Advertising and Marketing

On April 12, New York Attorney General (AG) Letitia James announced that her office has reached a settlement with Northwell Health, New York’s largest health care network, related to allegations of misleading billing practices involving COVID-19 testing.Continue Reading New York Secures $1M Settlement With Northwell Health Related to COVID-19 Testing Charges

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein led a bipartisan coalition of eight state AGs, including Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and Texas, in requesting the District Court in the Southern District of Texas to amplify measures against John Caldwell Spiller, a repeat offender of federal and state telemarketing and telephone privacy laws.Continue Reading Eight AGs Urge Court to Intensify Measures Against Repeat Telemarketing Violator

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently upheld, in a unanimous decision, the town of Brookline’s ordinance banning the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products to anyone born after Jan. 1, 2000 (the Tobacco Sales Ban). Brookline is the first U.S. locality to impose a tobacco sales ban based on a specific date.Continue Reading Massachusetts High Court Upholds Local Tobacco Sales Ban

New York Attorney General (AG) Letitia James is suing JBS USA Food Company and JBS USA Food Company Holdings under New York’s consumer protection laws for allegedly attempting to boost consumer sales by making sustainability claims in its advertising that it had “no viable plan” for achieving.Continue Reading New York AG Sues Top Beef Producer for Alleged False “Net-Zero” Claims and Deceptive Trade Practices

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) most recent regulatory agenda, it plans to finalize a proposed rule that would make significant changes to requirements applicable to educational institutions that enroll students utilizing VA benefits, such as under the extremely popular Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill and Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) programs, both of which pay tuition and fees directly to schools. The new regulations, which are expected to become final in April and go into effect shortly thereafter, will implement the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018. As the Congressional Research Service explained, that bill made “a number of changes to educational benefits.”Continue Reading VA to Revise Educational Institution Requirements Under the 2018 Veterans Benefits and Transition Act

As we previously reported, the Treasury Department released a 2022 report on Competition in the Markets for Beer, Wine, and Spirits (the Competition Report) recommending, in part, that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) revive or initiate rulemaking to consider labeling requirements that include alcohol and nutritional information per-serving, major food allergens, and/or ingredients. TTB has announced that it will hold two virtual listening sessions on this topic on February 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., EST; and February 29, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., EST. The deadline to register to virtually attend either session is February 27, 12 p.m., EST,. Interested parties may register for either session here. These listening sessions present a unique opportunity to provide input to TTB at the early stages of a rulemaking that could potentially affect labels across the industry.Continue Reading TTB Seeking Public Input on Potential Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Changes

Pennsylvania Attorney General (AG) Michelle Henry reached a settlement with attorney Erik Helbing and his business, Helbing Law Group, LLC, resolving allegations of deceptive advertising practices and failure to effectively deliver on promised debt settlement services. The law firm advertised that it could facilitate significant reduction in client debts through negotiation or litigation processes using licensed attorneys. According to Henry, these advertisements were false or misleading.Continue Reading Pennsylvania AG Settles With Debt Services Law Firm

Most products with an online marketing presence generally have “customer reviews.” However, today’s consumers cannot always trust that those reviews are from real purchasers or provide honest feedback about the quality of a product. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sought to address these concerns, proposing a new rule aimed at stopping marketers from using illicit review and endorsement practices, including using fake reviews, suppressing honest negative reviews, and paying for positive reviews. Proponents of the rule argue these types of practices deceive consumers who are looking for honest feedback on a product or service.Continue Reading FTC to Hold Hearing on Proposed Rule to Ban Fake Reviews

Recently, NJOY LLC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against more than 30 foreign and domestic defendants that manufacture, market, distribute, and sell tobacco products in an (indirect) effort to force them to comply with federal and state laws. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company (collectively, RJR) also recently filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against more than 25 foreign and domestic manufacturers, distributors, and retailers (collectively, the respondents) that seeks to prevent the import and resale of certain tobacco products. These lawsuits serve as two examples of how industry is trying to take independent legal action to target allegedly noncompliant actors and force them to comply with applicable law.

Continue Reading ENDS Companies Take Legal Action Against Allegedly Noncompliant Competitors

On September 8, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell issued an initial decision ruling that Intuit Inc. (Intuit) “engaged in deceptive advertising in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act” by misleading consumers with its “free” service claims. In the decision, which is subject to appeal to the full commission, Judge Chappell found that Intuit deceptively marketed TurboTax, its online tax preparation filing software, “when it ran ads for ‘free’ tax products and services for which many consumers were ineligible.”Continue Reading FTC Judge Rules That Intuit’s “Free” Service Ads Violated the FTC Act