Category Archives: Product Labeling

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Is Organic the New Natural?: The Impact of a Court Holding that an “Organic” Claim Is Not Preempted By Federal Law

By now, class action suits over foods using the term “natural” are old news following the age old American story:  class action plaintiff meets product, product assures plaintiff it is all-natural, plaintiff finds something in product that it doesn’t think is natural, lawsuit ensues.   Over the course of the last few years, cases challenging “natural” … Continue Reading

Miller/Coors Sings the Blues over Craft Beer Lawsuit

There has been a trend of late toward “hand-crafted” goods.  Advertisers, as they always do, have responded to this trend through creative marketing and, as they always do, class action lawyers have not been far behind.  The alcohol industry has been a prime target; for example, Tito’s Handmade Vodka was sued recently by a plaintiff … Continue Reading

Marketers and Sellers of Animal Waste Bags May Be in the Doghouse for Biodegradable and Compostable Claims

Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sent warning letters to 20 manufacturers and marketers of dog waste bags because claims that the bags are “biodegradable,” “compostable,” and other green claims may be deceptive. As we blogged about in last October, the FTC issued warning letters to companies about their claims that their plastic … Continue Reading

Is It Safe To Use Seals to Promote Your Product? NAD Says Foo to FuHu

Everyone loves an award.  It is one thing when a marketer promotes its own product but to be able to back promises with a seal, a certificate, or other third-party recognition of greatness gives extra confidence to consumers that this is a product they can really trust.  There has been much talk recently about dos … Continue Reading

FTC Warns Companies That “Oxodegradable” Claims May Break Down

“Paper or plastic?”  The age-old question, complicated by the creation of biodegradable plastic, has been broken down more.  Many people’s misgivings about using plastic bags were alleviated with the advent of plastic bags that can carry more weight with less guilt.  However, after this week, there is no question that the FTC is serious about … Continue Reading

Live (almost) from New York, It’s the NAD Annual Conference

We are close to live blogging from the annual NAD Advertising Law Conference and for those who could not join us, we wanted to share highlights from its opening — keynote speaker FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.  The FTC typically uses this conference to lay out its enforcement priorities relevant to national advertisers and gives us … Continue Reading

FTC’s Letters to Retailers Regarding Concussion-Related Products Has Us Scratching Our Heads

It is almost football season and the FTC tries to stay seasonal; around this time in 2012, it announced a settlement with football mouthguard manufacturer Brain-Pad regarding unsubstantiated concussion prevention claims.  Subsequently, the FTC has sent warning letters to other manufacturers of sporting equipment regarding concussion prevention claims.  This year, however, the FTC has called … Continue Reading

A Whole New Lanham Act? A Look at Lexmark and POM Wonderful in Action

As we previously reported here on March 25, 2014 the United States Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Lexmark Int’l Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc.  The decision resolved a three-way Circuit split, rejected the test in the Seventh, Ninth and Tenth Circuits that the plaintiff and defendant had to be direct competitors, and … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Opens Door to Food and Beverage Label Challenges Under Lanham Act

The United States Supreme Court paved the way today for competitors to challenge FDA-regulated food and beverage labels under the Lanham Act.  The Court’s opinion in POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Co. is the latest chapter in a long-running feud between POM Wonderful and Coca-Cola, which arose in 2008 when POM accused Coke of … Continue Reading

NAD Issues Split Decision in Greek Wrestling Match over Taste Test, Social Media and Providing Free Goods to Bloggers Issues

James Bond preferred his martinis “shaken, not stirred” but what about Greek yogurt with fruit at the bottom?  Well, according to the NAD, stirred or not stirred are both equally acceptable (no word on “shaken”).  That was only one of several questions NAD resolved in a challenge by Chobani to a Yoplait Greek Yogurt taste … Continue Reading

California Court Continues Ascertainability Trend, Denies Class Certification in Chipotle “Naturally Raised” Litigation

Purveyors of mass-retail food products may have a new reason to rejoice this holiday season. On December 2, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, in Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., quietly issued a three-page In Chambers Order denying class certification in a false advertising action challenging Chipotle’s claim that its … Continue Reading

Faux Fur Pas

Back in the day people worried that their real fur might be fake. But it seems that now you also have to worry that your fake fur is actually real. The FTC recently approved final settlement orders with Neiman Marcus, and Eminent Inc., after the retailers allegedly sold real fur products that they advertised … Continue Reading

An Artisanal Blog on Artisanal Labeling

We don’t have to remind anyone who markets a food product that the number of consumer class actions has grown tremendously.  And nowhere is that perhaps more evident than with the use of the term “natural.” Does the use of the adjective “artisanal” with respect to food threaten to become the next “natural?”  Perhaps.  But … Continue Reading

Rich in Fiber, FTC Proposes Changes to Textile Labeling Rules

In a move that could well alter the fabric of the textile industry, the FTC is proposing changes to its Textile Labeling Rules.  The rules implement the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, which taken together, require marketers to attach a label to each covered product disclosing certain fiber and manufacturer information. In November 2011, the … Continue Reading