November 12, 2021

Advertising Law News and Analysis

3 min

Activity But Unclear Progress On Providing the FTC Additional Monetary Remedial Authority

Last week two different bills were noticed by the House of Representatives that would provide additional remedial tools to the FTC to restore or replace some of what the agency lost when the Supreme Court struck down the agency’s ability to obtain equitable monetary relief under Section 13(b) of the FTC. Whether any of these bills ultimately become law is most uncertain.

Advertising Group Settles FCPA Charges with SEC

On September 24 the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that WPP plc, an advertising group with operations in over 100 countries, agreed to pay $19.2 million to resolve charges that it violated the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The SEC's order focused on conduct by employees of WPP's subsidiaries and affiliated entities in India, China, Brazil, and Peru between 2013 and 2018. The Order provides a rare look into the application of the FCPA against a multinational advertising company, which, while an unusual target for international anti-corruption enforcement, are susceptible to many of the same FCPA risks other industries face when operating in high-risk jurisdictions.

‘Tis the Season—to Update Your Shipping Representations

As the bustling holiday season quickly approaches, and in light of COVID-19’s impact on global supply chains, retailers face many challenges in their business operations, but also in maintaining regulatory compliance relating to shipping—and shipping representations. This is especially true for retailers selling goods online, by phone, or by mail, who must be mindful of both federal and state regulations.

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FTC’s Notice of Penalty Offenses: What Do They Mean for You?

The Federal Trade Commission recently issued Notices of Penalty Offenses regarding for-profit education, endorsements and testimonials, and money-making opportunities. Prior to this year, the FTC had used its Penalty Offense authority only once in this century. So why the sudden rebirth? In this webinar, Venable attorneys examined the FTC’s authority in this area, the substance of the notices, and their broad implications.

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Martech Procurement Tips and Contract Guidance

Martech (marketing technology) refers to any technology or tool that helps optimize or identify marketing efforts. Marketers rely on these tools to automate or streamline processes, collect and analyze data, and help engage with customers. The full suite of these interconnected tools is known as the martech stack.

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FTC Issues Dark Forecast for Dark Patterns in Subscription Auto-Renewal

With Halloween just days away, it is perhaps fitting that the FTC has issued a new enforcement policy statement warning companies not to employ dark patterns to trick customers into a subscription plan. As we covered previously, the FTC has identified dark patterns—or website design features used to deceive consumers—as a priority for both rulemaking and enforcement actions. The timing of the announcement is a bit curious as the FTC is in the middle of a rule making on negative option marketing. More below from Commissioner Wilson on that.

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