April 01, 2021

Advertising Law News and Analysis

2 min

FTC Settlement Leads to a 24/7 Shutdown of a Mobile Banking App

On March 29, 2021, the FTC announced a settlement with Beam Financial Inc. (Beam) and its founder and CEO, Yinan Du, over allegations that the mobile banking app company deceived consumers about their access to funds and interest rates. The settlement included a far-reaching conduct ban. As the non-bank financial services continue to grow, the action and settlement underscore the role the FTC seeks to play in policing that sector.

Setting Some Ground Rules: Commissioner Nominee and a New Working Group May Steer the FTC Down a New (Actually an Old) Road

For those who follow the Federal Trade Commission and are anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's decision in AMG Capital Management v. FTC, several recent developments at the Commission may foreshadow the enforcement road that lies ahead. In many ways, the future may look a lot like the past, especially the 1960s and 1970s, when the FTC pumped out rules regulating many aspects of economic activity, including frosted cocktail glasses.

Mona Lisa or Dog Doo? Humor Avoids Trademark Liability

Trademark holders face a common dilemma in deciding whether and how to respond when their marks are used for comic effect, particularly when the humor is done at their expense for another's commercial gain. Instinctively, trademark holders want to protect their marks, often with an aggressive legal response. But that approach is not always wise and is now less likely to succeed, at least in one appellate Circuit, following a recent case involving the well-known Jack Daniel's brand.

Automatic Renewal Programs: Latest Updates

The laws and regulations surrounding subscription-based offers continue to change on a regular basis. Federal and state regulators and private plaintiffs continue to lodge challenges against companies selling products and services on a recurring basis. Moreover, new cases and law enforcement activity offer evolving interpretations on how to comply. Given the substantial developments, companies offering products or services on an automatically renewing basis should take heed.

Spotlight on Our Advertising Law Tool Kit

Be Prepared: Surviving an FTC Investigation

Do you know what the appropriate next steps are after receiving an administrative subpoena or access letter from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)? Navigating an FTC investigation should be done with care, and there are some important strategies to keep in mind. Our attorneys outline best practices in dealing with an FTC investigation—explore this topic and dozens more in the ninth edition of Venable's Advertising Law Tool Kit.