December 2011

Using social media in your marketing? Staff closing letter is worth a read

When the FTC brings a law enforcement action, we hope companies take notice. But sometimes there’s a nugget or two that businesses can glean from a decision by the FTC staff to close an investigation. A recent letter from the staff of the Bureau of Consumer Protection to Hyundai Motor America ticks a lot of timely boxes — bloggers, the Super Bowl, and the FTC’s Endorsement Guides — and is worth a read if your company has added social media to your marketing arsenal.

Should ICANN?

If your company has an online presence, you’re probably familiar with ICANN — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — the group that oversees Internet domain names. ICANN has announced a plan to dramatically increase the number of generic top-level domain names.

FTC v. Kevin Trudeau: The Seventh Circuit Rules

As anyone who’s watched TV in the past decade knows, Kevin Trudeau is — to use the term coined by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit — an “infomercialist.” The Seventh Circuit’s recent opinion in FTC v. Trudeau offers interesting insights into order enforcement and upholds a multimillion dollar judgment for consumers.

Present perfect

This time of year retailers look forward to the sweet harmony of silver bells, laughing voices, and the cha-ching of registers. Here are some steps you can take to ensure a happier holiday for your business — and your customers.

Cite for sore eyes

Visiting the BCP Business Center for the latest dos ‘n’ don’ts about making those peepers of yours positively pop? We didn’t think so. But there’s a makeover lesson nonetheless in three FTC law enforcement settlements with online retailers who sold “circle contacts” without a prescription, in violation of the Contact Lens Rule.

Lessons from the Facebook settlement (even if you’re not Facebook)

The terms of the FTC’s proposed settlement apply only to Facebook. But to paraphrase noted legal scholar Bob Dylan, companies that want to stay off the law enforcement radar don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. What practical pointers can your business take from the Facebook case and other recent FTC actions dealing with consumer privacy?

Facebook’s future: What the FTC order means for consumer privacy

The FTC’s complaint against Facebook outlines eight separate areas where the FTC says Facebook’s privacy practices were deceptive or unfair. What provisions does the proposed order put in place to protect people in the future?

One key provision is a broad ban on deception. Facebook can’t misrepresent the privacy or security protections that apply to any “covered information.” The order defines that as information “from or about” an individual consumer like: