FTC Clamps Down on Nationwide Deceptive Marketing Campaign

May 5, 2016

deceptive-marketingLast week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed suit against several related companies in connection with a nationwide campaign of deceptive magazine and newspaper marketing and solicitation practices.

What are the nature of the allegations that the FTC has made in its deceptive marketing lawsuit?

The accusations detail an operation in which dozens of interrelated companies, often shell companies used to avoid detection from publishers and authorities, mailed magazine and newspaper subscription notices, without permission from the publishers, to millions of consumers across the country.  The solicitations were designed to look like publisher subscription or renewal cards, and indicated that recipients were receiving subscriptions at the lowest possible price, despite actually offering rates significantly higher than the publisher’s rates.  The FTC alleges that oftentimes the companies would use consumer information they obtained to fill out authorized newspaper subscriptions, send them to publishers to obtain the subscriptions at the lower rates, and then illegally retain the difference.  In connection with the lawsuit, the FTC is seeking restitution and consumer refunds for the monies paid, as well as disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and a permanent injunction against both the companies and their individual owners from any further violations of the FTC Act’s prohibition against deceptive trade practices.

Best Practices to Avoid a Deceptive Marketing Lawsuit

As we have previously written, federal authorities and state attorneys general alike have been increasingly aggressive in investigating and prosecuting companies for deceptive advertising and marketing practices.   Though the foregoing example may involve marketers with more sinister motives than the typical marketer, the vigorous efforts by the FTC nevertheless serve to reinforce the reality that it is ever important to make terms and conditions clear, conspicuous and accurate when transmitting solicitations.  Marketers continually face a wide range of legal risks.  Therefore, before undertaking a campaign, it is imperative to engage knowledgeable counsel to ensure that your marketing practices and procedures are fully compliant with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, need to review your marketing practices and procedures or if you are facing an investigation from a state attorney general or other regulatory agency, please e-mail us at info@kleinmoynihan.com, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.  Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

Attorney Advertising

Similar blog posts:

Retailer Settles FTC Deceptive Advertising Claims for Product Endorsements on Instagram

Amazon’s Liability for In-App Buys Weighs in FTC’s Favor

FTC Drops the Hammer on Education Lead Generator

Table of Contents

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Get a Free Compliance Review

Our trusted legal counsel can help ensure your business is compliant. Call us at (212) 246-0900.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
In The Know

Trending Topics

ny ccpa

Is a NY CCPA Law Coming Soon?

For the second year in a row, the New York State Legislature will consider whether to adopt its own version of the California Consumer Privacy

TCPA for dummies

TCPA For Dummies

The beginning of a new year is always an appropriate time to set goals for the months ahead.  This is especially true for businesses that