‘Tis the season for retailers to set best practices to avoid class actions, regulatory enforcement actions, and competitor claims. Ring in the new year with these top five U.S. advertising and marketing law takeaways.
Earlier this month the Federal Trade Commission formally codified its long-standing Made in USA guidelines into a formal rule that will go into effect August 13, 2021. The law is consistent with prior guidelines…
Continue Reading FTC Gives Teeth to Made in USA Enforcement
Ring in the new year by avoiding marketing practices that could result in class actions, regulatory enforcement actions, and competitor claims. Here are five advertising and marketing law takeaways for brands and legal teams to consider for 2021.
On April 28, 2020, the FTC announced a preliminary order in a civil enforcement action against a supplement manufacturer that allegedly made false and unsubstantiated claims regarding COVID-19 and cancer. Specifically, the FTC alleged that Whole Leaf Organics had marketed its “Thrive” product as an “anti viral wellness booster” that treated, prevented, or reduced the risk of COVID-19. The FTC also alleged that Whole Leaf Organics marketed three products containing cannabidiol (CBD) as effective cancer treatments.
Continue Reading More FTC Civil Enforcement for COVID-19 and CBD Cancer Treatment Claims
The FTC has announced a settlement with furniture and houseware seller Williams-Sonoma, requiring it to cease making unsubstantiated “Made in USA” claims about its products and pay $1 million to the FTC.
Williams-Sonoma previously received a warning letter from the FTC in 2018 regarding its “crafted in America from local and imported materials” mattress pad claims because the pads were purportedly crafted in China. Williams-Sonoma promptly corrected its advertising and agreed to review their country-of-origin verification process. In response, the FTC closed the matter without further action.
Continue Reading $1 Million Settlement Announced in FTC’s “Made in USA” Enforcement Against Williams-Sonoma
Two brothers in Tennessee made national news in early March after cleaning out local stores of products in high demand because of COVID-19 in order to sell them for exorbitant prices on online marketplaces. In the end, however, both Amazon and eBay implemented policies resulting in some or all listings involving price gouging being pulled from their platforms, so the pair was left with a garage full of nearly 18,000 bottles of sanitizer and an investigation into their activities by the Tennessee Attorney General’s. …
Continue Reading Private Companies and Government Regulators Crack Down on Coronavirus-related Price Gouging
On March 26th Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman, Joe Simons, issued a statement regarding the FTC’s continuing efforts to protect consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. The statement came the day before nearly three dozen bipartisan senators signed a letter asking the FTC to clarify what efforts were being taken to prevent COVID-19-related fraud targeting consumers, particularly the elderly.
Continue Reading FTC Statement On Coronavirus Enforcement
The FDA and FTC recently issued joint warning letters to seven sellers of products that claimed to treat or prevent “Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019,” known as COVID-19.
According to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, “The FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health.” FTC Chairman Joe…
On December 20, 2019 the FTC sued FleetCor Technologies, Inc. and its CEO, Ronald Clarke, for alleged misleading advertising practices, claiming FleetCor had collected at least $200 Million dollars in hidden fees from fuel card service customers. According to the Complaint, FleetCor’s ads promised customers that their fuel card service had no setup, transaction, or membership fees. But the FTC alleges that FleetCor charged customers those very fees, merely renamed as “Account Administration Fees,” “Program Fees,” “High Credit Risk Account Fees,” “Convenience Network and Out of Network Fees,” “Minimum Program Administration Fees,” and “Late Fees and Interest and Finance Charges.” …
Continue Reading FTC Sues FleetCor for Hidden Fee and other Deceptive Advertising Practices
Regardless of your industry it may be time to take a closer look at your potential vulnerability to a claim about hidden fees or drip pricing.
Continue Reading AGs and Consumers Fight “Drip Pricing” and “Hidden Fee” Programs