March 22, 2018

FTC topples a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme, FEC proposes new rules for political ads, and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

2 min

FTC Topples Cryptocurrency Pyramid Scheme

The only thing less surprising than a company allegedly applying age-old fraudulent schemes to new technology is that the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) enforcement powers can keep up with marketplace trends. In a recent blog post, Venable attorneys Randy Shaheen and Ethan Mora write that the Commission obtained a federal court order last week to shut down a cryptocurrency-related pyramid scheme. This is the FTC's third cryptocurrency enforcement action ever, and its first since 2016.

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D.C. Circuit Strikes Down Parts of FCC's 2015 Omnibus TCPA Order

After a year-and-a-half wait following oral arguments in October 2016, last week a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit weighed in on the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2015 Omnibus Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Order. In the March edition of the DRMA Voice Dan Blynn, Steve Freeland, and Renato Perez write that although the industry welcomed the ruling, it did not receive all the answers it sought.

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FEC Proposes New Rules for Online Political Ads

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) last week issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, asking for public comment on proposals for requiring "disclaimers" on online ads and fundraising. In a post to the firm's Political Law Briefing blog, Venable attorneys Larry Norton and Meredith McCoy write that under each of two similar proposals, paid Internet ads that expressly advocate for candidates or that solicit political donations must state who paid for the ad and whether it was authorized by a candidate. The rules would affect websites, blast emails, and ads paid for by a political committee, regardless of their content.

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Millennials More Susceptible to Fraud?

The FTC pays special attention to the elderly when it comes to combating fraud and deceptive practices. However, write Venable attorneys Amy Mudge and Renato Perez in a recent blog post, a new report from the Commission shows that Americans in their twenties and early thirties are more likely to be scammed than the elderly.

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From the Tool Kit:

Whether a company is running sweepstakes, where winners are selected in a random drawing, or a contest, where winners are selected based on a bona fide skill, promotions are an essential aspect of many companies' marketing strategies. In the latest edition of the firm's Advertising Law Tool Kit, Venable partner Melissa Landau Steinman shares best practices that companies can use to mitigate the legal, regulatory, and reputational risks inherent in sweepstakes and promotions.

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