Category: Deceptive Advertising

August 14, 2014

$3.5 Million Cactus Juice Settlement Should be a Warning to Advertisers

  In this health-conscious age, consumers are always on the lookout for new products which will improve wellness and quality of life.  Marketers attuned to this trend may be tempted to increase sales by extolling the virtues of their products, even if health claims are unsubstantiated by scientific testing.  A recent FTC case, however, demonstrates… Read More

March 27, 2014

Herbalife Hit with Civil Investigative Demand – Is the FTC Finally Turning up the Heat on Multi-Level Marketers?

For many, the announcement two weeks ago that the Federal Trade Commission has commenced a formal investigation into Herbalife was not terribly interesting.  After all, nutritional supplement company Herbalife has been the focus of intermittent media attention since December 2012 when Wall Street hedge fund manager Bill Ackman claimed that it was  an illegal pyramid… Read More

January 31, 2014

Overstock Case Could Alter the Landscape of Price Comparison Advertising

A California court ruled earlier this month that Overstock must pay a roughly $6.8 million penalty to settle claims that the retailer “routinely and systematically” made false and misleading claims about the prices of its products on its website. If upheld, this ruling could have significant effects on how companies use price comparisons in advertisements… Read More

January 9, 2014

Industry, Members of Congress Take Action on FTC Process

As the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) continues to flex its consumer protection muscles by bringing numerous administrative lawsuits, industry and members of Congress are questioning whether there is a level playing field that allows companies to properly defend themselves against FTC charges.  Or, as some say, does the FTC have the “home court advantage” in… Read More

January 8, 2014

New Year Brings New Plans by the FTC to Take Down Deceptive Weight Loss Advertisers

New year, new resolutions.  Yesterday, the FTC announced a resolution of its own: to undertake a nationwide enforcement effort to protect consumers against deceptive weight loss claims.  Dubbed “Operation Failed Resolution,” the FTC’s latest enforcement effort seeks to protect consumers who face a barrage of “opportunistic marketers” promising quick ways to shed pounds. According to… Read More

December 5, 2013

Report From FTC Briefing – Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content?

The FTC held a workshop on Wednesday to examine the blurring lines of advertisements and content in digital media today. Executives from a myriad of professions gathered to discuss how sponsored content in digital publications takes form and affects the consumer. Native advertising, or sponsored content, is the practice of masking advertising to look like… Read More

November 8, 2013

After Being Unfairly Characterized by Regulators, For-Profit Institutions Slowly Rebranding Image

For-profit education needs rebranding. With the recent appointment of Michael Dakduk as key advisor to the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the sector has made a step in the right direction. The onslaught of negative news against for-profit educators has severely impacted industry growth. Recent reports on drops in enrollment (and thus earnings)… Read More

October 25, 2013

LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer Case over Misleading Advertising Heads to Trial – When is “Free” Really “Free”?

Last week, a federal judge in California declined to grant a summary judgment motion to LegalZoom.com, Inc., in its lawsuit accusing rival Rocket Lawyer, Inc. over claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false and misleading advertising that focus on the use of the word “free” in advertisements by Rocket Lawyer. LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer… Read More

October 11, 2013

FTC Takes Tough Action Against ‘Scareware’ Tactics

A great way to make money is to develop a product or service that responds to a consumer want or demand, and then to stay ahead of prospective competitors by offering better pricing or quality. A not-so-great way to make money is to convince consumers to buy a product or service that they don’t really… Read More

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