proposed changes would: (1) expressly state that the seller or telemarketer bears the burden of demonstrating an existing business relationship with a customer whose number is listed on the Do Not Call Registry, or that it has obtained an express written agreement from such customer; and (2) clarify that the exemption for calls to businesses extends only to calls inducing sale or contribution from the business, and not to calls inducing sales or contributions from individuals employed by the business. The Commission believes that these proposed revisions are consistent with current enforcement policy.

In addition, the FTC proposes to amend the Rule to explicitly state the following requirements, which it also believes are consistent with current enforcement policy. These proposed amendments would:

  1. Modify the prohibition against sellers sharing the cost of Do Not Call Registry fees to emphasize that the prohibition is absolute;
  2. Illustrate the types of impermissible burdens on consumers that deny or interfere with their right to be placed on a seller’s or telemarketer’s entity-specific do-not-call list (such as requiring the person to listen to a sales pitch before accepting the Do Not Call request or assessing a charge or fee for honoring the request); and
  3. Clarify that the recording memorializing the express verifiable authorization required before a seller or telemarketer bills a customer or donor (unless payment is made by debit or credit card) must include an accurate description, clearly and conspicuously stated, of the goods or services or charitable contribution for which the payment authorization is sought.


Continue Reading FTC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule

The Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”) recently announced final updates to its 2013 Code of Conduct (“NAI Code”). The NAI Code is one of the leading industry self-regulatory codes of conduct governing online behavioral advertising (“OBA”) for third party digital advertising companies. While prior versions of the NAI Code were focused on advertising networks, the 2013

A few days ago, a Kansas state court entered a default judgment against Bullseye Target Marketing, a Missouri telemarketing company that solicited roofing business in Kansas, in an action brought by the Kansas Attorney General alleging violations of the Kansas No-Call Act (the state analogue to the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule). The court ordered the

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it sent letters to 10 data brokers warning them that their practices may be subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  A sample letter is available here.  Among other things, the FCRA governs the sale and use of consumer information which may be used to

On Monday, the FTC released a Staff Report on the Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule recommending that the Commission adopt the amendments in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued on September 30, 2011.  The Staff specifically recommended the following four amendments to the Rule:

  1. Require sellers to process third-party credit card refunds within 7

The use of mobile apps for health purposes has created new questions for users, developers, and regulators regarding the balance between convenience, expanded health care, and public safety. The line between apps that are useful tools for accessing health information and those that are considered medical devices can be unclear but is very important for

As we’ve posted before, if a company provides incentives to a consumer in order to encourage the consumer to promote the company’s products, the consumer is required to disclose those incentives. It’s not just the consumer’s problem, though. The FTC has stated that a company can be held liable for a consumer’s failure to

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced final revisions to the guidance it gives to advertisers on how to keep endorsement, testimonial, and other digital ads in compliance with the FTC Act, ".com Disclosures, How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising." The Revised Guide expands on the initial version released in 2000 by providing