March 29, 2018

FTC's blockchain working group, Florida's take on ringless voicemail, and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

3 min

blockchain technology

The FTC Formed a Blockchain Working Group (And Maybe That's a Good Thing)

The FTC has now created its own internal "Blockchain Working Group." Though the FTC has been publishing information about cryptocurrencies since 2014 and brought its first cryptocurrency-related case as early as June 2015, the agency's decision to form a working group shows a deeper level of commitment by the agency to engage with players in the crypto space. And, certainly, it shows that blockchain and crypto assets are likely here to stay.

But does the creation of the FTC's Blockchain Working Group mean more regulation?

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telecommunications law

Sunshine State Sweeps Ringless Voicemail

It's been a busy few weeks for courts hearing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) cases. Recent decisions handed down by the D.C. Circuit in ACA International v. FCC and the Ninth Circuit in Romero v. Department Stores National Bank have further shaped the contours of the federal law. However, lest we forget, states have telemarketing laws as well, and, last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law Senate Bill 568, which explicitly sweeps ringless voicemail technology into the state's law.

Learn more about the technology and what it could mean for telemarketers.

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Another TCPA Decision Involving Nonprofits Results in Dismissal of Plaintiff's Claims

You've probably seen headlines on the partial rejection by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia of a Federal Communications Commission rulemaking. It is understandable that the D.C. Circuit's decision has captured the attention of telemarketers and TCPA practitioners. However, nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies that help nonprofits reach consumers via telephone and text message should also take note of a less-publicized recent TCPA opinion.

Charities and for-profit companies that work together as part of a commercial co-venture or other socially conscious branding arrangements should be mindful of this as they devise outreach programs via text and call campaigns to consumers and potential donors.

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Advertising Law Tool Kit

From the Tool Kit:

Marketers that want to reach customers and prospects by telephone and text continue to face regulatory hurdles from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and state authorities. In the latest edition of the firm's Advertising Law Tool Kit, Venable partner Ellen Berge shares factors to consider when marketing or accepting orders via telephone.

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May 16-17, 2018 | Tribeca 360 and Rooftop, New York, NY

Venable counsel Alexandra Megaris will moderate a session, "The Chief Compliance Officer Perspective," at COMPLY2018, The RegTech and Compliance Conference, on May 17, 2018 from 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. ET. During this session, learn practical approaches to the challenges and changes that new technologies are providing from three prominent chief compliance officers (CCOs). A few of the challenges faced by CCOs that will be discussed include third-party risks, new regulations, global expansion, and ever-changing regulatory environments. Learn how CCOs are overcoming these competing demands to keep their organizations ahead of risk while staying ahead of the competition.