If you or your clients make environmental marketing claims, don’t sleep on three actions the FTC just announced against companies that sell mattresses. What's more, the pleadings in one case offer insights into a course of conduct advertisers should avoid in the use of seals and certifications.
Blog Posts Tagged with Clothing and Textiles
Maybe you can’t tell from looking at us, but the FTC is very label-conscious. No, not in that red carpet “Who are you wearing?” way. We’re more concerned that apparel and other products covered by the Care Labeling Rule give consumers accurate cleaning instructions. Fashionistas, take note because the FTC just announced a one-day roundtable on October 1, 2013, to talk over proposed changes to the Rule.
Most people are familiar with labels in clothing and other textile products that name the fabric and explain how to clean it. But look a little closer and you may spot the prefix RN followed by a series of digits. If you’re in the textile business, those are important numbers to know.
Never let it be said that the FTC doesn’t have your back — or sleeve, cuff, waistband, or wherever else you find the label that discloses the kind of fabric a product is made of. If your business touches on textiles, you’re familiar with the requirements of the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act and the FTC’s accompanying Textile Rules. Are you in the loop o
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., DrJays.com, Inc., and Eminent, Inc. (which shoppers may know as Revolve Clothing).
Bamboo: It’s not just for tiki huts anymore. Consumers are seeing more items, especially clothing and textiles, labeled or advertised as “bamboo.” But according to FTC lawsuits, Amazon.com, Leon Max, Macy’s, and Sears claimed that products were made of bamboo when they were really made of rayon. In addition, some bamboo wannabes were promoted as environmentally friendly. But manufacturing rayon — even when it’s made from bamboo — is far from a “green” process.
According to the FTC, Skechers made false and deceptive claims about the benefits of Shape-ups and other Skechers brands. If you’re in the fitness or health business, the $40 million settlement should grab your attention. But the underlying principles apply to all advertisers. If you're looking to get a leg up on substantiation, here are some footnotes to take from the case.
OK, OK. We can hear your groans through the speakers. But if you’re in the textile or apparel industry, you’ll want to know that the FTC is asking for public comment on the future of the Wool Products Labeling Rules.
If you’re in the textile industry or sell home HVAC equipment (and especially if you’re in the textile industry and sell HVAC equipment, in which case we’re dying to know what your store looks like), you’ll want to jot down some important dates from the FTC.
“Shirley, Shirley, Bo Birley, Banana Fana Fo Firley.” When Shirley Ellis sang the song back in the 60s, it was called “The Name Game.” But when people buy products containing fur, the name is no game.
The FTC’s 100th birthday is looming (and it doesn’t look a day over 85, if we do say so ourselves). Ever wonder what the FTC’s very first published law enforcement action — 1 F.T.C. 1 — involved? It dealt with a company that sold thread deceptively labeled as “cilk.” Fast forward a century and people still want to know for certain that the cotton shirt they’re buying is made of cotton.
In celebration of Halloween — and with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe — here’s our take on what companies can do to make sure spooky business practices don’t come back to haunt them.
Once upon a midnight lawful
Pondering practices, good and awful,
Reading through the U.S. Code
For dos and don’ts I parse and claw.
I came upon the Trade Commission’s
Section 5 with all revisions.
Like Maria in The Sound of Music, brown paper packages tied up with strings are a few of our favorite things. So it's no surprise that catalog and online shopping has become a time saving essential for millions of Americans.
The FTC’s settlement with Reebok requires the company to get their ad claims in shape and works out a $25 million refund program for people who bought EasyTone and RunTone shoes and apparel. Of course, the terms of the lawsuit apply only to Reebok, but experienced advertisers understand the benefits of mining FTC orders for compliance nuggets applicable to their business.
Shape up your substantiation or tone down your ads. That’s the message marketers should take from the FTC’s $25 million settlement with Reebok for false and unsubstantiated claims for the company’s EasyTone and RunTone toning shoes.
These days many shoppers wouldn’t think of buying a product without checking if it comes with a written warranty. And companies in it for the long haul understand the importance of living up to their promises if something goes kablooey. But that wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t until 1975 — when Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act — that federal teeth were added to consumer warranty protections.
Even people unfamiliar with the FTC carry with them virtually ever hour of the day a little reminder from America’s consumer protection agency. It’s the care label included on most things they wear — and the FTC is asking for feedback on its future from consumers, members of the apparel and textile industry, people in the cleaning business, and others.
Savvy executives like to stay in the loop on FTC activities that could affect their industry. They make it a habit to scan the headlines or check for relevant workshops or reports. But there’s a third category of information a bit less understood: closing letters from BCP staff.
In the spirit of transparency, the agency posts them online. Here in the BCP Business Center, recent letters appear in the Compliance Documents section of each topic area.
A fax comes through at the office looking like it’s a form to re-up your existing phone directory listing. It includes information about your business, a “Yellow Page ID number,” and a familiar “walking fingers” logo. The fax, not addressed to any particular person or department in your company, instructs the recipient to sign and send the form back by an impending deadline. Buried in fine print is the only indication the fax is really a solicitation for new business.
Say “spam” and most business executives think of annoying messages that litter their IN box. But the CAN-SPAM Act and the FTC’s CAN-SPAM Rule cover a much broader range of commercial email. Yes, that includes messages offering to split $50 million languishing in the foreign bank account of a deposed prince. But the Rule also applies to a wide variety of communications with customers or potential customers — for example, an email notifying them about a product you’re featuring or an upcoming sale.