Interactive Counsel

Arent Fox's interactive media law blog - latest news and trends in advertising, data security & privacy, and IP.

Interactive Counsel

Advertising

Arent Fox advises on all aspects of advertising and trade regulation law. We counsel businesses on how to avoid and respond to investigations by federal and state government agencies for alleged false advertising, unfair sales, and marketing practices. We litigate false advertising and unfair competition claims between competitors in court and in the industry’s self-regulatory proceedings.

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FTC Breaks Down Biodegradable Requirements in Recent Warning Letters

What’s Making News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently sent out 15 letters warning makers of plastic bags that claims indicating that such bags are “oxodegradable,” “oxo biodegradable,” or “biodegradable” may be viewed as deceptive under the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (the Green Guides). According to the letters, the claims fail to comply with Green Guides requirements.

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Are You Behaving? Targeted Advertising Enforcement Ramping Up

What’s Making News?

The Better Business Bureau’s Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program) recently challenged Best Buy, Yelp, Answers Corp., Buzzfeed Inc., and Go.com over the companies’ failure to provide adequate notice regarding the fact that information was collected from their sites for online behavioral advertising (OBA) purposes. This marks the first cases issued as part of the Accountability Program’s promised Compliance Warning review.

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AT&T Mobility to Pay $105 Million in Mobile Cramming Settlement

Yesterday, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, and two state attorneys general representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia held a press conference to announce a significant enforcement action against AT&T Mobility for unlawfully billing customers for unauthorized third-party charges, also known as “cramming.”

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Mailin’ It In: The FTC Gives the Mail Order Rule a Makeover

The News

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced changes to the “Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise” Rule (a.k.a., the Mail Order Rule) aimed at updating the Rule for the 21st century and easing the costs of compliance. The Rule also got a new name and will now be known as the “Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise” Rule. The changes will take effect on December 8, 2014.

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FTC Springs into Action Against National Advertisers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on September 23, 2014 that it recently completed a nationwide advertising review that resulted in warning letters to more than 60 advertisers. The review, termed “Operation Full Disclosure” by the FTC, targeted companies that failed to make proper disclosures in their television and print advertisements. In particular, the FTC sought out ads where important information needed to prevent consumers from being mislead was either contained in the fine print or otherwise hard to locate.

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You’re Not Gonna Like This! Facebook Limits Advertisers’ Options for Boosting Likes

What’s the News?

Thanks to a recently announced change to Facebook’s “Platform Policy,” it will soon become more difficult for companies to get consumers to “like” their Facebook page as part of a promotional campaign. The change will take effect on November 5, 2014.

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FTC Expresses Concerns with Potential Discrimination at Big Data Workshop

On September 15, 2014, Arent Fox was in attendance at the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public workshop on so-called “Big Data” that was designed to explore how its use is impacting American consumers. Although no new regulatory initiatives were announced at the workshop, panelists and speakers repeatedly expressed concern that the growing use of Big Data could lead companies to discriminate against economically disadvantaged consumers.

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High Profile Data Breaches Spur Legislative Action on Cyber Security

What’s Making News?

After a spate of high-profile data security breaches, many legislators, businesses, and consumers are asking what can be done to prevent such security lapses and who should be held responsible. The increased attention to data security has led to a flurry of recent activity in state legislatures and in Washington.

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Hands Off! Pending Fight Over Abandoned Gift Cards Heats Up

What Made News?

A group of merchants and restaurants, including Netflix Inc., California Pizza Kitchen Inc., and Ralph Lauren Corp., are fighting back in federal court against a Delaware lawsuit alleging that they have been withholding unclaimed gift card balances that are due to the state.

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FTC Chooses Not to Update Negative Option Rule

As part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) regular rule and guidelines review process, it recently reviewed the rule governing the “Use of Prenotification Negative Option Plans” (Negative Option Rule). Under a “prenotification negative option” plan, consumers receive periodic announcements of upcoming merchandise shipments and have a set period of time to decline the shipment. If the consumer fails to decline the shipment, the company ships the merchandise and bills the consumer.

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ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP

Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.