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. Representative clients include: Discovery Channel, Corbis Corporation, Google, Red Hat, Diesel, Benetton, Hasbro, The Limited, PlayStation and Victoria’s Secret.
What Made News?
In a recent letter, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged that a promotional contest on Pinterest violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. Although the FTC did not take any direct enforcement action against Cole Haan, the letter forced Cole Haan to discontinue the contest and is one of the first instances in which the FTC has offered an opinion about what it takes to keep social media contests and promotions on the right side of federal advertising laws.
What Made News?
A recent ruling out of West Texas in Mendoza v. Microsoft, Inc., 5:13-CV-00378 (W.D. Tex. March 5, 2014) serves as a reminder that companies must make sure their service agreements and online privacy policies conform to industry best practices, as well as legal requirements. The structure and format of these agreements can be critical to their enforceability and companies should not take any aspect for granted.
Static Control Components, Inc. may bring a false advertising claim against Lexmark International, Inc. for telling Static Control’s customers that it was illegal to use Static Control chips in refurbished ink cartridges, the Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Antonin Scalia. The Court’s ruling greases the skids for false advertising plaintiffs, who now face a lower burden in demonstrating prudential standing, and likely has broad-reaching implications for other business litigation.
On April 9, 2014, Anthony V. Lupo will participate in a panel discussion about advertising and updates in the FTC at the 2014 Legal and Regulatory Conference. The panel, titled “Don Draper in the Digital Age: How Technology is Changing the Law of Advertising,” will cover topics such as native advertising, social media, the internet of things and consumer consent, and behavioral advertising.
On April 24, 2014, Sarah L. Bruno will present “We’re All Buzzing! Substantiation in the Tech Industry” during the Association of National Advertisers’ Advertising Law & Public Policy Conference. As with past conferences, attendees will hear from important regulators on key issues that are shaping the legal and political climate for advertising and marketing.
A recent state court decision in California could prove a major headache for online retailers that engage in comparative price advertising. Although the decision — People of the State of California v. Overstock.com — is not binding precedent and its future on appeal is far from clear, the decision suggests that retailers may be forced to adopt more rigorous internal standards when engaging in comparative price advertising.
Opt-In or Else: Maryland Introduces Negative Option Bill
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.