Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Legal Insight for the Retail and Consumer Products Industry

Lauren B. Aronson

Lauren B. Aronson

Lauren Aronson is an Advertising & Product Risk Management counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office. Lauren represents clients across a variety of industries in advertising and marketing law. She has assisted numerous clients in initiating and defending false advertising challenges before the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation program (ERSP), and has provided counsel in Lanham Act suits. Lauren has also represented clients in investigations and actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general relating to marketing and sales practices.

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FTC Targets Cryptocurrency Pyramid Schemes

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
The FTC’s Consumer Protection Division has long targeted advertisements for “work-at-home,” business and investment opportunities that exaggerate the earning potential and downplay risks. Recently, the FTC announced that it filed a complaint against four individuals doing business as “Bitcoin Funding Team” in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for deceptively advertising… Continue Reading

Holding Agencies Accountable: Ad Agency Agrees to Pay Largest Penalty Ever for False Advertising

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
In the largest-ever penalty issued against an ad agency, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Marketing Architects, Inc. (MAI) agreed to pay $2 million dollars to settle a false advertising complaint filed with the FTC and the State of Maine Attorney General’s Office. The ad agency came to the FTC’s attention after the Commission settled… Continue Reading

FTC Settles First Connected Toy Case With VTech After Massive Data Breach

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
On January 8, 2018, the FTC announced settlement of its first connected toy case with VTech Electronics Ltd (“VTech”) for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rules by failing to properly collect and protect personal information about and from children and violating the FTC Act by misrepresenting its security practices. In addition to paying a… Continue Reading

Five California Communities Settle Auto-Renewal Claims with Online Dating Company eHarmony for More than $2 Million

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
Online dating company eHarmony will pay more than $2 million to settle a consumer protection lawsuit brought by four California counties and the city of Santa Monica. In total, the company will pay up to $1 million to California customers who enrolled in eHarmony’s automatic subscription program between March 10, 2012 and December 13, 2016… Continue Reading

ROSCA Enforcement Ahead: FTC Settles with AdoreMe for $1.38 Million

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
Subscription services for everything from food delivery to beauty products to exercise gear have grown exponentially in the past five years. Such services require consumers to enroll in a program to purchase goods on a consistent basis. They typically automatically renew, often on a monthly basis, and require customers wishing to cancel to take affirmative… Continue Reading

FTC Announces First Enforcement Action Against Social Media Influencers and Updates FAQs Rejecting Common Disclosure Practices

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
The FTC is closely watching influencers to remind them to clearly disclose material connections to brands. In June 2017, the Commission settled with a trampoline manufacturer for relying on misleading endorsements and, in March, the Commission sent more than 90 letters to influencers and brands to remind them to clearly disclose relationships. The FTC has… Continue Reading

Trampoline Manufacturer Can’t Bounce Away From FTC Trouble

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Product Liability & Torts
FTC Moves Ahead Enforcing Endorsement Cases A few months ago, acting Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Olhausen stated that the FTC should shift focus to cases of actual harm, leaving many to wonder whether FTC would still actively enforce endorsement cases. However, in April, the FTC sent out ninety letters to brand influencers and marketers reminding… Continue Reading

A New Twist on a Familiar Theme: NJ Lawsuit Targets Retailer’s Savings Claims, Seeking Damages Under Once Obscure Statute

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Consumer Class Action
There’s a new tool for deceptive pricing class actions challenging “up to __%” savings promotional messaging:  A new lawsuit filed in New Jersey alleges that the clothing retailer’s “up to _% off” promotional messaging violates New Jersey’s consumer protection laws. The plaintiff sued Jos. A. Bank under the New Jersey Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty… Continue Reading

Failure to Obtain Viewer Consent Leads to $2.2 Million Settlement for Vizio

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Privacy & Data Protection
Vizio Reaches $2.2 Million Settlement With FTC, New Jersey, For Failing to Obtain Viewer Consent to Track and Sell Viewing Habits to Third Parties Traditionally, advertisers purchase ad inventory during television programs based on basic demographic information regarding viewer attributes. Thus, while ads may reach viewers of a particular gender and age range, those ads… Continue Reading