Business Blog

First FTC ROSCA case challenges bogus BOGO and "free" claims

It’s called ROSCA – the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act – and it prohibits marketers from charging consumers for an online transaction unless the marketer has clearly disclosed all material terms of the deal and received the consumer’s express informed consent. Your e-commerce clients will want to know about the FTC’s first ROSCA case, filed recently in Nevada.

Debt Collection and the Latino Community: Will you be at the roundtable?

The FTC has been taking a 360° look at debt collection and credit reporting lately – workshops, reports, education, and law enforcement. On October 23, 2014, we're hosting a roundtable in Long Beach, California, with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get perspectives on how these issues affect Latino consumers, especially those who have limited English proficiency.

Extension letter?

At the FTC, we consider policy developments or proposed rule changes one rung at a time. An integral step in that process is the public comment period. If you have clients interested in two matters pending at the FTC, they have more time to put pen to paper.

Law and (Un)ordered

A box of light bulbs. A case of cleaner. Another box of light bulbs. Ordinary supplies that businesses and nonprofits of all sizes use every day. If these things arrive at your office doorstep, someone in your company or organization must have ordered them, right? And when the bill comes, you have to pay it, right? Well, not necessarily.

Full Disclosure

If the disclosure of information is necessary to prevent an ad from being deceptive, the disclosure has to be clear and conspicuous. That shouldn’t be news to any advertiser and certainly not to the 60+ companies – including 20 of the 100 biggest advertisers in the U.S. – that received warning letters as a part of the FTC’s Operation Full Disclosure.

Who’s mining the store? FTC sues company selling bitcoin mining equipment

History buffs – and fans of the series “Deadwood” – know that promises of riches lured many prospectors west. Now imagine if the general store in Deadwood advertised state-of-the-art shovels, pans, and pick axes necessary for mining, but never delivered the gear or delivered it long after others had mined the prime parcels. That’s pretty much what the FTC says Kansas City-based Butterfly Labs is up to, except that what today’s prospectors are mining are bitcoins.

Telling tales out of school

An online high school that bypasses the pep rallies, proms, and the principal’s office? Under the right circumstances, that might be an innovation in education. But what if it skips the classes and coursework while falsely promising a valid sheepskin from an accredited institution?

A loan again?

Say a consumer is thinking about buying something. They give a company information that would be necessary if they ultimately decide to make the purchase.  Now suppose the company auctions off that data to the highest bidder, who completes the transaction without ever getting the consumer’s consent to the terms.

Big COPPA problems for TinyCo

Fans of Tiny Pets, Tiny Zoo, Tiny Village, Tiny Monsters, and Mermaid Resort will be relieved to know that adorable Sully the Dog and arch-nemesis Duke Spendington haven’t been named in their individual capacities. But the developer of those kid-directed apps – San-Francisco-based TinyCo, Inc. – just settled an FTC lawsuit alleging the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

Today’s the day for Big Data

Big Data is a big deal for businesses, consumers, academics, and policymakers.  There's no doubt it opens the door to more powerful analytical techniques that can advance medical research, education, transportation, etc.  But some have voiced concerns about whether it may be used to categorize consumers in ways that may affect them unfairly, or even unlawfully.  That's the topic on the table at an FTC workshop, Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?, and it's happening today,

“High School Skinny” claims are thin on proof

“Get High School Skinny!”  That was one pitch Georgia-based HealthyLife Sciences made for its Healthe Trim line of diet products.  The company’s radio ads, TV commercials, and website promised it all.  Just a couple of capsules in the morning would burn fat, boost metabolism, and suppress the appetite, leading to the fast and easy loss of as much as 19 pounds the first week.  But according to a proposed FTC settlement, the real result was the fast and easy loss of

Pages