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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a settlement with Jason Pharmaceuticals regarding its use of consumer testimonials and health benefits claims. Any company that relies on testimonials in its advertising, even a company that like Jason Pharmaceuticals, sells products that often have beneficial health results, must become aware of this settlement. Jason Pharmaceuticals sells Medifast brand low-calorie meal substitutes. In 1992, the FTC settled a case with Jason for allegedly deceptive weight-loss claims. The settlement order barred Jason from making unsupported claims to consumers about losing weight or keeping weight off. According to the FTC, since at least November 2009, Jason ran ads that featured weight loss claims about low-calorie meal substitutes. The ads run by Jason Pharmaceuticals prominently featured the use of consumer testimonials. One advertisement stated that: “When you lose up to 2 to 5 lbs a week with Medifast, you’ll feel terrific. And so will your doctor. TRUST MEDIFAST. THE PROGRAM THE DOCTORS RECOMMEND. Jeff & Maureen lost a combined 169 lbs.!” According to the FTC, the only disclaimer displayed in most Medifast... Read more

As part of the Federal Trade Commission’s ongoing efforts to shut down scams that target financially vulnerable consumers, a U.S. district judge has issued a $478 million judgment at the request of the FTC against the marketers of three get-rich-quick systems that the agency says are used for deceiving consumers. The order is the largest… Read More

All mobile app developers need to know that the federal government is stepping up its regulation of data privacy and truth-in-advertising for mobile apps. The Federal Trade Commission is now actively monitoring mobile applications’ compliance with data privacy and truth-in-advertising regulations, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is considering a new mobile device… Read More

The FTC recently sued satellite television service operator DISH Network in federal district court in Illinois for violations of the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Act. The agency claims DISH violated “company-specific do-not-call rules” – in other words, the FTC claims that DISH called consumers who had previously asked DISH not to call them… Read More

In the past couple of years, a wide variety of computer viruses and other malware have allegedly been used by one nation against another. This secretive form of warfare even briefly plastered names like Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame, and Gauss across the front pages. In partial response to the threat posed to U.S. interests by hostile… Read More

On August 9, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Google has agreed to pay a $22.5 million penalty to settle the FTC’s charges that it violated a consent order regarding consumer privacy. This is the largest civil penalty that the FTC has ever exacted for a violation of one of the agency’s orders, and… Read More

On August 1, 2012, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law (HB 3782) that prohibits employers from requesting or requiring employees or prospective employees to provide their Facebook or other social networking website passwords. With the new law, effective on January 1, 2013, Illinois becomes the second state (Maryland was the first) to… Read More

On August 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission announced that is issuing a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to modify certain of its rules under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Industry has been waiting on FTC action regarding COPPA, as the agency previously undertook a COPPA rulemaking in September 2011 and proposed modifying… Read More

After nearly a decade of persuading hundreds of thousands of parents that their babies were geniuses, the popular company, Your Baby Can Read, is shutting its doors. Its demise is the result of an FTC investigation prompted by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood advocacy group, which challenged claims by the company that newborns have… Read More