Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Legal Insight for the Retail and Consumer Products Industry

Tag Archives: FTC

The President’s Regulatory Agenda and the FTC

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Product Liability & Torts
Presidential advisor Steve Bannon famously told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that the Trump Administration seeks to “deconstruct” the regulatory state. The President has issued several Executive Orders (EOs) on regulations designed to implement this policy, including the “two for one” EO, an EO on enforcing the regulatory agenda, and an EO on reorganizing… 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

Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 — Beware of the Negative Online Review

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
Retailers and consumer products companies need to be aware of a new law affecting negative online reviews. On December 14, 2016, President Obama signed the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (H.R. 5111) into law. The Act voids “non-disparagement clauses” in form contracts designed to prevent consumers from posting negative comments and online reviews of… Continue Reading

Join C&M and other legal experts for the FBA’s Fashion Law Conference

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Antitrust & Claims Recovery, Consumer Class Action, International Trade, IP/Brand Protection, Privacy & Data Protection
On February 12, 2016, the Federal Bar Association will host a day-long Fashion Law Conference at Parsons School of Design (Starr Foundation Hall in the New School’s stunning new University Center) on the last day of New York Fashion Week! Speakers include in-house counsel from The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc., Tiffany & Co., New York &… Continue Reading

Don’t Put a Sock In It: FTC Says “Let Customers Complain”

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
Businesses that try to prevent disgruntled customers from sharing their experiences with other consumers may have to answer to the FTC for engaging in an unfair practice. In Roca Labs, the FTC filed a complaint against marketers of purported weight loss products who “spent millions of dollars … to serve online advertisements.”  Consumers who went… Continue Reading

Green Guides Hit Red Light: FTC Judge Says “Biodegradable” Doesn’t Mean Gone in One Year

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Environment & Natural Resources
In the FTC’s administrative proceeding against ECM Biofilms, Inc., Administrative Law Judge Chappell rejected the FTC’s assertion, taken directly from the Green Guides, that marketing a product as “biodegradable” includes an implied claim that the product “will completely decompose into elements found in nature within one year after customary disposal.” ALJ Chappell ruled that the… Continue Reading

Those Doggone Environmental Claims

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Environment & Natural Resources
The FTC continues its active presence in the environmental claims space with 20 warning letters targeting marketers of “dog waste bags” who make biodegradability and/or compostability claims for the bags and their, er, contents. The sweep contains no surprises in terms of FTC interpretation of environmental claims and is consistent with past FTC actions against… Continue Reading

To Connect with Consumers on the Internet of Things, Build Security Into Products from the Start

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Privacy & Data Protection
To tackle the challenges of launching products on the Internet of Things, the FTC recommends designing security into interconnected products from the outset as well as monitoring products post sale to quickly identify security risks. Most consumer product companies already have similar programs in place to ensure the safety of the products and meet CPSC… Continue Reading

Highlights from NAD and CARU Annual Conference in NYC: New Technology, But Old Principles

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
At this year’s National Advertising Division (NAD) annual conference in New York City held on September 29-30, the hot news was old news—speakers from NAD, FTC and various stakeholders emphasized a back-to-basics focus. For instance, Crowell & Moring’s Chris Cole moderated a panel on product demonstrations. The panel discussed recent NAD decisions, but these recent… Continue Reading

“Made in America” Claims: the Landscape, FTC Guidance, and Tips for Manufacturers and Marketers

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
The choices facing American consumers are no longer just “paper or plastic” or “do you want fries with that?” Today, when strolling the aisles of a grocery store, customers have the option to buy local, organic, gluten-free, low-carb, or any other of a dozen choices. The local coffee shop offers a selection of responsibly-sourced coffees,… Continue Reading

The FTC “Pins” Cole Haan on Pinterest Campaign: Disclosure of Contest Driving Endorsement of Products Required

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management
The rise of social media for contests and marketing campaigns has captured the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), particularly campaigns that provide for contest entry based on what amounts to social media endorsements. “Like Company XYZ now to enter!” The FTC is taking stock and beginning to weigh in on this relatively recent… Continue Reading

California Court Proposes to Assess $6.8 Million Penalty Against Online Discount Retailer For Engaging in Commonly Used Pricing Claims

Posted in Advertising & Product Risk Management, Consumer Class Action
A California state court recently issued a preliminary ruling proposing to assess a statutory penalty against online discount retailer Overstock.com in the amount of $6.8 million for engaging in allegedly false and misleading discount advertising.1 Overstock.com was alleged to have advertised discounted prices that were pegged to the company’s own uncorroborated estimate of undiscounted retail… Continue Reading