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May 2016

May 9, 2016

In the words of movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn, “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.” If your company provides information about consumers to credit bureaus, the law requires that you have written policies in place regarding the accuracy and integrity of that data. But are your...

May 4, 2016

The privacy framework for transatlantic exchanges of personal data between the EU and the United States has been in the headlines lately. But are you and your clients staying on top of your obligations on the Pacific side? If your company certifies its compliance with the Asia-Pacific Economic...

May 3, 2016

In Amazon’s Appstore, many apps geared toward kids prompted them to use fictitious currency, like a “boatload of doughnuts” or a “can of stars,” as part of game play. But a federal district court recently agreed with the FTC that Amazon’s practice of charging cold, hard cash for those imaginary...

May 2, 2016

Marketers have been watching the FTC’s challenge to POM Wonderful’s ad claims with interest. Last year, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the company deceptively advertised...

May 2, 2016

Animation fans remember the ballet-dancing pink hippos in Fantasia. In Egyptian mythology, the god of disorder was depicted as a red hippo. And many consumers – especially those already in financial distress – were drawn in by national TV and radio ads for BlueHippo, a company that...

April 2016

Apr 28, 2016

Everyone has a job hunting horror story. Ours is the rejection letter we got on a Friday for a job interview scheduled for the following Monday. But a job interview that’s really just a sales pitch, often conducted by software designed to mimic a real person?...

Apr 25, 2016

Bears and Bulls. Brats and beer. That toddlin’ town. Lots of three-word phrases evoke Chicago. And on June 15, 2016, add Start with Security to the list. That’s when the FTC’s Start...

Apr 22, 2016

“Is it getting hot in here?” For companies that engage in illegal debt collection practices, the answer is a resounding yes. One reason is the unprecedented cooperative effort by federal and state law enforcers to turn up the heat on violators. There’s more to come, of course, but efforts like...

Apr 21, 2016

Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down for some Q&A with members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), one of the leading self-regulatory organizations for the online, interest-based advertising industry. One of the questions they posed was what additional actions industry...

Apr 20, 2016

Please don’t tell the other entries in the Code of Federal Regulations – we wouldn’t want to stir up jealousies – but Business Blog readers have probably detected our fondness for 16 C.F.R. § 304.

Bonus points for those who know that 16 C.F.R. § 304 is the cite for the...

Apr 18, 2016

We’ve all seen seething consumers – or been seething consumers – who learned that a prominently advertised offer didn’t reflect what they would actually have to pay. Playing fast and loose with price is a sure-fire way to put shoppers’ wallets in lock-down mode. That’s why savvy...

Apr 14, 2016

“Slash your risk of cancer” – by using a tanning bed? That claim caught our attention, too. A settlement with Dr. Joseph Mercola and two Illinois-based...

Apr 12, 2016

If companies market their products as “all natural” or “100% natural,” consumers have a right to take them at their word. That’s the message of four proposed FTC...

Apr 7, 2016

Today, we’re turning the table on some healthcare professionals. Don’t worry. We’re not asking an anesthesiologist to count back from ten, or even telling an ENT to say “ah.” We’re offering an eye exam for eye doctors:

...

Apr 6, 2016

What do you call an agency that in one year can report consumer protection accomplishments as varied as:

  • 118 orders for redress, disgorgement, or permanent injunction,
  • 117 new law enforcement actions,
  • 24 workshops, conferences, and reports scanning the horizon for
  • ...
Apr 5, 2016

If you’re in the process of developing a health-related mobile app, what tools are essential to your success? The answer, according to some entrepreneurs, is innovative code, a great marketing plan, and the number of a take-out that delivers until 2AM. But have you given much thought to legal...

Apr 4, 2016

The FTC hosted its first-ever PrivacyCon event on January 14, 2016, to showcase original research in the area of privacy and security research. With over 300 in-person attendees, 1500 virtual attendees watching via webcast, and many more following PrivacyCon on Twitter, the event was a huge...

March 2016

Mar 31, 2016

Ransomware, Drones, and Smart TV. That’s a trio you don’t often see together. The FTC will consider the consumer protection implications of those issues at three half-day conferences later this year. We call it the...

Mar 30, 2016

A complaint filed by the FTC and the Illinois Attorney General against an operation that used names like Stark Law, Stark Recovery, and Capital Harris Miller...

Mar 29, 2016

Volkswagen Group of America spent multi-millions positioning its “clean diesel” technology as an environmentally conscious choice for car buyers – and sales of more than 550,000 so-called clean diesel vehicles suggest it was a persuasive pitch....

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