Advertising Law News & Analysis - August 20, 2015

4 min


FTC Commissioner Wright Resigns

On August 17, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Commissioner Joshua D. Wright will resign from the Commission, effective August 24. Wright, a Republican appointed by President Obama, has served on the Commission since 2013. He will return to his professorship at the George Mason University School of Law. Wright's departure leaves the FTC with four commissioners—three Democrats and one Republican. There is no word yet on who will replace Wright.

Read the FTC's press release and Wright's resignation statement here.

FTC Serves up CAN-SPAM Advice

In an August 18 post to the FTC's Business Blog, Commission attorney Christopher Brown answered several of the most common questions businesses ask the FTC about compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act and the FTC'S CAN-SPAM Rule.

Read the post to learn what you should, and should not, do when sending commercial emails.


NAD Decision Holds Fruitful Differentiation Pointers

Del Monte recently challenged Dole's advertising for its "Dole Fruit Bowl" product before the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD). The decision, write Venable partners Amy Ralph Mudge and Randal M. Shaheen in a recent post to the firm's advertising law blog, holds a number of lessons for advertisers wishing to make defensible comparative claims while avoiding accusations of false disparagement.

Read the blog post to learn more about the comparative advertising best practices packed into this recent decision.

CA Rulemaking to Plumb Prop 65 Lead "Safe Harbor"

In response to a petition from the Center for Environmental Health, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced earlier this month that it was launching an administrative rulemaking to repeal and/or amend Proposition 65 (Prop 65) regulations pertaining to the Maximum Allowable Dose Level "safe harbor" for lead. The rulemaking, write Venable attorneys Todd A. Harrison, Michelle C. Jackson, Claudia A. Lewis, and Jonathan A. Havens in a recent client alert, could have a significant impact on the dietary supplement industry. OEHHA will hold a hearing on the petition on October 9, 2015.

Read the client alert to learn what issues the rulemaking will address and how potential changes could affect the dietary supplement industry.

Breaking Up Can Be Hard to Do [Right]

Integration clauses, sometimes also referred to as "merger clauses," are common boilerplate in employee separation agreements, write Venable attorneys Douglas B. Mishkin and Nicholas M. Reiter in a recent post to Venable's Trade Secrets & Transitions Blog. The clauses describe the parties' understanding that their entire agreement is contained within the four corners of the document they signed. If properly drafted, the authors write, such clauses can nip many future claims by former employees in the bud. Sloppily drafted integration clauses, however, frequently open a Pandora's box for companies, voiding measures designed to prevent former employees from working for a competitor or poaching clients.

Read the full post to learn how integration clauses should, and should not, be drafted.

Upcoming Events:

LeadsCon New York

August 25-26 | New York, NY

LeadsCon New York 2015 brings together leaders and innovators from must-know companies for two days of actionable content and high-level networking. Venable's Jonathan L. Pompan will be speaking on "Navigating a Path to Self-Regulation: Strategies to Bring to Lead Generation."


September 28-30 | New York, NY

Legal trends, FTC enforcement priorities, and breaking developments in advertising law will be topics of discussion at this year's annual National Advertising Division (NAD) and Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) conferences. Learn how to enhance your use of the advertising industry's self-regulatory forum and hear from Venable's Melissa Landau Steinman, who will be speaking at CARU on "The Business Behind In-App Purchases, Push Notifications and Interest-Based Advertising."


October 6-8 | Las Vegas, NV

ERA is celebrating 25 years of bringing together the top direct-response marketers and innovators in the industry. Venable's Po Yi will be featured on the panel "Using Digital to Make the Cash Register Ring" to discuss best practices for brand marketers who use mobile and digital media to market to consumers. Be sure to swing by Venable's booth, #815, to meet our team.