FTC Clamps Down on Nationwide Deceptive Marketing Campaign

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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

David O. Klein

David O. Klein

David Klein is one of the most recognized attorneys in the telemarketing, technology, Internet marketing, sweepstakes and telecommunications fields. Skilled at counseling clients on a broad range of technology-related matters, David Klein has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting complex licensing, marketing and Internet agreements.

Schedule a Call
In The Know

Trending Topics

New York Sweepstakes Law blog- Klein Moynihan Turco

New York Sweepstakes Law: Are You Compliant?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In general, a lottery exists when entrants pay for the chance to win a prize. States alone reserve the right to administer lotteries. Businesses can eliminate one element of what would otherwise be an illegal lottery, in order to transform it into a legal promotional game. If the requirement to

TCPA surveys

An Ad or not an Ad: NY Weighs in on TCPA Surveys

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Another day, another court decision that refines constitutes a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) unsolicited fax advertisement. A Manhattan-based federal court recently issued a decision that removes faxed invitations to participate in a survey from the TCPA definition of advertisement. In drawing this distinction for TCPA surveys, the Court held

NY sports gambling law- Klein Moynihan Turco

Agreement Reached to Enact NY Sports Gambling Law

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature agreed to a budget deal that will bring mobile sports betting to the State through a unique NY sports gambling law.  Upon the Governor’s signature, NY sports gambling is primed to become the nation’s largest market. However, New York

UK and US Social Media Influencer Laws

UK and US Social Media Influencer Laws

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In September of 2020, the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) Committee of Advertising Practice (“CAP”) reviewed the Instagram accounts of 122 UK-based social media influencers to determine whether content was being properly flagged as advertising in accordance with applicable social media influencer laws. This past March, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”)

Running a Telemarketing Business?

Get a Free Compliance Review From an Experienced TCPA Lawyer.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin