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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

In a cybermarket full of every product and service imaginable, advertisers go to great lengths to make their products stand out by grabbing consumers’ attention and interest. In recent years blogs have become a popular forum for sharing tips and information, and advertisers have used blogs to promote their products. While advertisers are perfectly entitled to tout their products’ positive attributes, they must do so honestly and transparently. An advertiser that poses as an ordinary consumer reviewer risks paying the price through FTC enforcement. The FTC brought its first case focusing solely on “fake” product reviews against Reverb Communications, a public relations firm that was hired to promote a video game developer’s iPhone apps on iTunes. The FTC alleged that Reverb engaged in deceptive advertising by having employees pose as ordinary, independent consumers in posting reviews of the apps. The reviews did not disclose the relationship between the PR company and its client, nor did they disclose that Reverb received a portion of the sales for every game it sold iTunes.... Read more

Customers are flocking to electronic cigarettes — battery-operated nicotine delivery devices that are meant to replicate the flavor and sensation of smoking a tobacco cigarette. While merchants and advertisers are understandably eager to participate in this growing industry, we predict that the FTC will be watching ads carefully in anticipation of enforcing its advertising rules…. Read More

The affiliate sales industry is thriving and is attracting a committed group of young entrepreneurs, according to Jeff Ifrah, founding partner of Ifrah Law. Jeff gave a presentation on January 11, 2011, in Las Vegas at the Affiliate Summit West conference. The conference, which grows larger every year, attracted more than 4,600 people this year,… Read More

In the waning days of 2010, the lame-duck Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a law that is almost certainly going to have major effects on the affiliate marketing industry. The FTC is poised to begin enforcing the “Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act,” which is intended to protect consumers from deceptive online sales tactics –… Read More

As the economic crisis continues for many homeowners, the Federal Trade Commission has taken actions to protect homeowners from mortgage relief scams. Most of the new requirements took effect on December 29, 2010, and all of the new requirements can be applied to affiliate marketers, who immediately need to be aware of the rule. The… Read More

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December 1, 2010

Not the Right Solution to Online Privacy Concerns

By: Ifrah Law

It has been widely reported that the Obama administration will soon announce a proposal designed to strengthen consumer privacy on the Internet. The plan, calling for new laws and a new “watchdog” position to oversee the effort, is expected to be part of an upcoming Commerce Department report. The concern about online privacy is well… Read More

The Federal Trade Commission is taking steps to show that it is quite serious about enforcing the so-called blogger disclosure rules that it issued last year. The rules say, essentially, that when someone endorses or reviews a product or service, the person must disclose any relationship with the company that produces the product. So if… Read More

Is there a way to hold a government agency like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accountable for the cost to businesses of what a company says are abrupt and systemic changes in regulatory standards? POM Wonderful LLC, a Los Angeles-based juice company, is trying to do just that by suing the FTC in District Court…. Read More

Late last month, we noted a highly unusual decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay in the District of Columbia to order the Federal Trade Commission to respond to interrogatories about a subpoena it had issued to Paul Bisaro, the CEO of Watson Pharmaceuticals, in a generic-drug investigation. Normally, that sort of inquiry into the… Read More

When a U.S. magistrate judge in the District of Columbia issued his ruling in Federal Trade Commission v. Bisaro on July 13, 2010, permitting limited discovery of certain FTC officials regarding an agency subpoena, it had been more than three decades since the D.C. Circuit had found that “extraordinary circumstances” were present that warranted discovery… Read More

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