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On April 13, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it has notified approximately 670 companies of potential FTC advertising regulation violations, triggering FTC authority to pursue steep civil penalties if companies fail to substantiate their product claims.  The target of this crusade is companies primarily advertising over-the-counter drugs, homeopathic products, dietary supplements, and functional foods.  Once on notice, companies could be subject to civil penalties of up to $50,120 per violation for unsubstantiated product claims.Continue Reading Health Product Advertisers Beware: Tidal Wave of FTC Notices Could Spawn Litigation and Hefty Fines

The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) recently issued guidance recommending that the term “milk” extend beyond dairy (cow) milk products to plant-based alternatives. Although not legally binding, the guidance indicates that nondairy milk alternatives can be labeled “milk” and need not be restricted as nondairy “beverages” or “drinks.” These plant-based alternatives should, however, include a statement on their product label describing how they are nutritionally different from milk (e.g., “contains a lower amount of potassium than milk”).Continue Reading Plant-Based Milk Alternatives, Udderly Nutritious?

Is there a legal, cognizable claim for a consumer who was misled by a movie trailer? Perhaps. In June 2022, two Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Universal concerning a movie they streamed titled Yesterday which is owned by Universal.  Woulfe et al v. Universal City Studios LLC et al., 22-cv-00459, ECF No. 83 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2022).  Prior to streaming, the Plaintiffs watched the movie trailer, which featured actress Ana De Armas.  In the complaint, Plaintiffs alleged they were persuaded by the trailer, and De Armas’ role in particular to stream the movie.  However, De Armas’ character was cut from the final version of Yesterday, so she was not featured in the film whatsoever.  The Plaintiffs alleged they would not have rented the movie had they known De Armas would not appear in the movie. The Plaintiffs then sued Universal under a host of consumer protection violations, including a violation of the California Unfair Competition Law, California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and California False Advertising Law. Continue Reading Can Movie Trailers Be False Advertisements? One Court Says, Maybe.