The FTC was relatively quiet the first week of December. The Commission mainly focused on continuing active matters and initiating a new false advertising action.  These stories and more after the jump.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Deceptive Advertising

  • The Commission announced that it will be sending notices to over 497,000 consumers who were harmed by Credit Karma’s alleged practice of misrepresenting that consumers were “pre-approved” for credit card offers. We previously reported on this action in a September 2022 post when the FTC first issued its complaint against Credit Karma and subsequently in a January 2023 post when the Commission finalized its consent order. This week, the FTC advised that most consumers should receive the notice via email but those consumers who did not have an email address on file would receive a notice in the mail. In either case, the Commission explained that eligible consumers can file a claim through the FTC’s website.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Made in USA

  • The FTC has issued a complaint against ExotoUSA LLC (d/b/a Old Southern Brass) and Austin Oliver (individually and as an officer of ExotoUSA) based on allegedly false claims that some of the company’s products were manufactured in the U.S., that the company was veteran-operated, and that 10% of the company’s sales were donated to military service charities. The accompanying proposed order would enjoin ExotoUSA and any individuals working for ExotoUSA from making such false claims. Additionally, the proposed order includes a monetary judgment of $4,572,137.66, which was partially suspended to an immediately payable amount of $150,000 due to the defendants’ inability to pay the full amount. However, the proposed order also notes that if the Commission finds that the defendants lied about their financial status, the full amount of the judgment could become immediately payable. Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, commented that the “company and its owner’s brazen deception cheated consumers who wanted to support U.S. manufacturing, veteran-operated businesses, and veteran charities” and that the Commission would “continue to hold accountable those who profit from false Made in USA and military association claims.” The Commission voted 3-0 to issue the administrative complaint and to accept the consent agreement.