This month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a revised version of “Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking,” a series of questions and answers pertaining to the conduct of “influencers,” that is, anyone who endorses a product or service. The basic premise of the Endorsement Guides is that, if there exists a material connection between the influencer who is endorsing the product and the company that is marketing the product (e.g.,… More
Tag Archives: False Advertising
Advertising can take many forms, including statements about a company’s products on websites and social media platforms. A wrong step can result in serious consequences, including legal challenges from competitors, consumers, the Federal Trade Commission, and other regulatory agencies.
Watch this webinar to learn how you can protect your company against legal challenges based on its advertising practices. You will also learn what options are available if your competitors are making false or misleading statements in their advertisements.… More
Earth Day is coming up on April 22, which means that a lot of consumers are going to be reminded to think green, and to buy green. What if your company is looking to access this vast market of environmentally-minded shoppers, but your product or service isn’t really that environmentally conscious? Can you just go ahead and label yourself “Green” anyway? Who’s gonna notice?
Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order Against Invention Patenting and Promotion Company for Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices
There are many businesses focused on helping inventors develop and monetize their ideas. There are companies that, for instance, help people seek patents on their inventions, license their inventions, turn their ideas into tangible products, and promote those products. World Patent Marketing in Florida bills itself as one of those companies. But according to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission this month,… More
If you’re interested in garbage, the crass objectification of male celebrities, or both – or if you consider the two roughly equivalent – have I got a false advertising case for you! Despite their “Don’t Get Mad; Get Glad” tagline, the makers of Glad trash bags got pretty mad at a recent advertising campaign launched by their competitor, Hefty. So mad, in fact, that they filed a complaint with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau.… More
I May Not Be Able To Pronounce Acai But I Know It Doesn’t Burn Fat Cells: 5 Recent Over-the-Top Weight Loss Advertising Claims And How The Federal Trade Commission Responded
Some say “ah-sigh;” I say “ah-kai;” but apparently the proper pronunciation of “acai” — the so-called super berry — is actually “ah-sigh-ee.” Who knew? Acai berries are native to the Amazon rainforest and have been hailed by marketers as offering a slew of health benefits, including massive weight loss. Unfortunately, according to various consumer advocacy groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest,… More
Trademark and Copyright Law Blog Co-Editor David Kluft to Speak on Intellectual Property and Social Media Law
David Kluft, co-editor of the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog and Intellectual Property partner at Foley Hoag LLP, will be speaking at the 19th Annual New England Intellectual Property Law Conference. The conference, sponsored by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, will take place beginning at 12:30pm on June 23, 2016 at the MCLE Conference Center, Ten Winter Place in Boston. … More
Corporate Defendants Find a Safe Harbor from Unfair Competition Claims in California Transparency Litigation
A District Court judge in California has dismissed a complaint against Nestlé USA Inc. and Nestlé Purina Petcare Co. (together “Nestlé”) which argued that the company was obligated to inform consumers that seafood in its catfood products may have been sourced from forced labor. Plaintiffs alleged violations of the California Unfair Competition Law, the Legal Remedies Act, and the California False Advertising Law.
A recent opinion from the Western District of Virginia sets forth a useful framework for analyzing a variety of Lanham Act claims based on false commercial speech uttered in social media.
A recent decision resolving an advertising dispute between Campbell Soup Company and Tropicana Products, Inc. reinforced what we know to be empirically true: simply claiming to be the “best” really doesn’t mean much at all. See Tropicana Products, Inc., NAD Case Report No. 5610 (July 3, 2013). It’s usually just hyperbole, a tool in the advertiser’s toolbox too vague to put a competitor at a disadvantage,… More
The Supreme Court has recently agreed to hear argument in Lexmark v. Static Control that will strike at the very heart of false advertising jurisprudence by asking who is allowed to bring false advertising claims. The Lanham Act states that such claims may be brought “by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by” an alleged misrepresentation “in commercial advertising or promotion.” Courts have varied in interpreting that language to determine exactly who is an appropriate plaintiff.… More
Dot Com Disclosures 2.0: FTC Updates Online Disclosure Guidelines to Address Changes in Digital Advertising
Nearly thirteen years after issuing guidelines governing online advertising, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently updated its so-called Dot Com Disclosures to take account of the many changes to the online world that have occurred over those intervening years. Whereas most digital advertising thirteen years ago was popping up or scrolling across our computer screens, today’s digital advertising is far more integrated into our online culture—whether as email offers to invitation-only flash sales (“50% off;… More