British Regulator Seeks to Stamp Out Harmful and Offensive Gender Stereotypes in Advertising

The wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle is officially in the books.  Like many of you, I learned some interesting things about the royal couple in the media hysteria leading up to the wedding. For example, when she was eleven years old, Ms. Markle (now the Duchess of Sussex) took on a major national advertiser for its use of gender stereotyping in a commercial for dishwashing liquid and prevailed.… More

Top Food and Drug Cases, 2017, and Cases to Watch, 2018

In case you missed the 2018 Food & Drug Law Institute (FDLI) Annual Conference last month, the FDLI has given us permission to share the book everyone received at the conference, discussing the top food and drug cases of 2017 and cases to watch for the rest of 2018.  I was honored to edit this volume for FDLI.  The link to download the book in PDF form is here. … More

Advertising Law Compliance for Start-Up Companies

Publicly launching its first product or service is an exciting time in the life of a start-up company.  In this blog post, we provide some “rules of the road” that will hopefully prevent that all-important first product launch from turning into a legal disaster.  Elsewhere, we have blogged about trademark, patent, domain name, and copyright strategies for start-ups and early-stage companies.… More

An Influencer Award for a Kardashian, but Not from the FTC

If you’ve ever lamented that Kim Kardashian West just doesn’t receive enough recognition for her efforts at promoting her own and other brands, we have exciting news for you. Women’s Wear Daily reports that the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced last week that Kim will be the recipient of its first ever “Influencer Award” at the CFDA Fashion Awards on June 4.… More

Retro-Grade: Old-School Chewing Gum Ad Raises Modern Claim Substantiation Issues

Welcome to another installment of Retro-Grade, where we take a trip down memory lane, looking at classic ads from days of yore and examining issues that might arise if those ads were run today.  As the name of the series implies, we give each ad a grade.  We are not at liberty to disclose the details of our proprietary grading scheme, but, suffice it to say, it is neither rigorous nor scientific.… More

Advertising and Marketing Law Content at the FDLI Annual Conference

This week, May 3 and 4, the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) holds its Annual Conference in Washington, DC.  FDLI (I have heard insiders pronounce it “fiddly,” but I refuse to do so) covers all aspects of law and policy affecting food and drugs, including Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement, intellectual property, state and local regulation, and the latest technological developments.  This year’s conference,… More

FTC Settles Claims Over Deceptive “Made in USA” Ads By Haberdasher That Wore Two Hats

When you tell consumers that your product is made in the United States, you are not just giving them the manufacturing location. You are invoking their national pride, their concern about their country’s place in the world, and their anxieties about their own jobs. It’s a powerful marketing toolbox. Perhaps for that reason, some advertisers loudly tout their products as “Made in USA” even when it’s not true.

To combat such tactics,… More

Advertising Tips for Food and Dietary Supplement Manufacturers

In the course of my career, clients have often asked for a nutshell summary of the key principles guiding the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) action in the food and dietary supplements industries.  Two decades of experience have brought these principles into clear focus and have provided a vantage point from which to assess the risks of non-compliance.  While by no means a substitute for legal advice, the short summary below will,… More

Green Guide Annual Review: Environmental False Advertising in 2017/2018

Earth Day is coming up on April 22, and you may be looking to capture some environmentally-minded consumers with nifty green-themed advertising campaigns. But before you do, remember that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) monitors environmentally-themed marketing for potentially deceptive claims, and evaluates their compliance with Section 5 of the FTC Act by reference to the “Green Guides.”

The Green Guides,… More

Class Action Plaintiffs Target Snack Foods in Latest Round of “Slack-Fill” Suits

Have you ever purchased a bag of snacks only to open it up and feel cheated by the air-to-snack ratio?  Does empty space in a bag of chips leave a bitter taste in your mouth?  Does your snack-time routine involve the use of a ruler?  If you’re like most people, the answer to all three of these questions is probably “no.”

(Source: Complaint in Morrison v.… More