May 12, 2022

UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Webinar: Teen Privacy Law Update

Protecting the privacy and safety of kids and teens online is receiving enormous attention lately from Congress, the States, the FTC, and even the White House. Further, just last month, BBB National Programs unveiled a Teenage Privacy Program Roadmap offering a comprehensive framework for companies to use in identifying and avoiding online harms impacting teens.
Amidst these developments, Kelley Drye is holding a webinar to discuss the unique challenges associated with teen privacy. The webinar will provide an update on key concerns and developments related to teen privacy, as well as practical tips for companies seeking to address these issues.

Register Here

ANNOUNCING THE AD LAW ACCESS APP

Last week we unveiled the new Ad Law Access App – a first-of-its kind, one-stop portal that provides updates and analysis on advertising, marketing, and privacy/data security law. The App is now available as a free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play, and can be used on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. 
The launch builds on the top-rated Ad Law Access blog and follows the recent debut of the Ad Law Access Daily Podcast, featuring Simone Roach, which the firm unveiled earlier this year.

IN THE NEWS AND LATEST UPDATES

Get these and other stories in real time when you subscribe to the Ad Law Access blog here or visit the Advertising and Privacy Law Resource Center here
 

Congratulations to Jennifer Ngai Lavallee for being named Consumer Advocate of the Year

Congratulations to Ad Law alum Jennifer Lavallee, Supervising Attorney of Legal Aid’s Consumer Law Unit, for being named the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) Consumer Advocate of the Year.
The Consumer Advocate of the Year Award is a highly competitive national award given to “members who have made special contributions to advancing consumer protection. These individuals have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty by serving as a voice for their organizations and for consumers in the ongoing struggle to curb unfair and/or abusive business practices.” It is hard to imagine a better description of Jen.  
 

NAD Judges a Popularity Contest

NAD recently issued a decision in a challenge that Zillow brought against Apartments.com involving a humorous campaign that featured Jeff Goldblum. The decision covers a lot of ground, including some issues that may be unique to the rental market. For today, though, we’ll focus on an issue that spans industries and comes up frequently. Specifically, we’ll look at popularity claims, such as the advertiser’s “The Most Popular Place to Find a Place” tagline and a couple of “#1” claims.
 

State Attorneys General settle with TurboTax Maker over Free Tax Preparation Services

Earlier this week, 50 states and D.C. obtained a $141 million settlement with Intuit related to its advertising of free and freemium TurboTax products. This settlement, which took the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (a special kind of settlement authorized by many state unfair and deceptive trade practice laws), concluded a three year investigation of the company, and is an example of a bipartisan and nearly unanimous effort among state AGs to address a consumer protection matter. However, it came as a precursor to several state AGs pulling out of the National Association of Attorneys General signaling division within the State AG community.
 

Update: Chair Cantwell Introduces S. 4145, A One-Sided 13(b) Fix

On Wednesday, we described draft legislation circulating in the Senate Commerce Committee that would have given the Federal Trade Commission almost unfettered authority to enjoin permanently any act, practice or method of competition that did not meet its approval. https://www.adlawaccess.com/2022/05/articles/senate-commerce-committee-chair-pushes-one-sided-13b-fix/  All the Commission would need to do is show that a reasonable person had fair notice that the conduct “could” violate the FTC Act.
 

Three State AGs to Leave the National Association of Attorneys General

In a major development, the States of Missouri, Montana, and Texas have announced their withdrawal from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).  For several months, there have been increasing rumblings from certain states over questions and concerns about the organization, leading to this significant announcement.  The long term impact of this announcement, however, remains to be seen.
 

Complaint Urges FTC to Investigate the Location Data Industry

There’s a “request for investigation” pending at the FTC that some of our readers might have missed.  The April 12 complaint, filed by Georgetown Law professor Laura Moy on behalf of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, urges the FTC to conduct a wide-ranging investigation of the location data industry.
 

DOJ Guidance on Website Accessibility Provides Little Clarity

Website accessibility lawsuits continue to be big business for plaintiffs’ attorneys. Every year since 2018, over 2,000 of such suits have been filed in federal courts, and many other suits have been threatened and settled outside of the public eye. Part of the problem is the lack of clear guidance in this area. Although settlements provide some insights about what standards companies should use, they don’t shed light on thornier issues, such as whether 100% compliance with those standards – something many experts think is not realistic – is required.
 

Fashion Nova Sued Over Failure to Post Negative Reviews

In January, we posted that Fashion Nova had agreed to settle an FTC complaint alleging that the company’s practice of suppressing negative reviews on its site “deprives consumers of potentially useful information and artificially inflates the product’s average star rating” in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. According the FTC’s complaint, the company would automatically post four- and five-star reviews, but failed to post any review with a lower rating for about four years.

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Allbirds Over Green Claims

Last year, we posted about a lawsuit against Allbirds alleging (among other things) that the company’s environmental claims – including claims about its “sustainable” practices, the “low carbon footprint” of its shoes, and its other “environmentally friendly” initiatives – are false and misleading. This week, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the lawsuit. The decision covers a lot of ground, but here are some of the key points.


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WEBINAR REPLAYS

In 2022, we have been holding at least one webinar a month. Below are links to replays of our most recent webinars. Find older webinar replays and more in the Advertising and Privacy Law Resource Center.