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Legal Challenges

FTC Settles Paid Online Review Case

Advertising Guidelines Updated. Important Read

An automobile shipment broker based in Georgia, has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that will halt the company’s allegedly deceptive practice of touting online customer reviews, while failing to disclose that the reviewers were compensated with discounts and incentives. The broker’s website represented that the company had “more highly ranked ratings and reviews than any other company in the ... Read More »

Apple Ordered to Pay $533 Million to Patent Troll


Apple, along with several other major tech firms, was sued in a Texas federal court for patent infringement by Smartflash LLC. Smartfish is a well known patent troll that has made millions in the past with this type of lawsuit.  This one, however, is particularly big.   It is related to the way iTunes handled data storage and access, which they ... Read More »

Court Denies De-Publication of California SPAM Decision


In October of 2014, I blogged about the Roslowski et al. v. Guthy-Renker LLC decision pertaining to California Business & Professions Code §17529.5(a)(2) and (3), and the issue of identifying the sender in the body of commercial email. The decision can be found, here. On February 11, 2015, the California Supreme Court denied the request of several non-parties to de-publish ... Read More »

Clickbooth Fights Patent Troll Essociate and Wins


On February 11, 2015, the United States District Court, Central District of California granted Clickbooth’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, ruling that the claims asserted by Essociate are patent ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and are therefore invalid.  A copy of the motion can be seen, below. Title 35 of the U.S. Code Section 101 is a section ... Read More »

The POM Decision and Claim Substantiation Standards

pom legal

On January 30, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held in POM Wonderful, LLC, et al. v. Federal Trade Commission that the FTC did not have an adequate basis to require POM Wonderful, LLC to conduct a minimum of two successful “randomized and controlled human clinical trials” before making advertising claims regarding product efficacy and disease prevention. POM represented that ... Read More »

Shalman Dunkley Hacking Scam Alert


According to Josh Ogle, the following person is hacking accounts, redirect to offers without permission and potentially, illegally. FYI – this fella is hacking peoples’ tracking accounts, then redirecting to his offers. Shalman Dunkley Lot 12 Meylers Piece Little London, Jamaica Province: Westmoreland Postal Code: JMDWD13 PUB IDS: GrabAds – 36825 Guru Media – 301060 Mobooka – 593 PKM – ... Read More »

US Senators Already Pushing Back Against Verizon Supercookie Opt-Out


Verizon Wireless has been using a new type of cookie to help target ads to mobile customers.  The new cookie has been dubbed the ‘supercookie’ and collects additional information and uses it to help improve the quality of marketing.  Verizon has given all their users an option to opt-out of having the supercookie used on their devices, but according to ... Read More »

FCC Announces Date for Net Neutrality Plan


The Federal Communications Commission Chair, Tom Wheeler, took some time for a one on one interview with Gary Shapiro, the Consumer Electronics’ Association CEO, and he had some interesting things to say.  The interview took place at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in front of a fairly large audience, most of whom would strongly support an open Internet.  During the ... Read More »

FTC Warns of Security Risks on Internet of Things


Just as the world of mobile advertising and marketing is starting to really focus on the ‘Internet of Things’ and how they can best use it to display ads and drive sales, the FTC is issuing a fairly serious warning.  Edith Ramirez, the FTC chairwoman, commented at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas, that “the IoT has ... Read More »

Yelp Gives FTC Great Rating After Case Closed

Not FTC Police, But...

The FTC has been investigating the business practices of Yelp for quite some time now, but it appears that it is finally coming to a conclusion.  In the past, Yelp has paid $450,000 to settle one investigation, which was related to alleged COPPA violations due to improper collection of information from members under the age of 13.  The latest investigations ... Read More »

FTC Launches Biggest Disclosure Enforcement Ever

FTC Disclosure

The FTC has launched an initiative that they titled, “Operation Full Disclosure” a short time ago.  The initiative is focused on making sure advertisers are making adequate disclosures in their advertisement campaigns.  The FTC seems to be ramping up the enforcement and other efforts related to this initiative, they have just recently sent out warning letters to over 60 companies, ... Read More »

Skin and Weight Loss Marketers Settle FTC Charges


Two companies that market skin care and weight-loss products must stop making false or unsubstantiated deceptive claims about their products, under settlements resolving charges in two separate cases brought by the Federal Trade Commission. In one case, the FTC challenged ads for DermaTend, a skin cream that was promoted for do-it-yourself removal of moles, skin tags, and warts, as well ... Read More »

Sony and Deutsch LA FTC Trouble Settled


Sony hired Deutsch LA’s marketing to help promote the PlayStation Vita back in 2012.  In the campaign, the agency asked people to tweet about the gaming device using the Twitter hash tag “#GameChanger.” To help get the campaign more attention, the marketing company sent out an email to their employees asking them to begin using the hash tag as well.  ... Read More »

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