Advertising Law News & Analysis - August 27, 2015

4 min


FTC Dishes on What Makes Self-Regulation Work

In a recent post to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Business Blog, Reilly Dolan, Associate Director of the FTC's Division of Financial Practices, provides insight into the Commission's feelings about industry self-regulation programs and the four factors that determine whether those programs will ultimately succeed.

Read the blog post to learn what enables self-regulation success.

Best Lawyers Recognizes Five Venable Advertising Attorneys

Earlier this month, Venable announced that 93 of the firm's attorneys were recognized in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. They represent a broad cross section of Venable practices and attorneys from the firm's offices, including five members of Venable's Advertising, Marketing and New Media practice group: Gary D. Hailey, Stuart P. Ingis, Jeffrey D. Knowles, Amy Ralph Mudge, and Randal M. Shaheen.

Read Venable's Best Lawyers press release for the complete list of the firm's recognized attorneys.


Jordan Scores $8.9 Million Verdict in Jewel Case

Earlier this week, a jury awarded Michael Jordan $8.9 million in damages after a Chicago supermarket chain ran an ad featuring his image without his consent. In a recent post to the firm's advertising law blog, Venable partner Randal M. Shaheen writes that the astronomically high damages in this case should make advertisers particularly cautious before invoking celebrity names.

Read Shaheen's post here, as well as an earlier post by Venable partner Gary D. Hailey, to learn more about the case and the reasoning behind the large damages award.

NAD Finds Something Fishy with Claims That Contradict

In a challenge lodged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD) recently reviewed claims for Omega XL, an omega-3 fatty acid supplement sourced from mussels rather than fish. The supplement's claims were backed with lots of science. In fact, maybe too much, write Venable partners Amy Ralph Mudge and Randal M. Shaheen in a recent post to the firm's advertising law blog. There was so much evidence supporting most of Omega XL's claims that NAD recommended the marketer stop claiming the supplement was a "secret breakthrough." In addition, NAD took exception with Omega XL's "zero level" claims, as well as with claims that might cause consumer confusion about the supplement's speed of action and efficacy in comparison to prescription pharmaceuticals.

Read the blog post to learn more about NAD's decision and its departure from guidance in the FTC's "Green Guides."

Read NAD's press release about the decision.

FTC Reminds Marketers to Keep It Clean

Last week, the FTC announced two cases alleging that two marketing companies made claims that their ultraviolet light devices could kill everything from foot fungus to MRSA that were unsubstantiated and deceptive, although the companies claimed they were "scientifically proven." These cases, writes Venable partner Leonard L. Gordon in a recent post to the firm's advertising law blog, demonstrate that health claims of almost any nature are likely to draw the FTC's attention.

Read Gordon's blog post to learn more about the companies' claims and the FTC's objections to them.

Read the FTC's press release and consent orders here.

Upcoming Events:


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."

Click here to learn more about NAD/CARU and to register to attend.


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.

Click here to learn more about ERA D2C and to register to attend.

SupplySide West

October 7-8 | Las Vegas, NV

Venable will partner with KGK Synergize as co-sponsors at this year's SupplySide West. This conference focuses on the exploration, discovery, innovation, and marketing strategy around the development of finished consumer goods in the animal nutrition, beverage, cosmetics, dietary supplements, sports nutrition, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Venable's Andrew Pratt and Justin Pierce will host a VendorBrief on "Brand Integrity for Food & Ingredient Suppliers: Best Practices in Enforcement & Licensing." Be sure to visit us at booth #1845 for more information and to meet our team.

Click here to learn more about SupplySide West and to register to attend.