Category Archives: Pricing

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The Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch Believes a Coupon-Driven Class Action Settlement Is “Unfair” and States it Is Cracking Down on “Unfair” Class Action Settlement Proposals

Is the government about to make it harder for companies to settle consumer class actions? The Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch, in a Statement of Interest (Statement), has requested that a Judge set aside a proposed class action settlement that would enrich plaintiffs’ attorneys to the tune of nearly $2 million. Specifically, the DOJ … Continue Reading

“Everyone Does It” Doesn’t Fly at NAD

When a widespread industry practice comes under regulatory scrutiny, companies that end up in the crosshairs sometimes fall back on the “everyone does it” defense. This argument has an intuitive appeal in the consumer-protection context—consumers are presumably aware of practices that are common across an entire industry, the thinking goes, and they make purchasing decisions … Continue Reading

Price Gouging in the News

Those of us living outside the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast region have looked on in disbelief and sadness as unrelenting rain has inundated those areas. The tragedy, though, has also reminded us of the better parts of our nature as we have seen countless examples of stranger helping stranger. However, from time to time … Continue Reading

Guest Blog: The U.K. Pricing Practices Guidelines Are Now in Force – Are You Compliant?

We wanted to alert retail readers to these developments in price advertising laws in the United Kingdom from our friends at Lewis Silkin. Late last year new U.K. Pricing Practices Guidelines were published by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, replacing the long standing guidelines which retailers and advertisers had been following for many years. The … Continue Reading

Walgreens’ Settlement—Beware How you Describe Your Deals

The Office of the New York Attorney General entered into a $500,000 settlement with Walgreens last week over false pricing information in its Walgreens and Duane Reade stores in New York. The New York Attorney General began investigating Walgreens’ advertising and pricing practices in early 2014. Investigators visited a sampling of Walgreens and Duane Reade … Continue Reading

Court Grants Class Cert. in Deceptive Pricing Action Against Clothing Retailer

We all love a good bargain, but sometimes a good deal seems too good to be true.  In 2011, Cynthia Spann went bargain-hunting at a California J.C. Penney, and walked out convinced that she had saved over 30%.  However, she later discovered the products she bought at a “bargain” price had never really been sold … Continue Reading

U.S. Senators Tell Retailers to Knock It Off with the Outlet Knock Offs (or At Least Disclose the Differences)

You feel pretty good heading to work wearing that designer outfit you picked up at a bargain price over the weekend at the local outlet center.  But what if that deal you got wasn’t a deal at all?  Questions have increasingly been raised about the potentially deceptive marketing practices related to the quality and source … Continue Reading

Beyond Compare: Online Retailer Assessed Multi-Million Civil Penalty in California for Allegedly Deceptive Price Comparisons

A recent California state court held that, Inc. (“Overstock”) must pay the price for its allegedly deceptive pricing practices.  Seven district attorneys throughout California brought a complaint against Overstock in 2010, alleging five separate violations of state law.  The focus of these claims was that Overstock allegedly made false and misleading statements in reference … Continue Reading

After Holiday Bargains: Will the State AG Ball Drop?

By some accounts discounting by retailers this holiday season has been even more widespread than usual.  As we have noted previously, however, retailers must be careful not to overpromise the true value of any advertised bargain.  If products are not offered often enough at a “regular” or normal price, then the sale price no longer represents … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit to Retailers: “Price Advertisements Matter” – Another Breach in the Prop 64 Dam?

Today only, read our blog for free! Well actually, it’s always free.  But have we just opened ourselves up to a class action lawsuit in California?  Perhaps. According to the Ninth Circuit, the term “Discount Sale” provides consumers with important information about a product’s worth and prestige.  Falsely labeling a product’s “original price” as its … Continue Reading

Return One Item Get One Free

We’re down to the final days of holiday shopping frenzy.  Your favorite store is running a special on Christmas sweaters, buy one get one free, so you purchase one each for your favorite twin nephews.  Unfortunately you find out later that they no longer think it’s cute to dress identically so you bring one of the … Continue Reading

1990 Wants Its Fred Meyer Guides Back

In 1990, the Hubble Telescope was launched, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Iraq invaded Kuwait precipitating the first Gulf war, and most importantly (at least for this blog post), the FTC last updated its “Guides for Advertising Allowances and other Merchandising Payments and Services.” The Guides, otherwise known as the “Fred Meyer Guides” after … Continue Reading

ASA Requires Virgin Media To Replay Free TiVo Offer

British Sky Broadcasting (“Sky”) together with members of the public challenged whether references in Virgin Media’s adverts for a “Free TiVo Box activation” for the TiVo service from Virgin were misleading and could be substantiated. The complainants suggested that the ads were misleading because they failed to make it clear that an installation charge of … Continue Reading

O Say Can You See…That New Jersey Has Finally Amended Its Gift Card Laws?

With the nation just having celebrated its 236th birthday, you probably still  have gifts on your mind. Great news—at least for now, you can pick up a gift card in New Jersey without giving up any personal information. As we noted in an entry earlier this Spring, a few prominent gift card sellers, including InComm, pulled … Continue Reading

Booking To The NAD: Competitors File Back-To-Back Lookalike Complaints In Pricing Claims Challenges

A common complaint about the NAD process is that there are no counter claims and the entire process is focused on the Advertiser being required to provide adequate substantiation to support its claims as opposed to a Lanham Act challenge where typically the burden of proving an ad is false or misleading falls on the … Continue Reading

Is The Price (Maintenance) Right?

Fellow Blog Follower, c’mon down you’re the next contestant on “Is Resale Price Maintenance Still Right?” Two recent state court decisions provide conflicting answers. Almost five years have passed since the Supreme Court’s decision in Leegin, which overturned decades-old precedent and held that minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements were not illegal per se under … Continue Reading