Update on the 5-Hour Energy case, new name and recurring issues with "subscription economy," and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

4 min


Charles Curran Joins Venable's Privacy and Data Security Practice

Adding to its nationally recognized Privacy and Data Security practice, Venable LLP announced today that Charles D. Curran has joined the firm as a partner in its Washington office. Mr. Curran brings nearly twenty years of experience in the regulatory matters facing the digital medium, with a specific focus on privacy and data security issues arising from digital marketing.

Curran previously served as Executive Director and General Counsel of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), a leading self-regulatory program for interest-based advertising. During his tenure, he helped launch the Digital Advertising Alliance’s cross-industry program for consumer transparency and control for online behavioral advertising.

Prior to his tenure at NAI, Curran was Chief Counsel of AOL's Policy and Regulatory group, where he directed the company's privacy and data security compliance initiatives, led AOL's anti-spam litigation campaign, and spearheaded AOL's advocacy of anti-spam legislation.

Read Venable's press release to learn more about Charles Curran and Venable’s Privacy and Data Security Practice.


AG Wins Some, Loses Some in 5-Hour ENERGY® Case

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has long targeted what it sees as unsubstantiated cognitive improvement claims, but few realize that state attorneys general have also shown tremendous interest in such claims, writes Venable partner Leonard L. Gordon in a recent post to the firm’s advertising law blog. After two years of litigation and a trial, the court’s opinion in a lawsuit brought by the Washington State AG against 5-Hour ENERGY® for alleged false advertising is instructive for marketers making dietary supplement and cognitive performance claims.

Read the blog post here to learn what lessons the case holds about substantiation, surveys, and health claims.

Read the court’s opinion here.

The Subscription Economy: New Name, Recurring Issues

The "subscription economy" is the subject of a lot of buzz these days, but the truth is that the business model of selling to consumers on a recurring basis has been around for a long time, write Venable attorneys Randal M. Shaheen and Shahin O. Rothermel in the October edition of the DRMA Voice. The business model can be extremely convenient for consumers. Unfortunately, it is also a favorite enforcement target of the FTC, state AGs, and class action plaintiff attorneys.

Read the column to learn how marketers can mitigate legal risk when developing and executing continuity campaigns.

Upcoming Events:

Native Advertising and Influencer Marketing Workshop
October 27, 2016 | Los Angeles, CA

Join Venable for a half-day workshop designed to make sense of recent enforcement actions involving social, influencer, and native campaigns. Our veteran advertising attorneys will share best practices that brands, agencies, and publishers can use to mitigate legal risk. In addition, the workshop will provide nuanced tips for structuring deals and licensing IP for these campaigns. CLE credit is available for this workshop.

Native Advertising and Influencer Marketing Workshop
October 27, 2016 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET

Since opening its doors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has conducted dozens of examinations of banks and, for the first time for a federal regulator, non-bank financial services providers. As a result of this supervisory activity, the CFPB has ordered more than $350 million in consumer relief and, in some cases, brought follow-up public enforcement actions. How a company prepares for and manages a CFPB exam can make the difference between a passing grade and an enforcement action. Join Venable's Jonathan Pompan, Andrew Bigart, and Alexandra Megaris for a webinar that will take a close look at the interplay between the CFPB’s supervision and enforcement work and what that means for companies that are subject to examination.

ad:tech New York
November 2-3, 2016 | New York, NY

ad:tech is the original industry authority for marketing and media technology, where marketing, technology, and media communities assemble to share new ways of thinking, build strong partnerships, and define new strategies to compete in an ever-changing marketplace. Be sure to visit Venable in the exposition hall at the Javits Center.

Click here to register and to learn more about the conference.

2016 ANA/BAA Marketing Law Conference
November 9-11, 2016 | Chicago, IL

The Brand Activation Association's Marketing Law Conference continues to be the broadest marketing and advertising law conference, with deep practical legal content, fruitful networking, and major CLE credits. Attendees can expect to hear from the nation's leading counsel, including Venable attorneys Amy Mudge and Melissa Steinman, on all aspects of Marketing and Advertising Law and Digital Media, including but not limited to native advertising, IP and privacy, loyalty programs, FTC, state AGs, and state regulation. 

ADSUM - Advertiser Summit
December 2-5, 2016 | Aspen, CO

Venable is a proud sponsor of the first ADSUM Advertiser Summit in Aspen, Colorado. ADSUM is a conference dedicated to unifying advertisers and focused on issues unique to online merchants and retailers. Join Venable attorneys Ari N. Rothman and Shahin O. Rothermel, who will present and moderate a panel discussion on "Regulatory Activities, Compliance Best Practices, Offline vs Online Lessons" on Saturday, December 3.

Click here to register and to learn more about the conference.