FTC Staff Files Comments on New Jerseys Proposed Advertising Guideline 4; Commission Finalizes Teva/Ivax Consent Order

For Your Information

Commission authorization of the filing of staff comment:The Commission has authorized the staffs of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Bureau of Economics, and Office of Policy Planning to file a letter with the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising regarding Proposed Advertising Guideline 4, which would place certain restrictions on the use by lawyers or law firms of endorsements or testimonials from clients. The Proposed Guideline would prohibit truthful, non-misleading claims about the nature of legal services, the quality of legal services, and comparisons between providers of legal services, if such claims are made through a client endorsement or testimonial.

According to the comment, because such claims are of value to consumers and competition, the FTC staff recommends that they be prohibited only if the endorsement or testimonial itself deceives consumers. As explained in the FTC’s Endorsement Guides, a consumer testimonial is likely to be deceptive if the experience described is not the consumer’s actual experience or is not representative of what consumers generally experience. The Proposed Guideline as drafted, therefore, is likely to harm consumers of legal services in New Jersey by unnecessarily restricting the dissemination of truthful and non-misleading information, according to the staff.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the comment was 4-0, with Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras not participating. A copy of the comments can be found as a link to this press release and on the FTC’s Web site. (FTC File No. V060009; the staff contact is Gregory Luib, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-3249.)

Commission approval of final consent order: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a final order related to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s recent acquisition of Ivax Corporation. The Commission vote approving issuance of the final consent order was 5-0. A copy of the order can be found as a link to this press release and on the FTC’s Web site. (FTC File No. 051-0214; the staff contact is Kari Wallace, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-3085; see press release dated January 23, 2006.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
FTC Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180