FTC Takes Aim at Misleading Online Marketing: Here’s How

In the 11 years since the Federal Trade Commission issued its “Dot Com Disclosures” guide, the potential for misleading online marketing has exploded well beyond the agency’s initial directives. Read what lawyers on JD Supra are saying about how the FTC plans to update:

FTC Invites Public Comments on the Revision of the “Dot Com Disclosures” Business Guidance Document (Morgan Lewis)

“The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering updating and reissuing the ‘Dot Com Disclosures’ business guide that it originally issued in 2000 to assist online advertisers in complying with consumer protection laws…In particular, the FTC noted that when the guide was issued mobile devices were not prevalent, the “app” economy did not exist, use of pop-up blockers was not widespread, and online social networking was not popular or sophisticated.” Read more »

[See also: FTC Plans to Update Dot Com Disclosure Guidance by Venable LLP, and FTC To Update Guidance For Online Advertising Disclosures by Loeb & Loeb LLP]

Advertising Law Newsletter (Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP)

“In this issue:…FTC to FCC: Hold Sellers Liable for Third-Party Calls; FTC Files Suit over “Free Vacation” Scams;… and FTC to Update Online Ad Law Guidance.” Read more »

New Do-Not-Track Bills Target Online Behavioral Marketing and Mobile Apps (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)

“Two new ‘do-not-track’ privacy bills would impose new restraints on online tracking, behavioral marketing, and the use of mobile application and geolocation data. Rep. Markey introduced his discussion draft with his co-chairman of the House privacy caucus, Rep. Barton. Their “Do Not Track Kids Online” bill would build on the current Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires parental consent for collecting and using personal information online from children under 13.” Read more »

FTC Tries to Stay One Step Ahead of Internet Fraud (Ifrah Law)

“The FTC announced last Thursday that it has reached a settlement with Jaivin Karnani, his company, Balls of Kryptonite, and several associated companies…[which] highlights new complications faced by consumers and regulators in dealing with Internet sales and marketing. Just as people can create fictional personalities online through avatars and the like, so too can companies create artificial existences.” Read more »

Is Your Company’s Social Media Launch Ahead Of Its Compliance Program (Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP)

“Many businesses are still coasting along enjoying the marketing advantages of social media without making sure they have a good compliance program in place. For every company with a Facebook fan page or Twitter account roughly 65 percent would admit they do not have a social media policy. For companies with a social media policy, many of those policies have been lifted from online samples that may be over broad, and include provisions that have been challenged with some success in court.” Read more »

The Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act: New Obligations for Merchants (Morrison & Foerster LLP)

“On December 29, 2010, President Obama signed the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) into law. The law has received surprisingly little media attention, but it deserves a close look by any company doing business online. It targets commonly used promotional practices, including the use of negative option features, which have been enforcement priorities for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general in recent years.” Read more »

FTC’s Smackdown on Affiliate Marketing (Venable LLP)

“The FTC says the sites used logos of legitimate news websites, but were in actuality advertisements aimed at consumers to entice them to buy weight loss products from other merchants. The FTC will ask the courts to permanently bar the allegedly deceptive claims, and to require the companies to provide money for refunds to consumers who purchased the supplements and other products.” Read more »

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