Category: Deceptive Advertising

May 13, 2012

In Nutella Advertising Case, Whom Is the System Protecting?

The world is full of surprises, like the fact that Nutella chocolate spread is loaded with saturated fat and sugar and is not itself healthy. Ferrero USA, Inc., the company that makes Nutella, learned the hard way that many American parents could not survive (nor perhaps could their children) without the aid and intervention of… Read More

October 5, 2011

Is It a Real Breast Cancer Cause – Or ‘Pinkwashing’?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And pink is everywhere – all over the shelves of retail stores like Wal-Mart and adorning the backs of NFL linemen. We’ve been trained to know that the color pink represents a supporter of breast cancer awareness or research. So sporting a pink ribbon, jersey, or band should demonstrate… Read More

September 28, 2011

FTC Is Asked to Crack Down on ‘Supercookies’ as Data Privacy Violation

The bastard stepchild of online behavioral advertising – the supercookie – is in the hot seat. Two members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the FTC on September 27 calling on the commission to look into the usage and impact of supercookies on consumers. Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.),… Read More

July 27, 2011

For-Profit Colleges Challenge Education Department’s Rules

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities is taking on the Department of Education. The organization, which represents some 1500 for-profit education institutions, filed its second lawsuit this year to contest the agency’s new regulations aimed at career colleges. The ASPCU won one and lost two in the first suit, and is currently appealing… Read More

July 18, 2011

Those ‘Voluntary’ Rules for Food Companies are Anything But Voluntary

There’s been a lot of talk of late about the cost to industry of government regulation. The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, asserted at a job summit on Monday that recent government initiatives are “unjustified and uncalled for in a free society and a free economy” and are “killing American jobs.”… Read More

July 13, 2011

Feds Should Think Twice About Regulating For-Profit Colleges

Business is booming at America’s for-profit colleges. With steady high unemployment rates, many of the job-hungry have opted to pursue higher or specialized degrees in an effort to make themselves more marketable. Pricy for-profit institutions, like the 400,000 strong University of Phoenix, are flourishing with this increased demand as students flock to their courses to… Read More

June 23, 2011

FTC Goes After a Consumer-Endorser for the First Time

When deciding whether to buy a product or service, how often do you check out product reviews or testimonials and how often does that research impact your purchasing decision? The FTC seems to consider consumer reviews and testimonials as pretty persuasive – most notably in the context of online write-ups. In 2009, the Commission revised… Read More

June 14, 2011

FTC Tries to Stay One Step Ahead of Internet Fraud

The FTC’s recent settlement with a California-based Internet marketer may provide a good example of why the Commission is revising its online advertising guidelines. The FTC announced last Thursday that it has reached a settlement with Jaivin Karnani, his company, Balls of Kryptonite, and several associated companies.  The settlement resolves charges the FTC brought against… Read More

June 10, 2011

FTC Says These ‘Free’ Offers Were Anything But Free

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against a Canadian entrepreneur and a group of web-based businesses that promised “free” offers that were far from free. In its lawsuit, the FTC charges the online marketers with scamming consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand out of more… Read More

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