Category Archives: Advertising Law

Advertising law news articles, reiews, notes and blog examples.

Insights into the FTC and the Utah Department of Commerce: Consumer Fraud and Business Symposium

On September 20, 2018, the FTC and Utah Department of Commerce held a symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah, discussing, among other things, how the two work together to combat consumer fraud in various areas. The panels provided a unique insight into how law enforcement agencies coordinate and their respective priorities. Below are two key takeaways from the various panels. State and Federal Agencies Are Working Together Although it may seem like no one is getting along these days, there continues to be a significant degree of coordination and cooperation between the federal government and state counterparts to achieve the common goal of battling consumer fraud. Agencies are forming partnerships to better understand vulnerable areas for consumers and better situate themselves to obtain the most consumer redress. Some groups, such as the Investment Fraud Working Group, which comprises both federal and state agencies, meet formally every quarter to discuss strategic plans. For….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Blast from the past: nominative fair use avant la lettre

Polyglycoat Corp. v. Environmental Chemicals, Inc., 509 F.Supp. 36 (S.D.N.Y. 1980)Found this in an unrelated search and it made me think about the utility (if any) of the nominative fair use category. Plaintiff sued defendant for advertising of defendant’s automotive silicone paint finish remover called POLYCRACKER. Plaintiff’s Polyglycoat, a protective paint finish sealant for automobiles, was heavily referenced on Polycracker’s label and its launch ad in Auto Body Repair News, a trade journal:The words “Polyglycoat TM Remover” appear conspiciously on the POLYCRACKER label, one page of the ad consists solely of the bold-lettered statement “WIPE AWAY POLYGLYCOAT TM”, and the body of the ad contains such statements as “There’s nothing more troublesome for auto body shops than silicone finishes like Polyglycoat” and “Take off Polyglycoat with the wipe of a cloth.” In terms of the Polaroid factors, the court….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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“Money, It’s a Gas” – Bureau Director Smith Makes NAD Debut

To kick off this year’s National Advertising Division Annual Conference, Andrew Smith—the FTC’s new Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau—discussed his views on the Commission’s priorities with respect to remedies, privacy and data security, and national advertising cases. Given the backgrounds of the new Commissioners, Director Smith acknowledged that some of them may be re-thinking—or just thinking—deeply about consumer protection remedies. According to the Director, the Commission has revived the Remedies Task Force to answer the following question: what is the right way to redress a particular harm the Commission highlights? Although this appears to be a particularly tough question in non-fraud cases, when it comes to remedies, the Commissioners have their minds on the money and the money on their minds. The FTC considers monetary remedies as providing not only some measure of redress for consumers, but also respect for the….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Sixth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Mandatory Arbitration of FLSA Claim

In keeping with the Supreme Court’s holding in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1612 (2018), the Sixth Circuit has rejected a challenge to individual arbitration agreements in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) case.  In Gaffers v. Kelly Services., Inc., handed down on August 15, 2018, the Sixth Circuit held that individual arbitration agreements were not made unenforceable by the FLSA, thus disqualifying a number of potential plaintiffs.  No. 16-2210, slip op. at 2 (6th Cir. Aug. 15, 2018).  This decision also marks a further extension of the Epic decision, which held the National Labor Relations Act does not prevent the enforcement of individual arbitration agreements.  138 S. Ct. at 1619. Kelly Services, Inc. is an outsourcing and consulting company that includes among its services, “‘virtual'” call center support.  Gaffers, No. 16-2210, slip op. at 2.  The virtual call center allowed employees, like Johnathan….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Beware “Natural” Advertising

What does “natural” mean in the context of product advertising?  Consumers see phrases like “natural,” “all natural,” and “100% natural” over and over again in modern marketing.  The trouble is that “natural” may not mean what consumers expect it to mean, thereby opening companies up to claims of false or misleading advertising. Two recent lawsuits against Pret A Manger, the sandwich company, provide a cogent illustration.  One complaint was filed by two consumers as a class action.  The other was filed by three non-profit organizations (including the Organic Consumers Association) on behalf of their members and the general public.  Both complaints assert that Pret A Manger has deceptively labeled, marketed, and sold certain bread and other baked goods as “Natural Food” when the products contain trace amounts of a chemical biocide.  According to….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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