Category Archives: FTC

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Breathalyzer Claims Are Not Puffery

Breathalyzer accuracy is serious business. While the instructions may indicate “blow here,” that instruction does not apply to marketers of the device.  The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) drove this point home in a recent settlement with the marketer of an app-supported breathalyzer device that no doubt left the marketer feeling a bit hungover.  The settlement … Continue Reading

Chairman Ohlhausen Announces a Whale of an Agenda for Consumer Protection

From the ABA Antitrust Section bi-annual Consumer Protection Conference in Atlanta, Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen made her first keynote address in her newly elevated roll. To the backdrop of playful beluga whales in the ballroom of the Atlanta Aquarium, she outlined three consumer protection priorities she will put in force during her time in … Continue Reading

Soundboard Industry Sounds the Alarm Against FTC Changes to Telemarketing Sales Rule

In a development that many telemarketers will want to follow closely, the Soundboard Association (SBA) recently filed a complaint against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The SBA simultaneously asked the court to issue an injunction blocking the FTC from expanding the Telemarketing Sales Rule’s (TSR) … Continue Reading

What’s Next for Advertisers of Consumer Financial Services? Webinar: “Consumer Financial Services 2017 Outlook: Post-Inauguration Day Insights”

Advertisers and marketers of consumer financial services have been asking, “What’s next?” As the CFPB works its way through court challenges, and an evolving legal and political landscape unfolds, companies have been waiting for signs from the CFPB, Congress, and the President of what to expect in 2017. Members of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Practice … Continue Reading

FTC Wish List – Our Final Wish

For those of you not living or working in or near Washington DC, the moving trucks have arrived at the White House, the porta potties, security barriers and bleachers are in place. The transfer of power is about to take place. And we have one more item on our wish list for the new FTC. … Continue Reading

And Then There Were Three Two

Last March, after Commissioner Brill stepped down from the FTC, we blogged about the almost unprecedented situation where the FTC is down to three sitting Commissioners. Notwithstanding the unusual situation the Commission found itself in, it seems to have done well with just three Commissioners over the past 10 months. Today, however, Chairwoman Ramirez announced … Continue Reading

FTC, New York AG File Complaint Against Marketers of Dietary Supplement Prevagen

Have you seen an ad like this (we have, more times than we can remember): “Ever walk into a room and forget why? Spend extra time looking for your car keys or purse? Have trouble remembering names or faces?” If the answer is yes, the dietary supplement Prevagen may be just what the doctor ordered. … Continue Reading

The FTC Weighs in Further on All Natural Claims

At last year’s Kennedy Center Honors, Aretha Franklin brought down the house and brought President Obama to tears with her rendition of Natural Woman. Marketers relying on “all natural” claims also may feel like crying these days. We’ve blogged frequently about natural claims; see this recent post. Much of the misery in this area results … Continue Reading

FTC Wish List Part II

In part II of our series on our wish list for the new FTC, we look at the issue of the pace of FTC investigations. And just like Tom Cruise, we feel the need, the need for speed. Now it’s no secret that, for the most part, FTC investigations proceed slowly. Some of that is … Continue Reading

Deceptive Claims for Health App and Endorsements by Employees Raise FTC’s Blood Pressure

As 2017 quickly approaches, and consumers look for gift ideas or help with their New Year’s resolutions, “apps” that focus on fitness and health are increasingly popular. A recent FTC settlement against Aura Labs, Inc. (“Aura Labs” or “Aura”) and its principal, for allegedly making deceptive claims regarding the accuracy of its blood pressure measuring … Continue Reading

All We Want for the New FTC is . . .

There’s been a lot of talk about the one eensy weensy Supreme Court vacancy, but nary a word about the not one but TWO FTC vacancies. Indeed, if any of you were out and about recently, say at the theater perhaps, you might have been sitting near a future FTC Commissioner. So, let’s imagine for … Continue Reading

FTC Complaint Confirms Interest in Lead Generation

When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigates a case, it looks at it from the first contact the consumer has with a product or service through the end of the consumer experience. For many consumers, the first contact with a product comes through lead generation, where a “lead generator” tries to find consumers interested in … Continue Reading

Highlights of the 2016 NAAG/NASCO Charity Regulators’ Annual Conference

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) convened for their 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, DC this week. The “Public Day” of the conference, held on Monday, October 16, provided an opportunity for nonprofit leaders, professional counselors and advisers, and academics to learn about “the evolving … Continue Reading

Court Finds 5-Hour ENERGY® Can Support Some but Not All of Its Claims

We have written several times about the FTC’s effort to rein in what it sees as unsubstantiated cognitive improvement claims (see prior blogs: Brain Training, Lumosity, Word Smart, and Your Baby Can Read). Well, the states appear focused on this segment, too. On October 7, 2016, after two years of litigation and a trial, Judge … Continue Reading

FTC Wins Some, Loses Some at Second Circuit in LeanSpa Appeal

We wrote previously about the FTC’s efforts to hold an affiliate network (LeadClick) and that network’s successor (CoreLogic) responsible for their role in working with LeanSpa, a marketer of dietary supplements. LeanSpa primarily marketed its diet products through “fake news” stories placed by affiliate marketers. Here is a link to an example of the “fake … Continue Reading

A Look Inside the Official CFPB Enforcement Policies and Procedures Manual

Since its launch in 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) has developed a reputation for its aggressive investigation and litigation tactics. The Bureau’s Enforcement Policies and Procedures Manual for its enforcement staff provides a peek behind the curtain at how CFPB enforcement actions unfold. Despite the CFPB’s push for transparency, a copy … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Staff Perspectives on Lead Generation

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection released a much-anticipated paper on lead generation on September 15, 2016. The 13-page report provides staff perspectives on the information covered at the FTC’s October 2015 workshop on lead generation, “Follow the Lead.” Below are a few of the paper’s themes: The paper … Continue Reading

FTC Aims To Understand Disclosures Through Consumer Testing – Announces Workshop Agenda

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just released its agenda for its September 15th workshop, “Putting Disclosures to the Test,” a full-day event aimed at improving the testing of disclosures by industry, academics, and the FTC. The workshop will review testing methodologies and examine how consumers perceive disclosures. Information will also be presented on how to … Continue Reading

Celebrity Endorsement Disclosures on Social Media

We’ve blogged several times about the need to disclose when social media posts by endorsers, particularly celebrities, have been paid for. And there has been lots of guidance and discussion about how best to do that, particularly in shorter form media such as Twitter. For example, “The FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking” provides … Continue Reading
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