FTC Targets Publishers Clearing House Dark Patterns” in Sweeping Order

| 9 min

Yesterday, the FTC announced an $18.5 million settlement with Publishers Clearing House (PCH), a marketing company known for using sweepstakes to sell magazine subscriptions. In its 52-page complaint, the FTC alleges PCH used purported dark patterns” to promote product purchases, failed to disclose total costs, misrepresented its privacy practices, and used misleading email headers in violation of Section 5 and the CAN-SPAM Act. The order prohibits the company from making specific misrepresentations regarding sweepstakes entries, includes mandatory disclosure requirements, and requires consumer data deletion, among other provisions.