Category Archives: Retail

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Three Strikes and You’re Out!: The FTC’s Native Advertising Case Against Lord & Taylor

Baseball season is just around the corner, and the FTC’s native advertising case against retailer Lord & Taylor illustrates the baseball rule of “Three strikes and you’re out!”  In its first native advertising case since releasing its Enforcement Policy Statement Addressing Native Advertising and Deceptively Formatted Advertising, the FTC reminds advertisers that those guidelines will … Continue Reading

Debt Collection Tops 2015 List of Most Common Consumer Complaints

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has just released its Annual Summary of Consumer Complaints, and debt collection (29%), identity theft (16%), and imposter scams (11%) top the list of the most common categories of consumer complaints. The Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book is produced every year from complaints received by the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network, … Continue Reading

Live From New York, It’s …The NAD Annual Conference

Well, not quite live.  This week we’ll be providing updates from the NAD Annual Conference, which kicked off today in New York.  The keynote address was given by  FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, who reminded the audience that while the advent of the internet age and social media has radically changed how advertisers market their products and … 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

3D Printing Series: Before You Click “Print” On Your Pizza, Palette or Prosthetic: FDA and IP Considerations With 3D-Printed Foods, Cosmetics And Medical Devices

We agree – the Jetsons era has indeed arrived. Beyond the days of “smart” everything, now 3D printing has taken center stage in the tech world. While it is not so farfetched to imagine 3D-printed machine parts, prototype models, or even toys, it is might be harder to watch it printing foods, implantable medical devices, … Continue Reading

BBB Updates Advertising Code to Keep Pace with Technology

The Better Business Bureau (BBB), known for being the home of NAD, CARU and other advertising self-regulatory forums, is now also the proud owner of an updated advertising code.  The BBB announced earlier this month significant updates to its Code of Advertising for the first time since 1985 (when the number one single was “Careless … Continue Reading

Returned to Sender: New Jersey Repeals Zip Code Collection Requirement for Gift Card Sellers

The gift card saga in New Jersey looks like it has finally wrapped up with Governor Chris Christie tying a bow on the proceedings by signing NJ S-2235, eliminating data collection requirements for sellers of qualifying gift cards and gift certificates.  Those who have followed this story may recall that back in 2010 New Jersey … Continue Reading

When a Survey Isn’t Asking For Your Opinion: A Time-Sensitive Requirement for Those Doing Business in California

Companies doing business in California must now complete a comprehensive “survey” if selling particular products to consumers within the state.  However, this is not your typical consumer satisfaction survey, but rather a submission of detailed information for each product meeting the requirements discussed below.  The detailed submission must include include information on product formulas and unit … 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’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

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 Overstock.com, 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

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, DrJays.com and Eminent Inc., after the retailers allegedly sold real fur products that they advertised … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Staff Report on Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule

On April 30, the Federal Trade Commission released a staff report on proposed amendments to the Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule (MTOR) and called for interested parties to comment on the changes proposed in the report. MTOR, which was issued in 1975, requires marketers who solicit customers via mail or telephone to have a … Continue Reading
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