April 12, 2018

A full slate for the FTC, product safety issues, and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

4 min

empty room

It's a Full Slate for the FTC

It appears likely that for the first time – we think – since the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established, we will have five new Commissioners in the same calendar year, write Venable partners Amy Mudge and Randy Shaheen in a recent blog post. With the two sitting Commissioners leaving – Commissioner McSweeny's term has already expired and Acting Chairman Ohlhausen has been nominated for a position on the federal bench – restaffing the Commission has become a priority for the Administration. Four individuals have been nominated by the President and voted out of Committee, and the Administration recently announced its intention to nominate the fifth Commissioner.

In the blog post, Mudge and Shaheen provide a brief overview of each of the Commissioner nominees.

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Polaris 2014 RZR XP 1000 - image from the April 2, 2018 CPSC recall notice

Is Product Safety a Partisan Issue?

Everyone always says that product safety should be nonpartisan. But votes on key CPSC policy and enforcement actions often fall right down party lines. Recently, writes Venable partner Heather Bramble, some have even suggested that the current Democratic voting majority is heavily influencing enforcement and compliance efforts. However, the size of the $27.25 million Polaris civil monetary payment settlement (the largest in CPSC history) and the Commission's 4-0 vote in its favor call into question the conventional wisdom about the partisanship of CPSC's commissioners.

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telemarketing laws

Reassigned Numbers: This Argument Is No Longer in Service

In March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and FTC hosted a joint forum to discuss the issue of robocalls. The event, writes Venable partner Ian Volner in a recent blog post, marked a significant step in agency cooperation to mitigate consumer frustration over unwanted calls. While the forum demonstrated that the FTC and FCC are taking action against abusive robocallers, both agencies are relying on the communications industry and, inevitably, consumers – but not the marketing industry – to step up and help craft solutions.

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From the Tool Kit:

If you are making health claims to sell your product or service, be sure to reference our firm's Advertising Law Tool Kit. In the current edition Venable partner Todd Halpern shares best practices and considerations for companies trying to make an advertising claim based on substantiation.


ABA's 33rd Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference

April 18-20, 2018 | Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA

Venable counsel Kimberly Culp will participate in a panel, "FTC Best Practices for Brands and Social Medial Influencers," at the American Bar Association's (ABA) 33rd Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, on April 19, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET. During this session, guests will learn best practices for counseling brand or social media influencer clients to disclose material connections with brands.

CARU West 2018 Conference

May 1-2, 2018 | Parc 55, San Francisco, CA

Venable partner Amy Mudge will moderate the panel "Why Inclusive Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility Are Good for Business" at the CARU West 2018 Conference. The last several years have marked a momentous shift toward more diversity and positive portrayals of different types of people. This panel will address how your company can keep up with the momentum and explain why embracing corporate social responsibility is also good for your bottom line.


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, guests will learn from three prominent chief compliance officers (CCOs) practical approaches to the challenges and changes arising from new technologies. 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. Use the discount code VENABLE20 for 20% off the current ticket price when you register for this event.