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Jason Howell serves as co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions practice and as a member of the Trademark, Copyright & Media practice.

Key Updates:

  • On May 1, 2024, BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) issued a compliance warning stating that its Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising (Advertising Guidelines) and Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Online Privacy Protection (Privacy Guidelines) apply to artificial intelligence (AI) in advertising and data collection targeted at children under 13.
  • CARU warns brands that it will strictly enforce its Advertising Guidelines and Privacy Guidelines in connection with the use of AI to protect children, who are more vulnerable to advertising and whose data collection poses special concerns.

Continue Reading CARU Issues Warning About Using AI in Child-Directed Advertising and Data Collection

In an unusual decision[1] this month, the National Advertising Division of BBB National Programs (NAD) recommended that Planting Hope Brands (PHB), a plant-based food and beverage company, discontinue its use of the registered trademark symbol or ® on the packaging and advertising for its product RIGHTRICE, a plant-derived flour-based kernel. Continue Reading Is Your Trademark Notice an Advertising Claim?

Key Takeaways:

  • Disclosure of a payment or other material connection (e.g., via #Ad) must be prominent and “before the fold” for social media posts.
  • Influencers must include applicable disclosures in video content (not merely in the caption that accompanies the video).
  • A brand cannot repost influencer content without disclosing that the content has been paid for.
  • Investors must disclose their material connections to brands in social media posts (and cannot directly contradict such disclosure with a statement that the post is “not an ad”).

Continue Reading National Advertising Division Flags Social Media Disclosure Obligations for Wonderbelly, Its Influencers, and Investor Demi Moore

With the first quarter of 2024 in full swing, it is a good time for brands to revisit marketing compliance strategies to minimize the risk of potential class actions, regulatory enforcement actions, and competitor challenges. This Update highlights hot topics in advertising law for 2024.

Click here to read the full Update.

Key Update:

  • A federal court in New York denied Danone Waters of America’s motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit accusing it of falsely advertising Evian-branded bottled water as “carbon neutral.”
  • The putative class-action lawsuit claims that the Evian water bottles are not actually carbon neutral due to alleged emission of carbon dioxide during manufacturing.
  • The court found that consumers could be confused by the term “carbon neutral,” noting that understanding Evian’s meaning “expects too much” from consumers.

Continue Reading Judge Rules Water Bottler Must Face Class Action Over “Carbon Neutral” Claims

Key Updates:

  • On October 11, 2023, the FTC proposed a new rule that it claims will end deceptive “junk fees.” The FTC defines junk fees as “bait-and-switch pricing tactics” that conceal required charges while misleading consumers about the actual price of items.
  • The FTC claims the proposed rule is expected to save consumers more than 50 million hours each year in the search for total price of items, particularly in live event ticketing and short-term lodging.

Continue Reading Junk Fees Under Scrutiny: FTC Issues Proposed Rulemaking

The FTC released a staff paper in September 2023 directed at businesses and social media influencers who promote products to children online. The paper includes findings from the FTC’s October 2022 workshop, “Protecting Kids From Stealth Advertising in Digital Media,” which addressed the issue of blurred advertising that makes it hard for children to distinguish advertising content from other digital content.Continue Reading FTC Staff Perspective: Preventing Blurred Advertising to Children

The Federal Trade Commission recently finalized updates to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which address the FTC’s latest thinking about how the truth-in-advertising standards under the FTC Act apply to endorsement and review-related issues.

The updated Guides expand or clarify guidance related to (1) who can be considered

The FTC published the proposed Negative Option Rule (Rule) to the Federal Register on April 24, 2023, with the goal of preventing unfair and deceptive practices related to recurring subscriptions for products and services. The FTC has invited the public to comment on proposed changes to the Rule. Written comments must be submitted by June

As part of its assessment of the Guidelines for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (Green Guides), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold a workshop on May 23, 2023, to consider “recyclable” advertising claims and issues related to environmental claims. The workshop is titled “Talking Trash at the FTC: Recyclable Claims and the Green Guides.”Continue Reading FTC To Hold Workshop on “Recyclable” Claims as Part of Continuing Green Guides Review