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Chalana Williams is an associate in the firm's Antitrust and Advertising & Product Risk Management groups. Chalana provides litigation and counseling services with a focus on consumer protection matters, as well as the substantiation and defense of advertising claims. She counsels clients on compliance with statutes and regulations enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Chalana also has experience assisting both challengers and advertisers in disputes before the National Advertising Division (NAD). Her antitrust practice includes representing clients in inquiries by the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission, as well as representing clients seeking to recover damages in private antitrust litigation.

Consumers are winning in the digital age. And marketing teams are being forced to think outside of the box.

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According to a recent study, people would rather give up their spouse, or go to prison if it means they won’t lose their smartphone. On top of that, consumers are “cutting” or “shaving” the cord to traditional television and demanding more flexibility in how they view content. Nielsen data shows that between 2011 and 2017, traditional TV viewing by 18-24 year olds dropped by almost 12 hours a week, or by roughly 1 hour 40 minutes per day. In addition, online advertisers are employing targeted advertising whereby consumers are exposed to ads that reflect their interests. As a consequence, consumers are becoming increasingly difficult for marketers to reach and businesses are struggling to find ways to bridge this gap.

Continue Reading It’s Only A Game. Or Is It? Advergaming In The Digital Age

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President Trump has nominated Dana Baiocco to be Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The appointment is for a term of seven years beginning on October 27, 2017. Ms. Baiocco is currently a litigator at Jones Day. According to her firm’s bio, she has litigated cases involving “mass torts, consumer and industrial products and medical devices” and has counseled clients on “minimizing risks, regulatory and reporting obligations, warranties, and CPSC product recalls.”

This nomination is significant. With the expiration of Democratic Commissioner Marietta Robinson’s term in late October, Baiocco’s eventual Senate confirmation will shift the Commission’s balance of power. Specifically, it will mark an end to the unusual dynamic of the Commission being led by a “Minority Chair” (Republican Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle), who does not command a 3-2 voting majority based on political party. Upon Baiocco’s confirmation, Republicans will regain the Commission’s majority.

Our prior blog posts have reflected on Acting Chair Buerkle’s philosophy and priorities for the Commission, which may now start to come into fruition. Assuming Acting Chair Buerkle is confirmed as Chairman later this month, with the new Republican majority, we can now expect the Commission under the Trump Administration to come into focus and likely reflect some of the Administration’s regulatory priorities.

We congratulate Dana Baiocco on her nomination, and expect her confirmation in the coming months.

Baker’s dozen = 13 (not 12)

Easy.

Foot = 12 inches (the length of the average man’s foot)

Of course. I learned this in the second grade.

2 by 4 = 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches  

What?

4 by 4 = 3 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches

No way.

5/4 inches by 4 inches = 1 1/8 inches by 3 ½ inches

Mind. Blown… unless you’re a carpenter or in the construction industry.


In the United States, softwood lumber is governed by the American Softwood Lumber Standard which was developed by the American Lumber Standard Committee, in accordance with the Procedures for the Development of Voluntary Product Standards of the U.S. Department of Commerce. That’s a mouth full. However, the lumber standard is a government-approved codification of longstanding industry practices. And, while dimensional lumber is cut to a specific length, width, and depth, there is a difference between the nominal size (what the lumber is referred to) and its actual size.

Continue Reading Who “Wood” Have Thought? Plaintiffs Challenge Longstanding Lumber Labeling Practices

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The Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011, promised sweeping reform of food safety practices from farm to fork, and shifted FDA’s regulatory posture from reacting to food contamination to proactively preventing it. While the Trump administration has vowed to eliminate two regulations for every new regulation, at this year’s Food and Drug Law Institute’s Annual meeting, Dr. Susan Mayne, the Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, made clear that FSMA is the law of the land and FDA fully intends to continue its implementation and enforcement of it.

Continue Reading The Devil is in the Details: Recordkeeping a Central Focus in FSMA Inspections

On Friday, May 20, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a “refreshed” Nutrition Facts label, which, except for the addition of trans-fats in 2006, had gone largely untouched since 1994. Consumers will not only notice an updated design, which makes the label larger and bolder, but there are more substantive changes that, according to FDA, “are based on updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary recommendations from expert groups, and input from the public.”

Continue Reading The FDA Unveils an Updated Nutrition Facts Label

The FDA is cracking down on distributors of pure powdered caffeine. On Tuesday, the agency released a statement announcing that it fully intends to “aggressively monitor the marketplace for pure powdered caffeine products and take action as appropriate.” This is no empty threat. Warning letters were issued to five distributors of the product on August 27th. The FDA found the products to be adulterated within the meaning of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they contain amounts of caffeine that could be lethal to consumers, and require the use of a precise scale to distinguish a “safe serving from a potentially lethal amount.” As a result, the agency concluded that the products present “a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury under the conditions of use recommended or suggested in the labeling.”

Pure powdered caffeine products are 100% caffeine and a single teaspoon is the equivalent to approximately 25 cups of coffee. Continue Reading The FDA Issues Warning Letters to Five Distributors of Pure Powdered Caffeine

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance on its mandatory recall authority; in doing so, FDA elaborated on its authority to issue user fees. Food retailers and manufacturers should take note that in the event FDA determines that there is: (1) a reasonable probability that a food product is misbranded and/or adulterated and (2) there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to such food would cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals, the products may not only be removed from store shelves but the firm may also find itself facing stiff penalties for non-compliance. The draft guidance explains that FDA may collect fees in not only the event that a responsible party of a domestic facility or importer fails to issue an ordered recall, but also for failing to recall the food product in the precise manner specified in the order or for failing to provide FDA with requested information.

For additional information, please click here to read our full alert.

EPA has proposed a new rule to restrict the use of seven toluene diisocyanates (TDIs) in consumer products.  TDIs are commonly used in the production of polyurethanes found in foams, coatings, elastomers, adhesives and sealants used in consumer products.  Flexible foams (for cushioning) and rigid foams (for insulation) are the chief uses for TDI.

Published on January 15, 2015, the proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) would apply to all consumer products containing any of the seven TDIs.  In most instances, consumer products will be covered by the rule if they contain these chemicals at any level of concentration.  All manufacturers, importers, and product processers utilizing these chemicals would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before such activity commences or resumes.  This would give EPA an opportunity to examine the intended use of products, evaluate the risks and potential hazards, and potential ban or restrict the products’ manufacture, processing or import.

For more information about this proposed rule, including information and deadlines for submitting public comments, see our full report here.