Business Blog


Fair? Enough!

Fair Guide.  Is it a list of consumer protection laws?  With summer coming, maybe ratings of the best funnel cakes and Ferris wheels?  Forgive the flight of fancy, but we see it as a great title for a compendium of blog posts about business compliance.  But that’s not what it is — not by a longshot.

Faux claims for faux fur

In some ways, think of it as “faux faux fur.”  No, that’s not a typo.  It’s what results when national retailers advertise items of apparel as fake fur, when in fact, they contain, well, fur.  Those are just some of the allegations in recent FTC complaints against The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.,, Inc., and Eminent, Inc. (which shoppers may know as Revolve Clothing).

FTC Reboots .com Disclosures: Four Key Points and One Possible Way to Bypass the Issue Altogether

We asked how the FTC’s 2000 staff guidance document Dot Com Disclosures was working for you, and you said it was due for some updating.  After hosting a workshop and receiving stacks of written feedback, the FTC has issued a revised version, renaming it .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising.  You’ll want to read it in depth to see how it will affect your company, bu

Building your VOCabulary

The FTC just accepted final settlements with two of the largest paint manufacturers in the country — Sherwin-Williams and PPG Architectural Finishes.  The complaints charged that the companies made deceptive “zero VOC” claims for their Dutch Boy Refresh and Pure Performance brands.  But along with the settlements, the FTC issued an Enforcement Policy Statement that's a must-read if you're thinking about making similar claims and want to comply wit

It's National Consumer Protection Week

This is National Consumer Protection Week, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years.  Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.

Not an honor to be nominated

‘Tis the season for the entertainment industry to hand out statuettes for notable achievement.  It’s also the time of year when the FTC singles out industries "nominated" by consumers for actions of a less admirable nature.  According to the just-released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, the FTC received more than 2 million complaints from consumers in 2012 — the most ever.  What industries show up on the one Top 10 list that companies want to avoid?

Batten down the patches: Six points to take from the FTC settlement with HTC

By now, you’ve read about the FTC’s settlement with HTC — the agency’s first law enforcement action against a mobile device manufacturer.  According to the complaint, when HTC customized the operating systems used on many of its products, it introduced security vulnerabilities that put users’ sensitive information at risk.  In addition to requiring implementation of a comprehensive security program, the

Device Squad: The story behind the FTC's first case against a mobile device maker

HTC America is a leading manufacturer of smartphones and tablets using the Android, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone operating systems.  The company’s motto is “quietly brilliant.”  But based on an FTC lawsuit challenging the company's security practices, consumers might be surprised to find out their devices have also been “quietly vulnerable.”  To settle the case — the FTC’s first against a device manufacturer — HTC has agreed to a far-reaching settlement that imposes a first-of-its-kind remedy:  patching vulnerabilities on millions

Shell game?

“Payment processing” used to involve standing in the checkout line and handing the cashier your pennies.  (Remember checkout lines?  Remember cashiers?  Remember pennies?)  In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the FTC alleges that Ideal Financial Solutions and more than a dozen individual and corporate defendants used an “intricate web of concealment” to game the payment processing system in a way that resulted in more than $25 million in unauthorized credit card charges and bank account debits.

Gray matters

When even the #1 movie at the box office is called “Identity Thief,” it’s a topic at the top of everyone’s list.  If you’re in the financial or healthcare sector — or just want to stay up on an emerging issue — find out more about an FTC initiative focused on how identity theft affects a particular segment of your community.

Here Comes Money Boo Boo

No, not the cherubic child star on reality TV.  We’re talking about the serious repercussions of American Tax Relief's misleading claims about substantially reducing what consumers owed in taxes — and major mistakes some businesses make when it comes to the financial consequences of deception.  A look at the settlement offers insights into the breadth of remedies available for violations of the FTC Act and related rules.

5 top-level takeaways from the FTC staff report on mobile privacy disclosures

To Rat Pack types, "Just in Time" was a swingin' tune Dean Martin sang in the old musical "Bells Are Ringing."  It's still relevant to ringing bells, but now it's in the context of smartphones, tablets — and one of several suggestions the FTC is making to mobile platforms, app developers, ad networks, and others about how and when to disclose key privacy-related information to consumers.  Are you plugged in to what this could mean for your business?

12 tips toward kick-app mobile security

Before you start marketing your app, let’s go through the TO DO list.

Does it deliver on what you say it can do?  Check.
Have you thought through your marketing strategy?  Check.
Does it look like app stores might be interested?  Check.
Ready?  Not so fast.  There’s an indispensible step you may be overlooking.  But there’s good news:  The FTC has 12 tips to make that task easier.